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Game 37: A’s at Twins

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Let’s just get this out of the way.

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

First Pitch: 3:05 pm CDT

TV: Bally Sports North / FS1

Radio: WCCO 830 / Audacy / The Wolf 102.9 FM / TIBN

On Thursday afternoon, Michael Pineda took the mound in the bottom of the first inning, scheduled to face Tim Anderson leading off the White Sox order in the final game of the Minnesota road trip. As he wound up, I remarked out loud, “Come on, Anderson. First pitch home run here just so we can get it out of the way.”

Crack.

I think you remember what happened.

The question became - well, whatever to do now with my newfound prognostication? And then it hit me...I could seriously cut down on writing time each Saturday by simply predicting the game in advance, and jotting down all of my notes.

So, here’s what I’ll do — today’s recap will be presented below, ahead of first pitch. If you can’t see the game later, just give it a read, and it will tell you everything you need to know.

After the game, I’ll make any tweaks to the recap that we need, but...I’m not expecting too many. After all, I’m psychic now.

Today's Lineups

ATHLETICS TWINS
Mark Canha - LF Kyle Garlick - RF
Seth Brown - DH Josh Donaldson - 3B
Ramon Laureano - CF Nelson Cruz - DH
Matt Olson - 1B Mitch Garver - C
Matt Chapman - 3B Jorge Polanco - 2B
Stephen Piscotty - RF Rob Refsnyder - LF
Chad Pinder - SS Miguel Sano - 1B
Tony Kemp - 2B Max Kepler - CF
Aramis Garcia - C Andrelton Simmons - SS
Cole Irvin - LHP Jose Berrios - RHP

~~~

A’s 8, Twins 6: This season should be 86’d

Broadcasters, managers, journalists, and fans alike have shared the sentiment — the team has shown flashes of competence on most sides of the ball, but can’t seem to put together one solid, clean game. That was on display again this Saturday afternoon, as despite scoring early and often — as well as hanging in there late in the game — the Twin offense was once again bested by their own bullpen, and Oakland took the second game of the weekend.

It wasn’t a bad outing for Jose Berrios (5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 K) but it still wasn’t the dominant, jump-on-my-back starting pitching performance the team has so desperately needed.

After working out of jams in the second and third innings, Berrios allowed the A’s a breakthrough in the fourth, when leadoff man Mark Canha doubled in a pair of two-out runs. The A’s would manufacture another run after a well-timed Ramon Laureano stolen base opened the door for a rib-eye knock off the bat of Matt Olson in the fifth; shortstop Chad Pinder would rock a solo shot that tagged Berrios for his fourth and final run allowed.

But while this was happening, the Twins were in the mix. Four total bases from Max Kepler, a Trevor Larnach solo shot, and a pair of RBI for Nelson Cruz meant the Twins had a 5-4 lead in this one by the time Berrios had exited the game.

It was a short-lived lead. Oakland would tie it in the seventh and push across their sixth run in the eighth, after Taylor Rogers got BABIP’d around a bit in an effort to play the fireman and prevent the game from getting out of hand. 6-5 A’s.

Josh Donaldson — intentionally or otherwise — might have lit a fire late in the game. With the tying run already across to make it six-all, he gave us the ejection we’ve all been waiting for, complete with bat-slamming and helmet-tossing, after a questionable called strike put three outs on the board with bases full of Twinkies in the bottom half of the eighth.

But rather than inspire the squad to bear down and get the win, the outburst amidst a killed rally seemed to deflate the last little bit of hope out of the balloon.

Enter Alex Colome.

Off the back of four straight scoreless appearances, Colome was given the nod by manager Rocco Baldelli to preserve the 6-6 tie.

Unfortunately, it went as the pessimists predicted. A leadoff walk was nearly left about without worry, as Colome battled to strike out each of his next two hitters. And then, the dagger blow — designated hitter Seth Brown took one into the plaza to stake the A’s to a two-run lead.

The Twins went down one-two-three in the ninth.

Somewhere, Gary still has a job.

STUDS:

CF Max Kepler (1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R)

DH Nelson Cruz (2-for-4, 3 RBI)

RF Trevor Larnach (1-for-5, HR)

DUDS:

Upper management, lower management, middle management, and your mother

ROBOT ROLL CALL:

# Commenter # Comments
1 Joel Hernandez 146

COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD:

Joel Hernandez: “Today, I am announcing my retirement from Twinkie Town, effective immediately. [Part 1 of 146]”