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Game 8: Astros at Twins

Game VIII if you’re nasty.

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 1:10 pm CDT

TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN

Today, the Twins continue their War On Hitting With Runners in Scoring Position, a noble pursuit which they have waged at every opportunity so far this year. For my money, if the defense wants to continue gifting us wild pitches to make up for the discrepancy, it’s their prerogative and a humble reminder that it’s a free country.

However, it would be nice to see the Twins take a little action of their own and maybe deliver some RBI gappers this homestand. Remains to be seen!

Also remaining to be seen is Joe Ryan (you stealthy minx, you) who makes his home debut this afternoon in the wake of both Sonny Gray’s 13-strikeout performance and his own dominant six-inning outing in Kansas City. Minnesota starting pitching has been nearly flawless through the season’s first week; Ryan will attempt to avoid “That Guy” status, and keep the line moving.

COURTESY: Baseball Savant (click to expand!)

With both Max Kepler and Joey Gallo on the active roster but evidently sidelined, the Twins continue to roll out their righty lineup, with Trevor Larnach and Nick Gordon the only lefty hackers in the batting order.

Some early returns on Statcast data show that Michael A. Taylor has been making solid contact, with the highest barrel% of anyone in the starting lineup; meanwhile, guys like Kyle Farmer are lucky the infield was in during a walk-off situation.

Meanwhile, the foreboding middle of the Astro order indicates that it’s only a matter of time before Kyle Tucker burns somebody — elsewhere, Jeremy Pena is dropped to hitting sixth.

The biggest news of the day is that Joe Ryan will make his home debut in the crisp new Twin Cities alternate jerseys. He’ll do so on a sunny Minnesota day that threatens to climb up to 60 degrees before it’s all said and done (the Chicago series may touch 80!)

Enjoy the ballgame — GO TWINS GO!