First Pitch: 6:10 pm CDT
TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN
I’ve officially reached the point where I’m ready for October.
The Twins’ magic number has slid down to seven; a good day today would get it down to five. Minnesota has a roughly-equal lead over both Cleveland AND the third-place Detroit Tigers, who have lost only one more game to this point than the Guardians have.
In fact, it’s entirely possible the Tigers make a last-minute spring into second, an outcome I’m personally rooting for, less out of animosity for Cleveland, and more just for lulz.
And as enjoyable as it is, there are only so many 10-2 beatdowns of the Chicago White Sox that I can reasonably sit through before the need to get this Wild Card Series over with really kicks into gear.
But the fact is, the games grind on; Royce Lewis still has grand slams to hit, and Pablo Lopez still has strikeouts to rack up. Last night, as we know, Lewis hit his fourth grand slam of the season and fifth of his career, in a quest to ensure his “Dr. Evil” nickname — and corresponding home run celebration — spreads into the hearts of opposing pitching staffs.
Meanwhile, Lopez needs 21 strikeouts the rest of the way to make it onto the team’s top-10 list for single-season strikeout records; two good starts might get it done. (He’d join a list that includes only Walter Johnson, Johan Santana, Bert Blyleven, and the 1968 edition of Dean Chance.)
There’s little to address with Chicago at this point in the season; Touki Toussaint and his 5.65 ERA get the start. The defense, as we’ve been seeing for some time now, leaves a little to be desired. Consecutive 10-2 drubbings have helped nudge the White Sox further in the direction of a 100-loss season; they’re eight defeats away from securing triple-digits. For other feel-good stories, visit their SB Nation site.
Tonight’s lineup features the usual suspects, as they all attempt to load the bases for the #3 spot. I’d like to draw special attention to all that blue on the Chicago side, and also the fact that by these numbers, Minnesota’s far-and-away hottest bat is Mr. Max Kepler. Let’s hurry up and win this division before we all wake up from whatever dream world we’re living in.
GO TWINS GO!