Friday, April 10, 2015

A Series To Forget, And AL Central Foes Looming

The Minnesota Twins wrapped up their first series of the 2015 Major League Baseball season, and unfortunately they left Detroit without a win. Opening up against the defending AL Central Division champions was a tall task, but the level of futility the Twins displayed was also unexpected. Hoping to turn things around in short order, the Twins will have to be much better than they have been.

Over the course of three games, the Twins were outscored by a tally of 22-1. Mustering only 14 hits, while the Tigers were able to total 27, the Twins found themselves without a runner on third base until the 7th inning of the third game. Minnesota sent 10 pitchers to the mound over the course of three games, and only four of them were able to keep a 0.00 ERA. Of those four (Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Casey Fien, and J.R. Graham), only Graham pitched more than one innings (2.1). Of the 24 innings pitched by the Twins, only 12.2 innings were pitched by starters. Really, it all boils down to one of the worst opening series possible.

So, on a positive note, the only way to go is up. Today, Minnesota travels to Chicago to take on the White Sox. Chicago also was swept (by the Kansas City Royals), and is looking for their first win of the season. Chris Sale will return to the active roster over the weekend, and is scheduled to take on the Twins during the series finale. Currently, the pitching matchups look as follows:

  • Game 1 (Friday 4/10): Tommy Milone vs Hector Noesi
  • Game 2 (Saturday 4/11): Mike Pelfrey vs Jeff Samardzija
  • Game 3 (SUnday 4/12): Phil Hughes vs Chris Sale
No matter how you cut it, that breaks down to a pretty daunting setup for the Twins. While Milone has a decent shot at out-pitching Noesi in the opener, there's little doubt that the Twins will send the inferior starter to the mound in each of the following contests. Looking to get back into the thick of the AL Central race from the get go, Minnesota will need to turn in a solid series this weekend.

As noted prior to the season kicking off, the Twins could find themselves behind the eight ball early in the year. After facing Detroit and Chicago for their first two series of the season, the Twins will play five of their next six series against AL Central division opponents. By the end of April, separation on one end of the spectrum or the other could be in full swing.

Yesterday I talked about misplaced concerns for the Twins, and while the offense will no doubt come around, Minnesota can't wait forever. With plenty of other concerns, the Twins will need to right the ship in short order. It begins today in Chicago.

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