GameChat – Twins @ Giants #3, 2:45pm

We have two late scratches from the lineups today – you can probably guess who they are though. Mauer has a sore back and Nishioka has a sore hamstring. It does make a fan cross their eyes in frustration but we’ve been assured that both will be back tomorrow.

The other topics of conversation seem to center around who will be sent down after today’s game to make room for Thome & Nathan to come back tomorrow. Since Rivera is catching today, it does seem to suggest that perhaps the 3rd catcher out will be Butera. We’ll have to wait and see.

And let’s hope we have enough bats to get to Lincecum today – runs are fun as we proved on the first game of this series.

Minnesota @ San Francisco
Revere, CF   Rowand, CF
Casilla, A, 2B   Hall, 2B
Cuddyer, RF   Huff, 1B
Young, D, LF   Ross, C, RF
Valencia, 3B   Sandoval, P, 3B
Hughes, L, 1B   Burrell, LF
Rivera, R, C   Tejada, M, SS
Tolbert, SS   Stewart, C, C
Duensing, P   Lincecum, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
San Francisco 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 2 8 0

 

We knew that putting Duensing up against Lincecum was going to be a tough call today and I’m proud to say that he held his own pretty well! He totally kept us in the game in what would have been a fantastic outing in any other situation. I wish the battery could have done a bit better job of taking advantage of the opportunities we had which we knew would be few & far between. Yet, another 1-run game that we were on the losing side for. The good effort was admirable but a win would have been better.

In postgame news, Hoey has officially been sent down to Rochester in preparation for Nathan being back tomorrow. I still haven’t heard about who goes down to make room for Thome but I’m sure we’ll hear sometime soon.

The Final Countdown: 90 Games

Ten games ago, I wrote about how the Twins had pulled within 10 games of the Detroit Tigers with 100 games left on their schedule. The symmetry of that was too much to resist.

Since I just can’t get my mind to accept the possibility that the Indians could possibly be in the race for the long haul, I’ve been standing by my preseason contention that the AL Central would come down to the Twins, Tigers and White Sox. Based on this, we’re going to check in with the Twins’ progress every 10 games (if I remember to do so) in relation to where their real division rivals sit.

Trailing the Tigers by 10 games with 100 to play meant all they had to do was trim one game off that lead every 10 games in order to catch the Tigers by the end of the season. So today, as the countdown reaches 90 remaining games on the Twins schedule, where are things sitting?

Let’s just say there’s been some progress… and that’s putting it mildly… even after that clunker Wednesday night in San Francisco. Here are the REAL AL Central Division Standings with 90 games to play:

TWINS GAMES REMAINING: 90

TEAM RECORD GB
Tigers 40-35 -
BitchSox 37-39 3.5
TWINS 32-40 6.5

I don’t think any of us expected to see the Twins close this gap this fast. Yes, the BitchSox are sneaking up on the Tigers, too, but I think our guys proved they own the southsiders last week, didn’t they? We’ll keep them listed in the REAL AL Central Division Standings just because it looks tacky to only list one team other than the Twins, but if this race comes down to Twins and BitchSox, I like the Twins’ chances.

On the other hand, the Twins haven’t had any luck against the Tigers yet at all, so I like watching them lose to anyone who can step up and do the job. 

– JC