Frank: Well, it’s crunch time for the Minnesota Twins! We need to win this series and the one against the Kansas City Royals this weekend, and possibly get some help from the Cleveland Indians and/or the Detroit Tigers, to win the American League Central Division and qualify for the playoffs.
A very shaky turn through the rotation last week saw no starting pitcher last five innings. Scott Baker has been very good at home, especially when he gets run support. He is 3-1 with a 3.28 ERA and six no decisions in 10 tries. He also won his only decision against the Chicago White Sox, striking out an impressive 12.3 batters/9 IP during two starts against them. Nick Blackburn is great at home when he pitches on four days rest, having gone 7-1 with a 2.00 ERA over eight such starts. Kevin Slowey has been our ace since the middle of June, going 7-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last eight starts at the Metrodome. So what do these men have left? Will they be as good this week?
Bert: It has been a tough month of September for the Twins’ starters. The month started with the Twins getting swept by the Blue Jays in Toronto and then the Twins going 3-3 on the home stand vs. the Tigers and the Royals. Now their last road trip on the season has been a disappointment! I am writing to you Saturday night and today the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Twins 7-2 to clinch a playoff berth. We did not televise the game, but I hope a lot of the Twins players stayed in the dugout to watch the Rays celebrate. It will be good for the players to watch others celebrate because hopefully their celebration will help carry the Twins team into Sunday's game (This seemed to happen, as we won to split the four-game series at the park of the best home team in the Major Leagues) and will have them looking forward to the three-game series against the White Sox. The Twins are 49-26 at home so let's kick the heck out of the White Sox. Put those tired Twins starters arms on the mound and see what they are made of. I actually don't buy that the starters arms are tired. It becomes more mental then physical this time of the year. Let's see who steps up and/or who will blame a poor performance on a tired arm. Let's hope the starting staff digs a little deeper to find success...
Frank: Michael Cuddyer's 2008 season has been a lost one due to injuries, beginning with a finger injury suffered during the first game of the season with the Kansas City Royals. This has, of course, allowed for the emergence of Denard Span, who filled his spot on the roster and in right field. Span has certainly been great -- even working his way into the leadoff spot in the batting order -- filling in for him, but how much do you think it would mean to Cuddyer, Span, and the rest of the Twins for Michael to be able to pull off some heroics this weekend against the very same Royals, maybe even in the last game of the season against them?
Bert: Let's hope that the season can be won or lost against the Kansas City Royals. That means that the Twins had a great series against the White Sox and are still in the race for the division title. Michael Cuddyer has been missed throughout the season, but with injuries comes opportunity. Denard Span has proven to the Twins throughout the summer that he belongs at the Major League level. Let's also hope that both Michael and Denard can get some big hits to help the Twins win the Central Division.
Frank: The Twins will move into a new ballpark in downtown Minneapolis in a year and a half. Last week the naming rights were announced when officials declared that for the next 25 years the ballpark would be known as Target Field. If, at some point, Jason Kubel or Justin Morneau pulls a really long foul ball, he could hit Target Center, home of the Timberwolves. Target is, as we all know, the chain of retail stores based in Minneapolis. It started out as a midwestern enterprise, mainly in Minnesota. So it’s appropriate to name local sports venues after the franchise. Have you been to Target Field? How is construction going? What about Target Center? What's the chance of Morneau and Kubel taking target practice?
Bert: Congratulations on the Twins and Target in getting an agreement worked out to name the new Twins ballpark Target Field. It's only right since it is being built next to Target Center. I have driven by the new stadium, but I have not yet been inside looking at the construction of this future beautiful ballpark. I have always been one to want to see the final result, rather than try and picture what something will look like. I hope people from all around the five-state area will be proud of the end result: this stadium. I can't wait to see it open in 2010. I only hope and pray that the Good Lord allows me to be there to witness opening day and many days after that. I would like to witness Morneau and Kubel hitting their "target" many times in the new Target Field. God Bless you all and Go Twins!
Let’s “Bake” the White Sox!
Check out the Twins-as they battle for a spot in the playoffs-only on FSN North this week:
Wed: vs. Chicago White Sox-6:30 PM
Thurs: vs. Chicago White Sox-6:30 PM
Fri: vs. Kansas City-6:30 PM
Sat: vs. Kansas City-5:30 PM