After a nice day off for the Twins, Seattle is in town to start up a three-game set. If you remember, Minnesota was supposed to crush, dismantle, annihilate, dismember and pummel the Mariners last week, but the bullpen left their mojo at the Metrodome and we dropped two games at SafeCo. Fast forward to today, and things are a bit different, if only because Francisco Liriano (2-3, 6.55 ERA) is starting the opener. Liriano has a 2.00 ERA in 11 2/3 innings with 10 Ks since his call up. He's facing Carlos Silva (4-13, 5.93 ERA), who has been as hittable as current Colorado Rockies SP Livan Hernandez for most of the season. Of all the moves Bill Smith made, deciding not to re-sign Silva might have been the best.
The Twins miss Felix Hernandez for the second straight series, which has got to feel great.
In Game 2 on Saturday, the Twins are running Scott Baker (7-3, 3.78 ERA) out to the mound after he bounced back from three less-than-stellar starts vs. the Royals this past Sunday. He'll take on Ryan Rowland-Smith , a recent call up from Triple-A Tacoma. On Sunday, the Mariners are sending Ryan Feierabend to the bump in what will be his first major-league action of the 2008 season. Opposite Feierabend will be Glen Perkins (9-3, 4.07 ERA), who shut out the Yankees for eight innings this past Monday.
Other Series-Related Notes: After reaching a season high .292 batting average on July 31, Nick Punto has dropped 33 points and is down to .259 (.167 BA)... Since the Minnesota series last week, Raul Ibanez has continued to scorch the ball, going 9-for-27 (.333) with two homers and four RBI... A shaky July seems to be behind Twins reliever Jesse Crain, who has a 2.70 ERA and .208 BAA in seven appearances this month... Seattle SS Yuniesky Betancourt currently has a five-game hitting streak, and is batting .524 over that stretch... Twins closer Joe Nathan has only given up six runs all year (51 2/3 IP), and hasn't taken a loss all year long.
The White Sox begin a three-gamer in Oakland tonight at 9:10 p.m. The Athletics have lost 11 of their past 13 games, so we need them to get hot in a hurry... of course, we play them next week, so let's hope it's a short-lived surge. Go Twins!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the game tonight! Minor League update coming tomorrow! Subscribe to my blog via Email here!