Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Unthinkable

Who would've thought that going into tonight's inter-league game between the Minnesota Twins (24-35, 8.5 GB) and the Philadelphia Phillies (29-33, 8.5 GB) that they would both hold the same position in their respective divisions - dead last!

They couldn't have been any different to start the season as far as expectations go with the Phillies expected to compete for the division title and the Twins just trying to compete.  But with All-Star's like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay all out of Philadelphia's lineup due to injury, those expectations are suddenly very hard to reach.

The Phillies have lost 8 out of their last 9 in their plummet to the bottom of the division.  Meanwhile, the Twins have experienced an offensive surge from guys like Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe and Denard Span.  That coupled with decent pitching from Scott Diamond, P.J. Walters and (lately) Francisco Liriano has led to the Twins winning 9 out of their last 12.

Nick Blackburn
As of today, however, both teams sit at 8.5 games out of 1st place and while the Phillies are just trying not to lose, the Twins seem to have some confidence and swagger, the likes of which they haven't experienced in a couple years.

Nick Blackburn (2-4, 7.75) will make the start for the Twins and is trying to turn his brutal season around.  He pitched well against K.C. in his first outing back after shoulder soreness last Wednesday giving up only 2 runs in 5 innings.  He said that he just went out there and tried not to think too much.

He will be facing a sometimes inconsistent Kyle Kendrick (2-5, 4.44) who has pitched well as of late but got clobbered by the Dodgers giving up 5 ER over 5.2 innings. 

I'm thinking it will be a high scoring affair for both teams but let's hope for the Twins sake that Blacky's not doing any thinking out there at all tonight.

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