La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins-Jays: Season is almost over

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: October 1, 2012 - 4:42 PM


Wow. They are hurting for hockey in Canada.

On Wednesday, TSN will show a replay of the 2005 World Juniors game between Canada and Russia.  I know Wild fans are eager to see their new, expensive players. I'm seeing up here what it's like for Canadians to deal with the lockout.

They should just track baseball this week.

Folks, we've got great reasons to watch the Twins and scoreboard watch, as crazy scenarios are possible in these playoff races.

First, the Twins. 

There are five players within .007 of the batting lead. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera leads with a .325 batting average while Joe Mauer sits at .323.

Mauer is a career ..409 hitter with a home run and 4 RBI in his career against Aaron Laffey, who's on the hill for Toronto tonight. Cabrera gets to face Royals lefty Bruce Chen knowing he's a career .379 hitter against him.

So pull up a chair tonight to see if Mauer moves in on a fourth batting title. But also keep up with the Yankees, who play host to Boston, and the Orioles, who play at Tampa.

The Yanks and O's are tied atop the A.L. East with 92-67 records - and also lead the wild card race. If the standings don't change by the end of the regular season, they will have to play Game 163 on Thursday to determine the division winner. The loser of that game plays in the wild card playoff game on Thursday. If they win that game, they have to start the ALDS on Friday.

That's potentially four different teams in four days for either the Yanks or Orioles.

Guess what? There's rain in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday in New York. Couldn't get any crazier.

UPDATES

Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit are beat up and are unable to start tonight. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wants to give players like Chris Herrmann a chance to play. It's been hard to look at him over a stretch of days because they've been playing teams in contention and Gardenhire tried to put the best lineup he could out there.

Josh Willingham is here, but he still can't raise his shoulder. It looks doubtful that he will play this  week, although the Twins haven't totally ruled it out. "He's been day-to-day, and we're running out of days," Twins GM Terry Ryan said.


Twins (66-93)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Chris Parmelee, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Matt Carson, RF
7. Chris Herrmann, LF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Esmerling Vasquez, RHP

Blue Jays (70-89)

1. Rajai Davis, RF
2. Colby Rasmus, CF
3. Brett Lawrie, 3B
4. Adam Lind, 1B
5. Yunel Escobar, DH
6. Kelly Johnson, 2B
7. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
8. Jeff Mathis, C
9. Anthony Gose, LF

Aaron Laffey, LHP
 

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Minnesota20020100005100
Kansas City200110100 5111
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)

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Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota 5 Top 10th Inning
Kansas City 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland 0 Bottom 4th Inning
LA Angels 3
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 6 3rd Qtr
San Diego 9
Seattle 14 2nd Qtr 2:00
Oakland 28
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 28 4th Qtr 2:30
Tulsa 28
Rutgers 21 2nd Qtr 1:42
Washington St 17
Weber State 0 2nd Qtr 14:46
(19) Arizona State 17
Temple 7 2nd Qtr 15:00
Vanderbilt 0
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
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