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: A long and unsuccessful road trip comes to an end today (rain delay)

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 26, 2012 - 3:39 PM

UPDATE: The game is being delayed by rain, but the Rangers hope to resume play by 3:50 p.m,.

This is where Cole De Vries pitched the best game of his young major league career. On July 8, De Vries shut out the Rangers for seven innings before the bullpen blew the game in the ninth.

That outing is part of a stretch of 10 winless starts for De Vries heading into today. He needs a strong start against the hot-hitting Rangers offense. The Twins need a strong start from him to avoid a four-game sweep by the Rangers, a sixth straight loss and a 1-9 road trip.

The Twins need a win to remember what it feels like.


Twins lefthander Scott Diamond is expected to have the appeal of his suspension heard on Monday.

Diamond was suspended six games for throwing a pitch near the head of Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. Diamond contends that he did not intentionally throw at Hamilton, citing his control issues during the game.

Diamond is still scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Mariners. Regardless if his suspension is reduced or not, he can schedule when to start serving that suspension. He can serve the suspension closer to Sept. 1, when rosters can be expanded. That way, the Twins won't be short a starter.


The Twins have thrown out just 18 percent of runners attempting to steal. The league average is 26 percent. It's not a reflection of the catchers as it is pitchers being able to hold runners on base. I'll get into this more later, but we all know Drew Butera has a cannon for an arm, but he's only thrown out 25 percent of basestealers, when anything above 30 percent is considered good.
When Francisco Liriano was here, 13 of 15 basestealers were successful off him. Liriano is left-handed, and Butera was his catcher for most of the season.

Twins (51-75)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Jamey Carroll, 2B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitcher: RHP Cole De Vries

Texas (75-51)

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Mitch Morleand. 1B
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Nelson Cruz, RF
6. David Murphy, DH
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Craig Gentry, CF
9. Luis Henandez, SS

Pitcher: RHP Scott Feldman



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