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's: Can Twins stop the partying?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 22, 2013 - 2:27 PM

This could be the start of, "Hell Week,'' for the Twins.

They face the A's today and could be forced to watch them celebrate the A.L. West title if the the Rangers lose to the Royals or if Oakland beats the Twins. By the way, Oakland hasn't swept the Twins in a four-game series since 1981 (!) and never at Oakland (!!).

Detroit's magic number is 2. If the Tigers don't clinch the A.L. Central today they'll do it this week at Target Field. Detroit's rotation for the series, from Monday through Thursday: Justin Verlader, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer.

And Cleveland comes to town for a four-game, season-ending series at Target Field in a fight for a Wild Card berth. The Twins could watch three team celebrate success against them.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hopes his young players learn from this. He really has been impressed with catcher Josmil Pinto and how he's leaving everything on the field since being called up and hopes his other young players take notice.

Gardy had a great line when asked about Oakland celebrating a title in front of them. ``Well, I just don't want them to swim in our pool, which is usually our dugout here,'' he said.

(rimshot!)

Gardenhire has fallen in love with Josmil Pinto. ``He's the type of player that helps you turn corners,'' he said. So Pinto is in at DH today while Eric Fryer catches.

``I wanted to keep Pinto's bat in there and see how that goes. I want to see Fryer catch and I want to see Pinto hit.''

Josh Willingham told Gardenhire that he was available to DH today. Gardenhire's reponse: ``Pinto is going to DH because he is swinging better than you.'' Willingham: ``Thank you for being brutally honest.''

Joe Mauer has been symptom-free in recent days and worked out at Target Field again on Saturday. GM Terry Ryan said Maur might try some outdoors activites soon. But they are running out of time,


Twins (65-89)

1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
4. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
5. Josmil Pinto, DH
6. Chris Parmelee, 1B
7. Darin Mastroianni,  RF
8. Pedro Florimon, SS
9. Eric Fryer, C

Pitching: Cole De Vries, RHP

Oakland (92-63)

1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Jed Lowrie, SS
3. Josh Donaldson, 3B
4. Brandon Moss, LF
5. Yoenis Cespedes, DH
6. Josh Reddick, RF
7. Daric Barton, 1B
8. Stephen Vogt, C
9. Eric Sogard, 2B

Pitching: Sonny Gray, RHP

  • 6
  • Comments

ADVERTISEMENT

more twins blogs

See all similar bloggersFull story

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT