NEW YORK -- The Twins hopped on a bus following Sunday's loss to the Phillies to head to New York. They were content that they recovered from an awful game on Friday to win on Saturday and nearly win a nail-biter on Sunday. Rhys Hoskins's bat and Andrew McCutchen's arm and batting eye hurt them but, hey, at least they kept Bryce Harper in the ballpark, right?
"When you play good teams, you're going to have to battle throughout," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "That's what this was. That's what this whole series was. Our guys gave really good efforts out there and actually, I thought, performed well. Just a hair not well enough tonight, but I was happy with what I saw."
With an offday in the Big Apple, the Twins were able to settle in and ease their way into Tuesday's game against the Mets. There was a big team dinner planned for Monday night, and I'm sure they found other things to do during the day before watching the NCAA final last night.
So they should be rested, relaxed and rearing to go Tuesday against the Mets.
Now the fun is over, because Jacob deGrom is waiting for them - and he's at the height of his powers.
There might not be a more dominant starting pitcher in the game than deGrom, the runaway winner of the NL Cy Young Award last year. He was just 10-9 last season but posted a ridiculous 1.70 ERA. He posted a 1.40 ERA over his last eight starts, 1.56 over his last 15.
So far, there's been no dropoff this season. deGrom (pictured) hasn't given up an earned run in two starts. He's struck out 24 of the 48 batters he's faced. He has a 26-inning scoreless streak going back to last season. The Mets club record is 32.2 innings, by former Twin R.A. Dickey in 2012.
His start tonight is significant for anothe reason: He has a chance to break Bob Gibson's record of 26 consecutive quality starts, set in 1967-68 - when I was two years old.
You will see deGrom throw an excellent fastball tonight. Right now, it's averaging a career-high 96.7 miles an hour. He has a nasty slider at 92.5 mph - harder than the fastballs of many Twins pitchers I have covered through the years. Through two games, he's throwing his slider 26.6 percent of the time, which is a career high. He also has a curveball and change up he likes to mix in.
It appears to be a bad matchup for a Twins team that has a few guys who like to hit the ball in the air. DeGrom gave up just 10 homers in 217 innings last season and none so far this season.
Pack a lunch, Twins. This is going to be as tough of an assignment they will have all season. And tomorrow we can talk about their matchup with Noah Syndergaard.
Here are tonight's lineups: