The White Sox were here at Target Field back in July, back when the Twins were wrapping up their lone winning month, when they felt like they were turning their season around. “It seems like forever ago,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said, because the Twins haven’t won a home series since then.
That can change today, though. The Twins have won two of the first three games against Chicago this weekend, and a matinee victory today would give them the series victory, and allow Minnesota to finish with a 5-5 home record against the White Sox.
“The professionalism of our sport, it kind of demands you find a way to come out and compete, regardless of your circumstances,” Molitor said of his last-place team. “You a little bit better feeling after you’ve won a couple games. It’s certainly more fun to win.”
Andrew Albers has heard about that, but it’s sort of a faint memory for him. Remember Albers’ smashing debut in August 2013, when he opened his major-league career with back-to-back wins, pitching 17 consecutive scoreless innings? Albers was the toast of Minneapolis and Saskatchewan for a few days — but he hasn’t recorded a victory since. In fact, Albers’ team has lost the last eight major-league games he has appeared in.
“When you think you make pitches and they get hit out of the park, it tells you your margin of error, compared to Triple-A, is different,” Molitor said. “He knows what he needs to do — it’s all about location for him. If you’re going to rely on command and deception, you’ve got to get the ball where you want to.”
Given his lack of velocity — Albers’ threw only one pitch that reached 89 mph in his last start — it’s hard to tell how many opportunities to pitch Albers will receive. It’s hard to imagine him having a much better opportunity to break that winless streak than today.
Here are the lineups for the final game of the series: