The prevailing theory is that the weather will deteriorate at Target Field as the day goes on, so expect today’s very-short-homestand finale to start on time at 12:10, in hopes of getting through nine innings before the forecasted storm arrives. Once it starts raining, forecasters say it might not stop for six hours or so, and the Orioles would like to be safely back in Baltimore by then.
The Twins may have the best possible starting pitcher on the mound for such a situation in Phil Hughes, because he normally doesn’t walk (or strike out) many hitters. Hughes is looking to turn around his awful start to the season, against a team he knows well (21 career starts), albeit one that beat him last month at Camden Yards.
If he doesn’t, if Hughes’ day in any way resembles his two-inning start last week, Pat Dean could get a chance to make his major-league debut. And while he’s looking forward to that exciting possibility, it’s been a matter of some stress, too. Dean was called up Saturday in Chicago, and his wife Katie, his parents and young brother all rushed to the Midwest to witness his big day. It didn’t happen in Chicago, and it hasn’t happened yet in Minneapolis yet either. And his family all had to return to their lives and their jobs back in New Jersey and Connecticut.
“My wife was in tears when she left yesterday,” Dean said of his wife, a fourth-grade teacher in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., “but she only had two personal days to take off, because we used the rest to get married over the winter.”
The Dean family will all be monitoring the game via the internet, and if Dean doesn’t pitch today, a few of them may meet the team in Cleveland this weekend. But as a long reliever, his chance to get in the game is unpredictable.
Here are the lineups for today’s second (and final, for now) game against the Orioles, who are 4-0 against Minnesota this year, as the Twins try to snap their six-game losing streak: