The Twins are 8-0 this season after losing back-to-back games, so either 1) history says they’re a lock to beat the Mets today, or 2) the law of averages says they’re overdue for a loss.
It’s a pretty good mood-tester for Twins fans, isn’t it?
Martin Perez, who hasn’t pitched since July 5, makes his first post-All Star start in this afternoon’s 12:10 p.m. matinee, and said he’s focused on the only real blemish on a terrific first half: Walks. He’s issued 40 walks in 95 innings this season, well above his career walk rate, and though the problem has been disguised by his 85 strikeouts, Perez said he is determined to throw in the strike zone more often.
“With my splitter, I can challenge hitters more, so I’m going to keep it in the strike zone,” Perez said. “I know I have a pitch I can get past the hitters.”
He’ll face a Mets lineup that managed only three runs on seven hits last night against Michael Pineda, Zack LIttell, Blake Parker and Matt Magill. The Mets are sending Jason Vargas to the mound today, which could be a good thing for the Twins. Vargas is a lefthander, and the Twins are hitting .294 (and slugging an amazing .506) as a team against lefties. And while Vargas has eight career wins against Minnesota, he’s also got a 5.17 ERA in his last six starts.
Jonathan Schoop isn’t in the lineup today, and the Twins aren’t certain whether he will go on the injured list. Schoop insists he feels fine despite feeling some pain while swinging Tuesday night. He underwent tests today, and the Twins are awaiting the results.
Here are the lineups for today’s series finale: