It was a pretty reflective Twins clubhouse this morning, but surprisingly upbeat. There’s a sense of a missed opportunity after Friday night’s deflating 3-1 loss to the Royals, but nobody is ready to give up, even though the wild-card spot can be rendered out-of-reach today.
Kyle Gibson went through his day-before ritual today, preparing for tomorrow’s start in the season finale on short rest. But Gibson won’t make that start, Twins manager Paul Molitor said, if the Twins are eliminated this afternoon by the Royals, or by an Astros win tonight in Phoenix. Molitor said he’s not ready to say who would start instead, but the likeliest candidates are pretty straightforward: perhaps Ricky Nolasco, or maybe even J.R. Graham.
But that’s for tomorrow. For today, the Twins are still alive, and a big crowd is expected at Target Field. Here are the lineups for the noon start: