When you look at the Twins' starting pitching, it's not hard to tell why they're not winning much.
Tonight they'll send 29-year-old righthander Samuel Deduno (10.13 ERA, 6.44 FIP) to the mound for his second start of the season and the 16th of his career. He faced the Tigers on Friday and allowed six runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings, walking three and striking out two. Before that, he had a 2.70 ERA over three starts for AAA Rochester.
Both Deduno's major and minor league numbers suggest he's got decent stuff but has a hard time controlling it. He's walked six batters per nine innings in limited major league time, but struck out well over nine per nine in the minors. He'll throw a low-90's fastball with a pretty steady collection of changeups and curves.
Deduno has never faced the Brewers in the majors, and no current Brewers have seen him before.
He'll face Marco Estrada (4.94 ERA, 4.64 FIP), whose up-and-down season is on an uptick at the moment. He's pitched seven innings and allowed a run or less in two of his four May starts, including on Friday against the Pirates. In the other two, he's allowed 12 earned runs while lasting just nine innings. Somehow, the Brewers have won seven of his ten starts and four of his last five.
Estrada leads the Brewers with 54 strikeouts this season despite having made one fewer start than Yovani Gallardo and Wily Peralta, but his strikeout numbers are still down from a year ago. He struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings while walking less than two in 2012, and those numbers are 8.3 and 2.6 in 2013.
Estrada pitched five innings against the Twins on May 18 of last year and allowed four runs on six hits in a game the Brewers went on to lose 11-3. No current Twins have faced him ten times or more.
Tonight's lineups are as follows:
|1||Norichika Aoki||RF||Eduardo Escobar||SS|
|2||Jean Segura||SS||Brian Dozier||2B|
|3||Ryan Braun||LF||Joe Mauer||DH|
|4||Aramis Ramirez||DH||Josh Willingham||LF|
|5||Carlos Gomez||CF||Ryan Doumit||RF|
|6||Jonathan Lucroy||C||Trevor Plouffe||3B|
|7||Yuniesky Betancourt||1B||Chris Parmelee||1B|
|8||Rickie Weeks||2B||Aaron Hicks||CF|
|9||Jeff Bianchi||3B||Chris Herrmann||C|
And in the bullpen:
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (nine pitches) last night and has appeared in three straight games.
- John Axford pitched one inning (17 pitches) last night and also pitched on Monday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (nine pitches) last night and also pitched on Monday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (22 pitches) last night.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (16 pitches) last night.
- Donovan Hand pitched one inning (15 pitches) last night.
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched 1.1 innings (30 pitches) on Monday.
It's raining in the Twin Cities as I write this, but it looks like the weather should clear up a bit before we see another chance for scattered thunderstorms later. Expect a game time temperature in the mid 70's but a chance that the game will be interrupted.