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Series Preview: Twins (18-22) at Brewers (26-15)

Once again, we miss the ace, and while our division competition (except for the Astros, I guess) have to play some pretty darn good AL Central teams, I think we're getting off easy.  The Twins are riddled with injuries, missing both Joe Mauer and set-up man Jesse Crain.  Here are the matchups:

Boof had one good start against the Brewers, but I'm willing to write that off to flukishness and the ineptitude of last year's offense.  Scott Baker has been hanging out in Triple-A all year, and pitching well, but Twins fans have heard that song before.  And Ortiz...he hasn't exactly been lights out.  It's the bottom of our rotation, too, but unless the AL is even more dominant this year, it looks like we've got the edge.

It's tough to be too nasty given how our offense has performed lately, but the Twins haven't been very effective with the bats, either.  Only Justin Morneau and Luis Castillo have OBPs above .350, and of healthy players, only Morneau and Torii Hunter are slugging above .450.  Thanks in part to our good buddy Jeff Cirillo, the Twinkies aren't getting much from their designated hitter spot: only 271/350/375.  Watching guys like Josh Phelps and Jack Cust (who were freely available in the offseason) has got to hurt when Cirillo, Rondell White, and friends are that anemic.  (White hasn't played much this year, but last year he was a big part of the same problem.)

More on the Twins:

  • Twinkie Town tries to figure out what's wrong, pointing to the lack of offense and a 4-11 record in the last 15.

  • Aaron Gleeman has extensive notes on recent Twins doings...probably more than you'd ever want to know about our neighbors to the northwest.

  • Bat Girl is still there, and still funny.

  • Twins Geek looks at the young Twins pitchers and sees if service time might influence callup decisions.
For me, interleague play has more than worn out its welcome, but if it means we get an easier-than-average opponent while the Cardinals and Cubs play tougher ones, I'll take it.  Let's hope the return to Miller Park has a salutary effect on the Brewers bats!