As expected, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli went with a youthful lineup on Thursday, a day after the team clinched the AL Central and celebrated with a birthday cake and booze, according to team photos and videos. Baldelli turned 38 on Wednesday.
Cheech and Chong
Aka Astudillo and Arraez pic.twitter.com/yYkTQ2yA2W
— Kyle Gibson (@kgib44) September 26, 2019
Ian Miller, Luis Arraez, Willians Astudillo, Jake Cave, Ryan LaMarre, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Ronald Torreyes all got the start on Thursday in a 10-4 win over the Detroit Tigers. Even with youth on their side, one might think that after a night of partying no one would be in shape to take a few swings at major league pitching, but the heart of the order was especially good.
Astudillo, Cave and Jonathan Schoop — one of only two veterans to get the nod on Thursday — drove in seven of the Twins’ 10 runs. Folk hero and future Dancing With The Stars contestant Astudillo was a sizzling 4-for-5 at the plate, including a home run. Schoop also hit his 23rd of the season.
Baldelli went with youth on the mound, too. Over five innings, Devin Smeltzer allowed three runs on 10 hits, but only two of those hits went for extra bases. He also didn’t walk anybody and struck out four.
Jose Berrios gets the ball Friday in Kansas City against the 101-loss Royals. If he wins, he’ll tie his career mark in wins at 14.
-The Twins are one win away from winning 100 games this season. If they do, it will be only the second time in Twins history to reach the 100-win mark. The 1965 team won 102 games.
-The Twins are the first team in major league history to hit 300 home runs in a season. Schoop hit No. 300 and Astudillo followed him with No. 301 on Thursday.
-It appears that Jake Odorizzi did not make his last start of the season this week because he is set to get the ball on Sunday, according to MLB.com. The American League Division Series starts Friday. That likely means that Odo will not get the ball for Game 1. So does that mean Berrios, followed by Randy Dobnak, followed by Odo?
-The Twins were 14-5 against the Tigers this season.