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Thursday, August 21, 2008

On the road again

The Twins complete a very succesful nine game homestand with a 7-2 record including two victories from the reeling Yankees.
I left work for a couple hours and walked down to the Metrodome to watch Francisco Liriano pitch yesterday. The lefty struggled a bit to get efficient outs and very quickly worked his pitch count over 100 in the 5th inning. Despite it not being his cleanest outing since being recalled from AAA it's amazing to watch the transformation of Liriano.

Yeah yeah, experts say he's lost 3 mph off his fastball and his slider doesn't bite as hard as 2006, but this kid is a better pitcher; a smarter pitcher. In 2006 as a rookie phenom, Liriano relied soley on his "nasty stuff." Today he still has amazing stuff, but he annoys how to battle against batters, fight through not having his best control, and keep his emotions under control. It's hard to say you're glad Liriano got hurt and missed a year and a half (I certainly wish we could have had him) but I think he's a better pitcher because of it. Let's hope he'll be getting victories for the Twins for years! If we get into the playoffs, we'll need him to be our ace!

So now the Twins begin their mega 14-game road trip. This will truly be the test of the year. If we can return home from this still within striking distance of 1st place in the Central we will have a good shot at the playoffs. The hardest part of the trip starts right away with a 4-game series against Torii Hunter and the 1st place LA Angels. Then hopefully we will grab some wins with a 3-game series in Seattle and a 4-game series in Oakland. As the calendar turns to September and new callups will be brought up for reinforcements the Twins head north of the border for a 3-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays before heading home on Friday, September 5th.

BOLD Prediction: a 8-6 road trip returning home tied for 1st place with the White Sox.

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