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The Hypothetical 2020 Minnesota Twins Season, Part 7: California Love

We are all going a little crazy without baseball. Especially Twins baseball. That is why Banter Lads has decided to have Jack Kewitsch take over the team as both the manager and general manager through Out of the Park (OOTP).

As mentioned in yesterday’s entry, I was miffed with Homer Bailey’s performance over all five of his starts this season. Especially his last two, where he gave up ten earned runs, four home runs, and only made it through 7.1 innings over the two games.

While he did strikeout 13 in his loss to Seattle, I decided to shop him around. The best offers coming from the Cubs for Jon Lester and the Giants for Jeff Samadzija. So I asked my scout to develop some reports on them before making a final decision on trading or keeping Bailey. 

We will know more in the coming days.

As for the rest of the squad, it’s a Hollywood tour as we make our way to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers and Angels. It’ll be a tough week, but let’s see how things shake out.

Game 30: Minnesota Twins (17-12) at
Los Angeles Dodgers (20-8)

Boomstick Isn’t Enough

With David Price on the mound, the Dodgers’ record, and rookies Randy Dobnak starting for the Twins, it would be a daunting task.

But with the Lefty Mashers lineup in place, Nelson “Boomstick” Cruz eased some of my early concerns and mashed one to the left field pavilion for an early lead and increasing his hitting streak to 16 games. Polanco would follow him up with one of his own on a 1-2 count and man, the warm weather and two off days must have revitalized us. 

Dobnak started on a role, retiring eight of the first nine and ending the second scoreless and Cruz would crush another one out for his tenth of the year and make it 3-0.

Unfortunately for Randy, he’d load them up in the third and allow five to score.

The game would end with a whimper as no additional scoring occurred for either side and the Dodgers came away with a simple victory.

Final Score: Dodgers 5 – Twins 3

Twins Record: 17-13

Bomba Counter: 46 (6th)

Game 31: Minnesota Twins (17-13) at
Los Angeles Dodgers (21-8)

Boomstick Continues to Rake

Another lefty in Alex Wood was on the mound so you know what that means. Lefty Masher time!

Cruz, fresh off a two homer game the night before picked up where left off and hit his third of the two-game series for another early lead. We’d get another in the second off a Donaldson single with the bases loaded, but left three on for a frustrating end to our half inning.

Berrios would give up a home run to Joc Pederson in the second, but Kepler hit one to right and over the fence to increase the lead to three.

Berrios rendered another jack to the Dodgers to decrease the score to 4-3 in the sixth but solid outings by Duffey and Valdez provided a save opportunity for Rogers in the ninth. 

Although giving up a single to Betts, the chance to shut the door was all he needed as he got Lux to ground into a game-ending double play.

I will happily take a split against the current best team in our league!

Final Score: Twins 4 – Dodgers 3

Twins Record: 18-13

Bomba Counter: 48 (6th)

Game 32: Minnesota Twins (18-13) at
Los Angeles Angels (19-11)

We *Technically* Aren’t in LA Anymore

Maeda began the game well for the us visitors and Garver took advantage of the short wall in left to give us our third early lead of the road trip. With an Adrianza walk and steal of second, Arraez was back in the lineup to get him home. 

We weren’t done though. Cruz belted one for another homer increasing his total to 12 and his hitting streak to 18 games. For 40 years old, the man still has it. 

Rosario would drive in another run in the fifth to push the lead to 5-0 and a Kepler triple would clear the bases and make it 7-0. 

Buxton finally got another stolen base too. Wisler would be taken deep in the ninth, but that’s all she wrote.

Final Score: Twins 7 – Angels 1

Twins Record: 19-13

Buxton Steal Count: 27 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 50 (5th)

Game 33: Minnesota Twins (19-13) at Los Angeles Angels (19-12)

With a Side of Garvsauce

Prior to the game, I received a trade proposal from the Giants. But it wasn’t for Homer Bailey. It was instead for Kenta Maeda in return for right-handed Trevor Gott and a first-round draft pick. While I’d love another high pick, especially from a team that’s in the top half of the round, I couldn’t weasel anything more out of them to make it worth it at the moment.

I have 14 days to contemplate. Plenty of time to make a decision. 

Everything was going smoothly. Our offense had only scored two runs, each off a Garver home run, and Odorizzi pitched eight beautiful one-run innings.

With Odorizzi tiring and a save on the line, Rogers came in to wrap it up. 

But didn’t…

Two straight doubles tied it up with no ours and we were at risk of losing the game. It didn’t make matters better when he injured some portion of his upper body with two outs. Excellent!

Thank god for a rested bullpen and Valdez warming in the pen. 

Donaldson began the tenth with a double and was driven home for the extras lead two outs later.

Valdez emphatically finished the game by striking out the side and getting the win. A win Odo deserved to win and then some.

Rogers is also out a week with an oblique strain. It’s not enough to put him on the IL, but we will have to make due in the meantime.

Final Score: Twins 3 – Angels 2

Twins Record: 19-13

Bomba Counter: 52 (5th)

Game 34: Minnesota Twins (20-13) at
Los Angeles Angels (19-13)

With Homer Bailey scheduled to start again, I decided to give him one final shot as the trade market dried up due to Lester injuring himself for a couple of weeks.

Thank the lord for the Lefty Mashers. They came to play. Donaldson led off with a single followed by a Garver walk and Cruz tied I all together with another rocket to make it 3-0 right off the bat. Cruz now has a 20 game hit streak.

Sano was a little miffed he had no one to drive in and got himself a double and came across off a Polanco double. We’re rolling! 

 But don’t rest on your laurels when Bailey is on the mound. 

And right on schedule. A homer. To the leadoff man. And another in the second to cut the lead to one. What isn’t getting through this man’s head?

Adrianza made sure this one would continue to be difficult for Homer to blow by hitting his own homer to right in the fourth along with another Polanco double in the fifth that drove in Kepler.

And he didn’t. Not that he didn’t try, stranding runners multiple more times, but because he got through the sixth and I yanked him faster than Tim Walz can pull shelter-in-place orders.

Littell didn’t contribute anything to my health either. Filling the bases and plunking a man to make it 6-4. Rosenthal came in and cleaned up his mess.

Then Arraez of all people hit a home run! To the opposite field! His first of the year and only fifth of his young career, the bullpen was ecstatic and mobbed the kid when he got back to the dugout. 

Sano even finally got that home run he was wanting by hitting a three-run bomb so far (469 feet) I think it broke a car windshield.

 Final Score: Twins 10 – Angels 4

Twins Record: 21-13

Buxton Steal Count: 28 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 56 (4th)

Week Review and Lookahead:

Tied for first in the Central! Three weeks of solid play have payed off and we are finally caught up with the Indians and a game and a half up on the Wild Card. 

During the week, I also received notice from Odorizzi that he already wants to be extended past this season. While I love the man, he’s only gone 1-1 in seven starts and while his K/BB ration and ERA is good, I’m not quite ready to sit and discuss.

I also finally traded Homer Bailey along with prospect shortstop Wander Javier to the Giants, our next opponents, for Samardzija with the Giants retaining 70% of his ballooned salary. This game has strange trading mechanics.

We face off against the aforementioned Giants and finally get a crack at the Royals in the coming week and we are all caught up to where the season would be!

So, until games begin to be played, this series will become more of a weekly release than a daily barrage.

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