The Runner Sports

Twins To Play Sixth Doubleheader Of 2017

The Minnesota Twins are playing such good baseball right now that they just don’t want to stop. So they have decided to play two games on Monday. A sweep of the twin bill would guarantee the Twins sole possession of the second Wild Card spot and, with a light schedule over the next week and change, give them a good chance to build on their current success.

The Twins have played five doubleheaders so far, and have won four games and lost six. They have split four, and were swept by Cleveland in the other. So, to get their doubleheader back to .500, they will need to pull off a sweep of the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are struggling, and the Twins are cruising, but winning both games is never easy.

To win both games, the Twins will need good fortune on their side. The offense scored 27 runs in three games against the Diamondbacks over the weekend, so they will hopefully keep their success going. Pitching is where the danger lurks right now.

Starting in the first game is Dillon Gee and his 3.16 ERA. Gee has amassed 12.2 innings this season over four relief appearances with the Twins this year with a 2.13 ERA in that span. He also made three relief appearances and one start for the Texas Rangers back in May and June. So Gee has been great since joining the Twins, and was solid as a member of the Rangers’ staff, but coming in as a long reliever is different than starting the game, especially in a doubleheader.

With the team expecting to pitch 18 innings today, Gee will need to throw quite a few of those to keep the rest of the team from wearing their arms out. Over the course of his time in the majors this season, Gee has maxed out at 83 pitches and has not thrown more than 64 in a Twins uniform. He is going to need a few quick innings so he can go at least five innings, because a 100-pitch game is probably out of the question.

This is even more important because Tim Melville will be pitching in game two. Melville, who made his major league debut in 2016, is making his third start in the big leagues, and his fourth appearance. His first stint, which came as a Cincinnati Red, did not go so well. He finished the 2016 season with an 11.00 ERA over just nine innings. If he repeats that performance, the bullpen is in for a long day.

On a happier note, Melville’s AAA numbers in 2017 are much better. While pitching for Rochester he had a 2.70 ERA in 66 2/3 innings with 64 strikeouts and only five homers allowed. Melville also made ten starts and came out of the bullpen once for those almost-67 innings, which means he is averaging more than six innings per outing, which bodes well for his longevity in his start against the White Sox.

So, a successful major league reliever making his first start in a long while, and a successful minor leaguer with a poor major league track record. Both could have terrible outings on Monday, but each could keep the White Sox hitters down and give the Twins a great chance to sweep the doubleheader and move ahead of their Wild Card competition.

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer is a lifelong Twins fan who spends most nights dreaming of learning a knuckleball and pitching them to a World Series victory.
Charlie Gillmer

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