While this series might not look like much at first glance -- the Twins trail Detroit by 5.5 games with 22 left to play -- there is one very significant milestone here. After Sunday's series finale, the A's will never have to play another game in the Metrodome!
Ahh, the Metrodome, a true turd among the few crappy multi-use facilities that still host major league teams. I suppose that it has worked out all right for the Twins, as they consistently post winning records at home. After the Cardinals lost the 1987 World Series to the Twins, manager Whitey Herzog complained "I don't think there ever was more of a home-field advantage in the history of baseball."
The last time that Oakland won a series at the Metrodome was in August of 2005, and then they made up for it by losing 9 of 10 games at the Metrodome between the 2006 and 2007 series. For every game like this, it seems like there have been a whole lot more like this. So let's just say that I won't be shedding many tears when the place gets torn down.
GOG #46 :: Good Riddance to the Metrodome (32 points possible)
Three game series @ Minnesota Twins -- September 11-13
UPDATE -- answers added below in bold
- Series outcome [3 points] 2-1 Oakland
- Mauer for MVP! Predict his H/XBH/BB [2 points each] 5 H, 3 XBH, 1 BB
- Since that crazy game where he gave up 11 runs in 2.2 innings, Gio has been a much improved pitcher, with a 3.93 ERA and 55 strikeouts over 52.2 innings (nine starts). Of course, that crazy 11 run start was also against Minnesota. Predict Gio's IP/K/ER this time around [2 points each] not so great -- 3 IP, 5 K, 7 ER
- Old shortstop vs new shortstop :: Who reaches base more times in the series, Cabrera or Pennington? Who records more assists? [+1 for each right answer, -1 for each wrong] Pennington got on base more times (7 to 2), Cabrera had more assists (7 to 6)
- I don't really think that Jason Kubel reads fangraphs, but maybe he took it personally when Dave Cameron questioned the contract he signed with Minnesota and pointed out that Kubel has been an extremely replaceable 0.5 to 1 win player. Kubel's response has been to post career bests in pretty much any hitting stat you can imagine and putting himself into a tie with Adam Lind for the highest wOBA among designated hitters. Predict Kubel's total bases for the series (on hits only) [3 points] only 1 total base (in 2 games played)
- For people excited about Andrew Bailey's potential, one nice thing to see is how closely his profile matches that of Minnesota relief ace Joe Nathan. While Bailey's strikeout rate is quite as lofty as Nathan's (who leads the league in K/9), they have similarly great WHIPs (0.94 for Bailey, 0.92 for Nathan) and the strand rates to go along with that (84% vs 85%). The similarities continue when you look at the pitches they throw. Both Bailey and Nathan work off a hard fastball (both throw the fastball around 58% of the time and sit around 94 mph) and feature a hard breaking ball (cut fastball for Bailey, slider for Nathan) as their secondary pitch. Joe Nathan has been worth 2-3 wins above replacement every year since 2004; if the A's get anything like that from Andrew Bailey, then he will be an anchor in the bullpen for a long time. Finally, getting to the question, between the A's and Twins closers, who posts the best K/BB rate? The best WHIP? [+1 for each right answer, -1 for each wrong] Nathan's 1 K to 0 BB beats Bailey's 2 K to 1 BB. They each had WHIP of 1.
- While it seems like the A's strike out about a million times per game, they are actually among the league leaders for the fewest strikeouts by hitters (among AL teams only the Orioles and Angels have fewer strikeouts). And, as usual, the Twins pitching staff is composed of a lot of strikeout and walk averse hurlers (fewest walks of any AL pitching staff, fourth fewest Ks... and Joe Nathan as the big exception with his 11.82 K/9). How many times do Oakland hitters strike out in this series? [3 points] A's hitter exceeded everyone's expectations with a whopping 28 strikeouts
- Since being called up from Sacramento on September 1, Eveland has made only one appearance, pitching one inning against the Royals and allowing a run while striking out one and walking nobody. Will Dana get a chance to show his "stuff" against the Twins? [+1 if right, -1 if wrong] yep, 1 IP in game 1 and 2 IP in game 3 -- no earned runs!
- Which hitter, for Oakland or Minnesota, racks up the most extra-base hits? [3 points] Mauer, with 3 XBH
- Which starting pitcher, for Oakland or Minnesota, throws the most innings? [3 points] Brett Anderson and Brian Deunsing tie with 7 IP each
This is a central timezone series, so you need to get your entries posted by 5:10 pacific. Waste no time!
Pretty good scores this time around. I guess I should have remembered to post an entry...
Overall scoring statistics
- mean = 5.76923 points
- standard deviation = 3.00427 points
- mode = 8 points
The victory for GOG #46 goes to muffinpryde, who has been on a bit of a roll lately. Also, easyraider (who had the highest point total for the first season of GOG, back in 2005) has crossed the 100 point mark with just 15 GOG under his belt.
|name||place (this GOG)||score (this GOG)||# of GOGs||place (all GOG)||score (all GOG)||place (by AVG)||score by AVG|
|Mantecan As Fan||DNP||--||1||95||1||N/E||0.024|
|SoCal As Fan||DNP||--||14||30||93||N/E||0.200|
|Athletics fan and runner||DNP||--||6||52||27||N/E||0.133|
|VORP is too nerdy||DNP||--||4||47||32||N/E||0.234|
|walkoff baltimore chop||DNP||--||1||85||7||N/E||0.200|
|Steve in Napa||DNP||--||1||95||1||N/E||0.032|