On Tuesday evening, the Minnesota Twins will kick off a two-game trip to South Beach to take on the Miami Marlins. For the Twins, the series against the National League’s worst team looks like a great matchup, but they’ll still have their work cut out for them.
The pitching matchup in tonight’s game is going to be critical. The Twins send Kevin Correia to the mound to face off against Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez. Correia, owner of a 3.87 ERA this season, has a 2-0 record in his last five starts, with wins coming against the Milwaukee Brewers and, more recently, the Chicago White Sox.
Fernandez, the 14th-overall selection for the Marlins in 2011, will be making just his 15th major-league start, but has been incredibly impressive recently as Miami has started to turn around their season a bit. In the month of June, Fernandez holds a 1.65 ERA and 29 strikeouts while posting a 2-1 record. That kind of streak is going to be a difficult test for the Twins hitters.
The Twins are coming into this game with their bats having cooled off after a bit of a power resurgence. Despite the Twins having only 68 home runs on the season, good for 23rd in all of baseball, they had strung together seven straight games with a home run before Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians … which was somehow the one game of that series the Twins were able to win.
When the Twins have been good at keeping opponents off the board, they have struggled to get their own run support. Josh Willingham, the only Twin with 10 homers so far this year, will be key, along with catcher Joe Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau.
In the end, this series should be a good test for the Twins, who should be able to string together a couple good wins before their homestand with the Kansas City Royals this weekend. As long as they can get just a little bit of run support, look for Minnesota to start off strong tonight.