Series preview - Washington Nationals

Published: Jun 08, 2007 5:00 AM

The Twins will return to the Metrodome after a rough 2-4 road trip to the west coast. They're probably a bit relieved (I know I am) to be getting back into interleague play. The National league has treated them quite well recently. In 2006 the Twins were 16-2 in interleague play and so far this year they've got the 2-1 series victory against Milwaukee.

The Washington Nationals currently sit in the cellar of the NL East, 12 games behind the Mets. They've lost 4 of 5 (including 2 two Pittsburgh) and the Twins will see 3 no-name pitchers. The full matchups for the series will be:

  • Friday: Jason Simontacchi (2-4, 5.61) vs. Carlos Silva (3-6, 3.86). Simontacchi had one decent year with St. Louis in 2002, but should not be a starter any more. He saw no big-league action in 2005 or 2006.
  • Saturday: Levale Speigner (1-2, 9.10) vs. Johan Santana (6-5, 3.30). Speigner started the year in the bullpen and now has 4 starts under his belt, none of which lasted beyond 4 innings.
  • Friday: Mike Bacsik (1-2, 4.13) vs. Boof Bonser (4-2, 4.12). Bacsik is a lefty and was called up in mid-may. He's faired pretty well, minus his last start in which he allowed 6 runs in 4 1/2. The 5 walks couldn't have helped.

The series will mark the return of Cristian Guzman who has actually hit pretty well since returning from the DL on May 7th. He just ended a 7 game hitting streak and is batting .319 on the season.

More importantly, the series will also mark the return of Joe Mauer from the DL. He will bat in the #2 spot for a change. Jason Miller was sent back to AAA to make room for Mauer. Not surprisingly, Gardy obviously feels a need to have a 3rd catcher wasting away on the bench.

Now would be a good time for a sweep.

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