Going in to game one at Target Field in Minneapolis on Friday, the Twins were helped out by the lowly Chicago White Sox on Thursday, as they defeated the Indians 3-1. That set up a matchup of two of the Central Division’s best ball clubs. It was a battle between big Michael Pineda and Adam Plutko. Pineda went six strong innings, but was charged with a no decision. Rocco Baldelli was seen way too much, as he kept changing pitchers. The same could be said for Tribe Manager Tito Francona. The Indians struck first when Francisco Lindor opened the door on the scoring in the third inning with a home run after Pineda had kept the game scoreless. Lindor would be answered quickly by the tying run that came on a single by Jorge Polanco. The Twins bullpen crumbled, allowing the Indians to tie the game, and score four more runs in the eleventh inning. The Twins couldn’t respond, making the final score 6-2 Indians. What we learned on Friday was that the Twins have a young bullpen that couldn’t step up when it really counted.
After this series in Minnesota, the two combatants will continue their fight for supremacy, this time at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. As I told you fans before, I still give the Indians the edge because what I saw on Friday night was a Twins team afraid to take the bull by the horns, even though they were supposed to be on target. What Pineda did by taking a banned substance was inexcusable, and I think that point will come back to haunt the Twins, because I don’t think they have any pitching that can replace the consistency that Pineda brought. According to former Twin Dan Gladden, Pineda was the best fifth starter, and he will be sorely missed.