After rainout, Twins continue WC push in DH
Traditional twin bill to begin at 3:10 p.m. CT; Gibson, Pelfrey to start
CLEVELAND -- The contending Twins caught a tough break on Tuesday, as their scheduled game against the Indians was postponed due to rain, and they'll play a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday starting at 3:10 p.m. CT.
The Twins, who are 1.5 games back of the Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot, will start right-hander Kyle Gibson in Game 1 and right-hander Mike Pelfrey in Game 2. The Indians will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco in the first game and right-hander Cody Anderson in the second game.
"It's hard to win one game, you know," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm sure there are statistics that support various theories about doubleheaders on the road. But you can't worry about those things tomorrow. You have to look at it as two opportunities to win."
With Gibson starting on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, it also affects Minnesota's starter on the last day of the regular season on Sunday against the Royals. Gibson was slated to start that outing, but now would have to start on short rest. Saturday's starter is also to be determined, but the Twins could look to start left-hander Tommy Milone and right-hander Phil Hughes in some order on Saturday and Sunday. Milone gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings in Monday's 4-2 win, while Hughes was scratched with flu-like symptoms but felt better on Tuesday.
Right-hander Tyler Duffey remains on track to start the series finale on Thursday, while Ervin Santana will start the series opener against the Royals on Friday.
"The obvious questions will be how it plays into the weekend if games stay meaningful, which I hope they do," Molitor said. "It just kinda changes how things shape up as we get to Sunday. We'll have options. Right now, we'll have those guys tomorrow, Duff on Thursday and Ervin on Friday. And then we'll have to figure out what to do Saturday and Sunday."
Pelfrey, who will be starting on regular rest, said despite the potential postseason ramifications of his outing, he's going to look at it as any other start.
"I try not to make it any more and take it like any other game," Pelfrey said. "Obviously, it's a big game, but I try to approach it like any other game. Nothing changes. You have to execute and try to get guys out. It's just a matter of doing it and being focused, which I think when it means this much, you're pretty into it. So it'll be pretty fun."
But Pelfrey admitted it's not the best timing to have a doubleheader this late in the season with the Twins trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2010. They also played in a doubleheader against the Angels on Sept. 19 and lost both games.
"It's probably not ideal," Pelfrey said. "We talked about Gibby coming back the last day, and that probably takes that away with short rest. But you gotta do what you gotta do. Tommy came up and stepped up last night, so somebody else will have to step up. I think guys will be ready to do that."