The Arizona Diamondbacks open interleague play with the Minnesota Twins. It's not as exciting about having the Yankees in town or even the Red Sox. But there are plenty of transplants from the mid-west in Phoenix who will enjoy this series.
The D-backs have won four of their last five and improved 20-23 which is impressive, but until this team can play at least .450 ball on the road if they want to be taken seriously. Of course, the goal for this season wasn't ever to compete. The goal is to develop young players and change the culture.
The Twins haven't had a good start to the season. They are 15-27 but have won their last three games. The Twins are 140-106 in interleague play while the D-backs are 22 games under .500 against the American League.
Ian Kennedy (4-1, 3.05 ERA) starts things off on Friday against Brian Duensing (2-3, 4.61 ERA) with Micah Owings getting his first start on Saturday and Daniel Hudson going on Sunday.
Game time is 6:40 p.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona with the live game thread at AZ Snake Pit.
Series Preview #16: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Minnesota Twins - AZ Snake Pit
Last October, the Minnesota Twins were clearly a team on the rise. They were coming off a 94-win season, they had just opened a beautiful ballpark and they had re-signed franchise catcher and Minnesota native Joe Mauer to play there for the next eight years.
Their rotation was anchored by one of the best young pitchers in baseball in Francisco Liriano, who had actually gotten unlucky in 2010, with a 3.62 ERA despite an FIP that was almost a run lower (2.66). Sure, they had lost to the Yankees in the playoffs, but there's no shame in that. With the return of star closer Joe Nathan and a little bit of luck, the Twins looked poised to be even better in 2011 than they had been the year before. Then, somebody--Nick Punto, probably--divided by zero and the whole thing went straight to Hell.