some bad luck recently as far as Australians are concerned. But here's a chance to reverse that karma! And I heard something once about how people love an underdog story, so how fitting for one to take place in the Dog Days of August!
End 3rd Inning: MIN - 0, TEX - 1
First, some big picture info about each of these ballclubs: As we saw before the game, Darvish has the 5th most fantasy points of any starting pitcher in the game right now (6th overall; Craig Kimbrel is the reliever who's eclipsed him). The Twins' highest-ranking pitcher: closer Glen Perkins, who clocks in at #36. Among batters, Adrian Beltre leads the Rangers at #8 - Alex Rios also clocks in the top 50. You have to go all the way to #63 before you find a Twin: Joe Mauer, who's on the 7-day concussion DL. So you really have to go down about another 20 spots before you get your first active Twin in Justin Morneau, who I'm hoping selfishly gets traded to the A's, even if it means the Rangers picking up Daric Barton on waivers when he goes down to make room.
But it's neither team's top-ranked fantasy player, but rather MLB's top-ranked prospect Jurickson Profar who strikes first with a solo home run in the 3rd. As Liam Hendriks has worked himself out of a jam that was worthy of a mound visit by the pitching coach, let's honor the team who scored first with an infographic of their lineup. Stats (i.e. fantasy points) are from the All-Star break. Some analysis to follow in the coming innings:
End of the 4th: MIN - 0, TEX - 2
I maintain that the Alex Rios trade was the one event that was most devastating for the A's, as it both gave their only divisional competitors a solid hitter to replace the suspended Nelson Cruz, but it also allowed the Rangers to make enough space on their roster to claim Adam Rosales for the SECOND TIME in 10 days - one of the most entertaining Oakland players to watch. Those two represent the only two offensive midseason trade acquisitions for the Rangers. On the pitching side, two contributors to the starting rotation made their way to Texas from other teams this year: the traded pitcher with the highest Points Per Game average at the time of his trade Matt Garza, and a former Oakland swingman who was acquired from the Astros as a reliever, Travis Blackley.
Texas has something going in the bottom of the 4th with a hard single from the Rangers' third-best fantasy hitter Ian Kinsler, who was just recently moved to the three spot in the batting order. Kinsler now comes in to score on a groundout by bitterly-hated ex-Twin A.J. Pierzynski, after he moved up to 3rd base on a SB/throwing error by the catcher Chris Herrmann. This was in turn after he should have been doubled off first after a great catch by Twins RF Darin Mastroianni (who, no matter what he does on the baseball field, will never eclipse his namesake 1960s Italian heartthrob Marcello Mastroianni in terms of coolness).
Geez, and Alex Rios has 32 SB's this season? That ties his 2008 total and is 2 shy of his career-high 2010 total. I think he should have gone to the Pirates. As great as Marlon Byrd has been for the Mets, his acquisition might be too little too late with how both St. Louis and Cincinnati are playing. Meanwhile, Jurickson Profar can't repeat the performance from his first AB, but the damage has been done and Texas now takes a 2-0 lead into the 5th inning.
30 Minutes after End of Game: MIN - 3, TEX - 2
If I had been able to stay awake for another couple of innings, I would have seen not only the Twins' first hit of the ballgame, but also their impressive come-from-behind win on back to back home runs, first from third string backup catcher Chris Herrmann (making up for his bad throw on Kinsler's stolen base attempt earlier in the game) then Justin Morneau (in what is hopefully an audition for Billy Beane). Due to their performance, I guess the Twins deserve to have their current active fantasy style roster published for all to see: