The question for the Minnesota Twins as we approach the end of the 2011 season is transitioning from "can the Twins get out of last place in the American League Central" to "can the Twins avoid losing 100 games?"
After 147 games, the Twins have a record of 59-88. A record of 3-12 over the final 15 games of the year will give the Twins just their second 100-loss since moving to Minnesota. . .and with the way the Twins have played recently, it's a mark that certainly isn't out of reach.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Twins will face the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are three games ahead of Minnesota in the battle to stay out of the AL Central basement, aided by their 4-0 win over the Twins last night in which Kansas City pitchers held the Twins' offense to three hits and did not allow a runner to advance past second base.
Wednesday will mark the second major league start for young Australian right-hander Liam Hendriks. Hendriks was solid in his first start last Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, allowing three runs on four hits in seven innings of work, but wound up with the loss as the White Sox defeated Minnesota, 3-0.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Luke Hochevar (10-11, 4.73 ERA). Hochevar has faced the Twins twice this season, collecting a record of 1-1 and an ERA of 4.66.
First pitch from Kansas City is scheduled for 3:10 PM Central time. Be sure to check out our friends at Twinkie Town for their Game Thread once the game gets underway, and we will have the recap here when things are all said and done.