Other than a rough five-run first inning given up by newcomer Lance Lynn on Monday in Pittsburgh, Minnesota’s new-look starting staff has been incredible. Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios didn’t allow a single run in 21 combined innings, with Gibby holding Baltimore hitless in 6 IP and “La Makina” recording his first career complete game.
Jonas Brodin, Wild defenseman (⬆ UP)
Called upon to serve on Minnesota’s top line of defense with Matt Dumba, Brodin had one of the best games of his career Monday night. He helped preserve goaltender Devan Dubnyk’s 29th career shutout and posted a plus-3 rating in 24 minutes on the ice during the Wild’s 3-0 victory over Edmonton. As a six-year NHL veteran, the 24-year-old will be leaned on heavily by the shorthanded Wild blueliners, already without Ryan Suter for the season and temporarily missing Jared Spurgeon and Gustav Olofsson as they rehab from injuries.
Brad RempelBrad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Boudreau, Wild head coach (⬆ UP)
With three games to play, the Wild have clinched a playoff spot with 98 points, meaning Boudreau will be in the Stanley Cup playoffs for a sixth straight year. Boudreau is also closing in on his fifth straight season coaching a team to 100+ points, dating back to 2013-14 when he led the Anaheim Ducks to a franchise-record 116.
Timberwolves rivalries (⬆ UP)
You said you wanted meaningful games in April, Timberwolves fans. Well, here you go. Things are about to heat up. Battling for a playoff position to end their 14-year postseason drought, Minnesota will have to play a hungry Denver Nuggets team -- currently out of the playoff picture but just one game back of the Timberwolves -- twice in the next seven days.
The two teams already have a history. Karl-Anthony Towns wouldn’t get into the details back in December, but he said “it’s personal. … I have a backstory.” Oh boy.
Isaiah J. DowningIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor
Logan Morrison, Twins designated hitter (⬇ DOWN)
The Twins hoped LoMo would provide their lineup with a little extra pop after he smoked 38 dingers last season. But through four games (14 plate appearances), Morrison is still looking for his first hit, drawing two walks and fanning four times. Don’t expect LoMo to be trending down for long, however. He makes his return to Target Field on Thursday, a ballpark in which he’s amassed a .387/.472/.1.065 slash line with six homers and 11 RBI in just seven career starts.