Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Better to Be Lucky

Twins 5, A's 4

I had house guests last night, so I didn't get to watch/listen to the game. I was able to check in on Gameday periodically. My thoughts based on that, the box score, and the write-up:

Sounded like a lot of the Twins' hits were well-placed. Those can be the ones that get slumping guys going sometimes. Hopefully that will be the case for Mike Lamb.

Craig Monroe absolutely owns Joe Blanton. I wonder if he can say that about any other RHP. Great to see him raise the SLG% and join the HR parade (such as it is).

Livan Hernandez continues to pitch well enough to keep the Twins in the game, but he's showing signs of cracking. He allowed just 5 ER in his first 3 starts, allowing no HR and walking none with 7 IP in each game. These starts were against the Angels and Royals, who rank 12th and 13th in the AL in team walks, respectively (guess who's #14!). His last 2 starts, he has allowed 7 ER, 4 HR and 6 walks while pitching 6 innings each. He's crafty enough to get away with allowing just over a H/IP, but not if the H is a HR, and not if there's a BB right in front of it (as was the case in the 6th last night). If Monroe didn't have Blanton's number, Livan's pitching performance would have resulted in a loss.

Solid work again by the bullpen: Rincon, Neshek and Nathan combined for 3 IP, H, BB, 5 K. Keep that up.

Span vs. Gomez

I haven't been able to make any comparisons recently, since Span has been out of the lineup following his atrocious performance in the final game of the Rays series (0-3, K, 2 E). But surely Gomez surpassed those depths of suckitude last night (0-5, 4 K, E). Since one of Span's errors was the result of the poor design of the Metrodome (no one doubts that he can catch balls that he can see), I'm calling the Error category even between those two. Gomez gets extra points for the game saver on Sunday. But at least we can say that Span has not played markedly weaker defense than Gomez (Span gets extra points for playing out of position).

Offensively, Span is hitting .222/.300/.222 through 30 PAs. He has 3 BB, 6 K and 3 SB. Gomez is hitting .230/.247/.310 through 89 PAs. He has 2 BB, 24 K and 9 SB. In 1/3 the playing time, Span has 3/2 the BB, 1/4 the K, and 1/3 the SB of Gomez.

It sounds like Span will get a start tonight against RHP Chad Gaudin. If he can reach two times, it should be enough to warrant serious discussion as to which young OF the Twins send back to Rochester when Cuddyer is activated from the DL on Friday.

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