Monday, May 19, 2008

Mile Low

Twins 4, Rockies 2
Rockies 3, Twins 2
Rockies 6, Twins 2

My wife and I were furiously working on curtains for the nursery this weekend, so I didn't get to watch any of the Twins/Rockies "action" after Friday night. My condolences to all the poor bastards who did. How excruciating to see so many men left on base, while quality pitching was being wasted. It's amazing to me that these two teams combined for just 19 runs in 3 games. Neither one is playing very well right now.

The Twins went 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position on Friday (+2 SF). Backed by Nick Blackburn's strongest start in almost a month (7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K), decent relief pitching (OK except for the walks) and a Kamikaze catch from Gomez to end the game (I never said he couldn't go get it out there!), they came away with a win.

I was peeking at the scoreboard every now and then on Saturday. "Wait a minute," I thought, "is that Livan Hernandez with a no-hitter into the 6th inning? The Rockies must be in worse shape than I thought!" Amazing how quickly that 0 R on 0 H turned into 3 R on 8 H, huh? Still, given his typical run support, that should have been win number 7 for Livan. (Anybody want him?) It should be noted that the Rockies started each of their last 3 innings of this game with XBH - all of those guys scored. The Twins' offense managed just 2 R despite putting 12 men on base, going 1 for 7 with men in scoring position and stranding 9.

On Sunday, the Twins began each of their first 2 innings of batting with XBH, and had a 1-out triple in the 3rd, but none of them scored. 0 for 8 with RISP right there. For the game, they went 1 for 12. Kevin Slowey came one out short of a Quality Start, but allowed the last 4 batters to reach (after allowing only 4 to reach in the first 5.2 IP). Once again, the penultimate hitter ground out a long AB (10-pitch walk to Brad Hawpe) - maybe something to watch out for in the future.

The best news of the weekend came from Delmon Young, who doubled his season XBH total from 4 to 8, raising his season line to .287/.328/.348. A couple more series like that, and maybe we can all relax about his power potential.

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