Sunday, April 25, 2010

6th Straigh Series Win, but 3rd Straight Blown Sweep

The Twins were able to take 2 of 3 from the Kansas City Royals to continue the Twins streak of series wins which now stands at 6. The Twins who are now 13-6, though have missed out on their 3rd straight opportunity to finish off their opponent with a sweep. In Game 1 Carl Pavano was able to bounce back from a really rough start at Target Field against Kansas City to pitch 7 strong innings and rack up his 3rd win of the season. The Twins bats caught fire in an 8 to 3 win. Game 2 was a war that needed extra innings. A game that was delayed by heavy rain ended up going extras after Jon Rauch blew his first save on the young 2010 season. Rauch gave up a couple hits in the bottom of the 11th to tie the game but came back out for the 12th to finish off the Royals and give the Twins a 9 to 7 win. Game 3 seemed like it was a definite win as Kevin Slowey, who has never lost to the Royals was on the mound for the Twins. Slowey struggled to locate the ball and the lineup failed to deliver with the bases loaded in the 8th inning.

My take on this series is still positive. I personally thought that the Twins were not going to take this series. Lets face it, they are off to an incredible start. And on top of that they are not playing their best baseball while doing it. Basically what I think happens is when a team is playing the way they are, their is usually a rough patch in the season instead of seeing them start to click on all cylinders. The Royals are arguably the worst team in the entire American League. They have a terrible defensive infield, as you saw with a number of errors made this weekend, their bullpen is easily the worst in the entire Major Leagues, and most of the hitters and pitchers on the current roster are just stop gap guys for the Minor League talent on its way. The Twins were still able to pull out another series win and are off to face a Detroit Tigers team who should have won the division last year and still has a ton of talent aboard.

Twins Up:
Joe Mauer: I tan becry not to mention Mauer as much as I cause he is an All World player and does not need the extra sucking up. But he had a really good series. He went 8 for 16 over the weekend including a 5 hit night in the 12 inning battle. After catching 12 innings, Mauer stepped up on Sunday afternoon and said he would catch a day game after a night game, because he is that much of a competitor and probable wanted the sweep to going into an off day.

Carl Pavano: was rocked by the same Royals lineup less then a week ago. He was able to bounce back and come into their park and pitch a great game with 7 innings, 2ER, 0BB and 5 strikeouts.

Twins Down:
Nick Blackburn: Their must be something wrong with Blackburn. At least I just hope their is something wrong. Becauase if this is what the Twins thought they were giving $14 million dollars to in spring they would have said no thankyou. Twins were still able to win inspite of Blackburn's poor performance but on the season now, he has pitched with the following line;
23.2 innings, 33 hits, 18ER (6.85 ERA), 6HR, 7BB and 6 strikeouts. Boy is that ugly
He needs to either fix or might be heading to the DL. Look for maybe Jeff Manship or Brian Duenseng to take over the spot if he does not get it together.

Denard Span: It was not only grounding out with the bases loaded in the rubber match, but Span did not play well all weekend. He went 2 for 16 over the weekend, dropping his average .028 points. Span's splits might be the source of his struggles. He is currently hitting .333 of right handers and .216 of lefties. He also might just feel more comfortable at Target Field (and who wouldn't) as he is hitting .367 at home and .154 on the road.

Up Next:
The Twins head to Detroit (10-9) to take on the second place Tigers. This is the first meeting with Detroit since Game 163. Some very interesting pitching match ups and maybe project some days off for some Twins stars. Expect to see Michael Cuddyer move around this series. He could play some center field if and when Denard Span looks for his first day off of 2010 and maybe first base for when Justin Morneau will get his first day off. Game 1 will be match up of aces as Fransisco Liriano will look to continue his hot start against Justin Verlander. Game 2 will be the Twins first ever look at Max Scherzer who came over in the Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson trade and game 3 Carl Pavano will look to continue to dominate the Tigers (4-1 3.00 ERA in 2009 vs DET) will face Dontrelle Willis who has pitched a total of 5.2 innings against Minnesota in the past 3 years. In those 5 innings the Twins are hitting .409 against Willis.

Tuesday: Fransisco Liriano (2-0 1.29 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (1-1 6.95 ERA)
Wendesday: Scott Baker (2-2 4.81 ERA) vs Max Scherzer (1-1 2.63 ERA)
Thursday: Carl Pavano (3-1 4.24 ERA) vs Dontrelle Willis (0-1 5.00 ERA)

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