Thursday, April 15, 2010

Twins Roll To Take Series from Sox

The Twins were able to win their first ever game and series in Target Field over the Boston Red Sox. Game 1 was started by Carl Pavano and he picked up his second win of the year going 6 great innings. Game 2 was the the first time the Twins played a home game with rain in over 29 years. Kevin Slowey was on the hill and struggled in a 6 to 3 loss. Game 3 was today on a beautiful afternoon. Fransisco Liriano looked as good as he has since late August 2008. Twins bats came alive to beat up Tim Wakefield as the Twins open up the first 10 games of the year at a 7-3 record. The line up is showing glimpses of their potential but are still 0 for the season with the bases loaded so far. Scary to think they can be much better because Span is still only hitting under .200 and Orlando Hudson has a 7 game hit streak going but is hitting .227. If these guys start to get on base for Mauer and Morneau we will start to see big things.

Twins Up:
Carl Pavano: Has had a great start to his season. He is mixing his pitches well and that 2 seem fastball he throws has been frustrating left handed hitters. On the year he is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA. In 13 innings he has given up 10 hits with a 10/1 K/BB ratio.

Fransisco Liriano: In his second consecutive quality start, Liriano was fantastic. After battling through 4 base runners in the first 2 innings Liriano bounced back to retire 10 in a row and finish his day with 7 innings 4 hits 2BB and 8 strikeouts. His fastball was 92 to 94 all day and looked very composed on the mound. The Twins need to be excited from what the have seen so far from the lefty as his controll improved from his opening start against Chicago.

Twins Down:
Kevin Slowey: Slowey struggled in his first start against the Angels but looked worse against the Red Sox. He did not deal well with the elements as the mound became very muddy and he had to scrape his cleats repeatedly. Nonetheless Slowey only went 5 innings and gave up 3 earned runs. The strike zone was expanded for the game by an extra 5 inches by home plate umpire Mark Wegner and Slowey could still not find the strike zone as he walked 4 batters.

The bullpen was up last week but showed some struggles this series. Jesse Crain came in on Wednesday with the Twins trailing 3-2 and proceeded to load this bases and give up a bases clearing double to Jeremy Hermida. I was on the bandwagon that Gardenhire should of had a lefty in there but Duenseng was not available due to a stomach ailment and Mijares has not been great in general this year. Jose Mijares did not look too good Thursday, but was in the game on mop up duty. He loaded the bases, was very wild and got a lucky double play to end the inning. Twins recalled Ron Mahay and sent down Alex Burnett. With Mijares struggles continuing, and Brian Duenseng suffering from the flu, we will see more of Mahay in the future. He did strikeout 2 in a 123 inning.

Up Next: Twins will host the Kansas City Royals. The Royals have arguably the worst bullpen in the entire MLB. Their best starting pitchers thus fur have been of course Zach Grienke and former number 1 overall pick Luke Hochevar who is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 12+ innings. Minnesota will see both of them this week. The first night game will ever be played at Target Field tomorrow night when the 2009 Cy Young winner opposes Scott Baker.

Friday: Zack Grienke vs Scott Baker
Saturday: Gil Meche vs Nick Blackburn
Sunday: Luck Hochevar vs Carl Pavano

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