- Defensive miscues cost Rays, help Twins secure second straight series win
Starter Scott Kazmir wasn't exactly sharp last night, allowing six earned runs, including a couple on wild pitches, but he didn't exactly get much help from his defense, either. I think the official tally of six earned runs is actually pretty generous, it was probably more like four. There was a fly ball off the bat of Jason Kubel that outfielder Ben Zobrist probably should have caught that was ruled a hit. There was also a scorching line drive to third by Brendan Harris that Evan Longoria bobbled, though in his defense, that was a difficult play to make and was probably correctly recorded as a hit. Granted, the Metrodome is a difficult place for visiting teams to play, what with the lights and the roof and the horrid turf and stuff. But Tropicana Field isn't all that different from the Dome, so I'm not really sure what to say about the Rays.
For his part, Nick Blackburn was pretty effective, holding the Rays offense to two earned runs on eight hits in seven innings. Seven of the eight hits he surrendered were harmless singles, and he walked only one batter, despite the fact that he wasn't really feeling that well through most of the game. Blackburn and Glen Perkins, who were the weakest links in the rotation last season, have actually been the most effective starters for the Twins so far. Since he tends to give up a lot of hits, I wouldn't expect Blackburn to finish the season with an ERA under 3.90, but he should pitch at least 200 innings and at least give the poor bullpen an occasional night off.
- In other news:
Joe Mauer will also return to the lineup tomorrow night. No roster moves have been made yet, as Mike Redmond is dealing with a sore shoulder that might land him on the DL. Even though it would be tough to justify carrying three catchers, switch-hitter Jose Morales has been hitting so well from both sides of the plate that the Twins might want to reconsider sending him to Rochester.
Speaking of difficult roster decisions, Jesse Crain hasn't felt any pain during his bullpen sessions and could be activated as early as Tuesday. Jose Mijares, who was called up to replace him, has been too dominant to send back to Rochester. R.A. Dickey, Luis Ayala, and Juan Morillo have all been struggling a bit recently, but Dickey is the only one the Twins can send down (Morillo would have to be placed on waivers). It will be interesting to see what the FO decides to do.
Although they've been pretty good about keeping the ball in the park lately, maybe the pitching staff needs to take a look at this. Especially you, Scott Baker.
If parity has truly come to the American League, will anybody win 100 games in a season again? Or lose 100?
Zach Greinke finally gave up an earned run last night, his first in 43 IP. You know, I don't want to hear anymore about how weak the AL Central is supposed to be. Even from me.
It turns out that the life of the average minor league ballplayer is actually pretty boring.
Canucks fans are getting ahead of themselves, as Rangers fans are so quick to point out.
And in light of recent events, the late Bea Arthur reminds the kids to make fair play a part of their game. With a little help from some friends, of course: