I got pretty lucky. On Monday, my friend Craig offered me box seats to last night's Twins game, and of course, I accepted without reservation. But on Monday, I could never have known what I'd be treated to in that climate-controlled cavern… yeah, the free drinks were nice, but Francisco Liriano's pitching performance was infinitely better. I was giddy the entire time, texting friends about how "vintage" he looked. There was a certain confidence and mission-mindedness about him that I hadn't seen since '06. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Seven innings, eight strikeouts, one run given up. HE'S NOT DEAD YET!
Yes, I know it was against the putrid Royals.
Yes, I know it was in the near-always-friendly Dome.
And yes, I know that pretty much anything resembling not sucking would have blown me away last night after Tuesday's abomination.
But I, and we, as Twins fans can't be satisfied with one sparkling start. That wouldn't be fair after what this a-hole Minnesota team has put us through recently. We need MORE. And we need Carl Pavano to provide us with the punctuation mark on a series win today. I chronicled his terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad stats against sub-.500 teams in one of the three August 12 entries. In short, we shouldn't be surprised by a Nick Blackburn-like (post-All Star Break) outing today. And just how bad has Blackburn been in the second half of the season? Check this out:
Five starts… 0-3 record…8.87 ERA (23 ER in 23-1/3 IP)… 2.100 WHIP… players are .407/.426/.638 COMBINED batting against him…
I could go on for a long, long time. Oooohh… just found another stat:
He gave up 1 HR per 51.8 batters faced in the first half… Is giving up 1 HR per 28 batters faced in second half.
What the hell is wrong with this guy? Is the sinker not sinking? Is his arm tired? Are contract negotiations throwing off his concentration (rimshot!…a la The Common Man)? We might have to go to a four-man rotation with the bullpen pitching every fifth day. Or maybe get John Smoltz?
***Special thanks to Joe Crede for restoring my faith in his power bat. Now, can someone please toss him into a padded room between games from now on?
Twins day game today at 12:10 CST! Enjoy! Thanks for reading.