Pitching Perspectives (4/6-4/12)

The Twins finished the opening week of the season with a 3-4 record and currently stand in 4th place in the division.

Minnesota

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC

ERA

WHIP

Francisco Liriano

7.0

4

4

4

0

3

2

93

 

 

 

4.2

6

5

5

4

3

0

85

6.94

1.20

Nick Blackburn

5.0

8

4

4

3

1

0

85

 

 

 

6.0

6

4

3

1

1

1

95

5.73

1.64

Kevin Slowey

6.0

9

5

5

0

5

2

100

7.50

1.50

Glen Perkins

8.0

5

1

1

2

4

0

106

1.13

0.88

R.A. Dickey

5.0

4

3

3

4

4

1

104

5.40

1.60

Scott Baker (DL)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals:

41.2

42

26

25

14

21

6

N/A

5.40

1.34

Scott Baker spent the week on the DL.  He is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays and will be opposed by Scott Richmond.

Francisco Liriano (0-2) had a decent start Monday against the Mariners but took the loss.  65.6% of his 93 pitches were thrown for strikes and he had fairly good control.  His stuff was not as sharp as I have seen it in the past but still only gave up 4 hits, two of which were home runs.  Gutierrez hit a good pitch for his HR, but the pitch Griffey hit out was definitely a mistake.  Liriano’s second start came on Saturday against the White Sox and it resulted in his second loss of the season.  For the game; 56.5% of his 85 pitches were strikes, he walked 4, and uncharacteristically gave up more than a hit per inning.  With the offense completely dormant, the Twins need him to get back on track in a hurry.

Nick Blackburn (0-1) struggled in his first start Tuesday against the Mariners, but thanks to the ninth inning 2-out heroics he did not get the loss.  65.9% of his pitches were for strikes.  He gave up 3 walks and 8 hits in the start which for him is a recipe for disaster.  Blackburn was more himself in his second start against the White Sox on Sunday.  63.2% of his pitches went for strikes, but he only walked one and allowed a hit per inning.  Despite pitching better he took the loss as both the offense and bullpen had a rough night.

Kevin Slowey (1-0) also struggled in his first start Wednesday against the Mariners.  Unlike Liriano and Blackburn, however, Slowey got a win despite his poor outing.  All it took for the Twins bats to come to life was to face Carlos Silva.  72.0% of his pitches were thrown for strikes and he did not issue a walk.  His WHIP still came in at 1.50 thanks to the 9 hits allowed in his 6.0 innings of work.

Glen Perkins (0-1) brought his “A” game to the mound with him on Thursday to close out the Mariners series.  He had the staff’s best start for the week by far, but was outdone by Jarrod Washburn, and ended up taking the loss.  67.9% of his pitches went for strikes and he kept his WHIP under 1.0 for the game.  Perkins is the starter I am the most unsure of for 2009, although I’d take him over most of the other 5th starters in the league, so it was great to see him come out of the gates strong.

R.A. Dickey (1-0) got the benefit of being matched up with Jose Contreras for his start on Friday.  The offense did their job and Dickey was good enough to get the win.  54.8% of his pitches were thrown for strikes but that is to be expected from a knuckleball pitcher.  Dickey will be sent back to the bullpen or removed from the active roster to make room for Scott Baker.

Rotation Assessment:  While the rotation had a number of poor starts, they avoided a massive blowup along the lines of Carl Pavano’s 1st start for the Indians.  For the week they put up a respectable WHIP but a 4.54 SO/9 is not going to get it done.  They also game up 6 home runs for the week and had a poor 1.50 SO/BB rate.  The good news is that despite the generally poor performances, they remain just a game out of 1st place.

The Bullpen:

 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

WHIP

Luis Ayala (R)

4.0

6

2

2

0

3

0

4.50

1.50

Craig Breslow (L)

1.1

1

2

1

1

1

0

6.77

1.50

Jesse Crain (R)

2.2

1

1

1

2

3

0

3.37

1.12

Brian Duensing (L)

3.0

2

2

2

0

1

1

6.00

0.67

Matt Guerrier (R)

3.2

1

0

0

0

3

0

0.00

0.27

Philip Humber (R)

2.2

6

3

3

2

3

1

10.11

3.00

Joe Nathan (R)

2.0

2

1

1

0

2

1

4.50

1.00

Totals:

19.1

19

11

10

5

16

3

4.66

1.24

Matt Guerrier was the only member of the Twins bullpen this week that was consistently good and worth mentioning on the positive side of things.

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Tags: AL Central Minnesota Twins MLB

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