The Twins probably could have swept the White Sox, but they probably could have left the South side of shit down with 1 or 0 wins as well. UZR stuff still isn’t out and while FanGraphs has +/- out, I’m more comfortable waiting until we get the UZR numbers. Is that because the Twins are likely to be towards the bottom and the Red Sox more towards the top? Probably. While the Red Sox get to trot out Mike Cameron, who is still one of the better centerfielders in baseball, and flank him with Jacoby Ellsbury and JD Drew, two of the best at their positions, the Twins have Denard Span, who is stretched in center, flanked by two of Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer. And you wonder why I pine for Ryan Langerhans.
Today’s start pits Jon Lester v. Carl Pavano. Pavano had a nice start in Anaheim, but he obviously is no Jon Lester. Lester actually was a pretty good ground ball pitcher last year (60%), but that is quite the departure from his career numbers. So screw it, I am calling them both flyball pitchers. Obvious advantage there due to the OF defense. Lester pitching will obviously keep one of Kubel and Thome (probably Thome) out of the lineup. The Twins need a lefty killer off the bench.
Wednesday (yes, Wednesday) sees John Lackey vs. Kevin Slowey. Slowey struggled in his first start but somehow got out of there with a win. Slowey, I think, has the potential to be the best pitcher on staff. He gave up quite a few HR last year, but Slowey also struck out 7.4/9 and walked just 1.4/9. He is a good strikeout pitcher who does it on control, not stuff. Needless to say he is my favorite Twins pitcher to watch.
Thursday’s finale is TBD (probably Liriano) vs. Tim Wakefield. Let’s hit the knuckler eh?