(Fangraphs: for all your win probability chart needs)
Carl Pavano gave up a couple of home runs, including a solo shot to Prince Fielder and a two-run moon shot to Corey Hart, and that was all of the run support spot starter Marco Estrada would need (he was filling in for Manny Parra, who pitched in last night’s 12-inning marathon). The Twins stranded 14 runners on base, mostly because whenever the bases were loaded, or there were runners in scoring position period, guys like Drew Butera and Brendan Harris were batting. Ugh, this lineup reminded me an awful lot of last year’s team, in which the Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau were surrounded with the likes of Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert, and the crappy Delmon Young. This game was somewhat entertaining in that Alexi Casilla had to play center field after Denard Span left the game, and Kevin Slowey pinch-ran for Jim Thome when Ol’ Jimmers walked to load the bases in the ninth. Anyway, the Twins have an off day tomorrow, before the Yankees come to town for a 3 game series. Oh, and J.J. Hardy is supposed to be back on Tuesday, so there’s that.
These guys did their best to help the Twins win the game:
1) Justin Morneau, .144 WPA. The Canadian Crusher had a fantastic day at the plate, going 2-3 with a pair of walks, and an RBI double. I have been working on a post about the Mountie for a week now, maybe I’ll finally finish it one of these days.
2) Orlando Hudson, .133 WPA. The O-Dog had a pretty good day too, going 3-5 with a pair of runs scored. He hit a double in the ninth, then scored when Corey Hart effed up and played Kubel too deep Kubel singled to right, bringing the Twins within a run.
3) Denard Span, .132 WPA. DSPAN2 has had a rough series, going 0-7 in yesterday’s game, but he made up for it today. Unfortunately, he also got hit with a pitch and is listed as day-to-day with a shoulder contusion. Hopefully he’ll be back for the Yankee series.
4) Jesse Crain, 0.22 WPA. According to WPA, Crain was the Twins’ best pitcher in the game. He pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out only one batter but not walking anybody, allowing the Twins to stage a rally in the bottom of the inning (though it fell a bit short).
Most important play of the game: Well, with a .205 WPA, of course it was Hart’s towering home run (440 feet, the longest hit by anyone at Target Field thus far), since it gave the Brew Crew the lead. For the Twins, it was Morneau’s RBI double that briefly gave the team a 2-1 lead in the third (.123 WPA).