(Oh Fangraphs, how would I ever write game recaps without you?)
Of course I am talking about Denard Span’s spectacular tumbling catch right into Orlando Hudson’s knee (and Hudson’s subsequent glove to DSPAN’s groin, inspiring the greatest postgame quote ever). Hudson initially spent a lot of time crumpled on the ground, but it looks like he’ll be OK (UPDATE: Hudson is having x-rays on his wrist Eep). Also ugly: Scott Ullger’s decision to send Kubel from second on a single by Delmon Young, with two outs in the seventh. Now, in context, it wasn’t a terrible decision. The Twins were already leading by three runs, the bottom of the order was due up, and an off-target throw would almost certainly have allowed Kubel to score. Unfortunately, David Murphy’s throw was a bullet, and Kubel was out by about ten feet. It certainly wasn’t fun to watch, but in this case it’s hard to fault Ullger for taking a risk that pays off more often than not (and at the very least, likely wouldn’t cost his team the game).
Jason Kubel, .119 WPA. I think Kubel Khan is starting to heat up. He even had an RBI double against a lefty. A crafty veteran lefty at that.
Orlando Hudson, -0.073 WPA. Baseball is a funny game. After being the Twins’ best hitter two games in a row, O-Dog goes 1-5 with a pair of strikeouts. Plus he tried to, um, neuter his center-fielder.
Scott Baker, .075 WPA. It wasn’t his most efficient outing, but Baker gave up only three runs in six innings, though with nearly as many walks as strikeouts (4/3 K/BB ratio). He scattered eight hits, all of which stayed in the ballpark.
Matt Guerrier, .008 WPA. I feel bad giving the Mayor the “worst pitcher” crown. He retired the one batter he was brought in to face with little drama. It’s not his fault Gardy felt a need to over-manage the bullpen.
Most important play of the game:
With a .122 WPA, it was actually Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI single in the second, putting the Rangers on the board. For the Twins, it was Joe Mauer’s RBI double in the first, which gave them a 1-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish (.105 WPA).