38-29: Helpless

Twins @ Phillies - Friday, June 18, 2010

(I get this stuff from Fangraphs so you don’t have to)

I would like to blame Michael Cuddyer playing third base for Nick Blackburn’s awfulness, but I don’t think anything was even hit in his direction and those back-to-back homers to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard certainly weren’t his fault. You know, I think I’m starting to change my mind about dealing for Cliff Lee. I don’t know what, if anything is wrong with Nick Blackburn, but I don’t know how much longer the Twins can keep waiting for him to turn things around. Their lead in the division is down to half a game, and though I still think it’s too early to panic (they are still the class of the AL Central), I would hate to see them dig themselves too deep of a hole with their difficult schedule coming up.

Best hitter:

Nick Punto, .019 WPA. There’s something I don’t write every day. Or pretty much ever. Little Nicky hit a two-run homer in what I guess you’d consider the baseball equivalent of garbage time.

Worst hitter:

Technically Orlando Hudson was the worst hitter, with a -.039 WPA, but he’s coming off of a wrist injury so I really hate to pick on him. I’m going to pick on Man Muscles instead, because he also sucked (-.021 WPA) and he’s been sucking a lot lately. Stop sucking, Joe!

Best pitcher:

Jesse Crain, .007 WPA. Since the Twins were already hopelessly behind, Crain naturally had one of his brilliant outings, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings and notching a pair of strikeouts.

Worst pitcher:

Nick Blackburn, and I don’t even need to look at WPA. He allowed eight runs and didn’t even complete two innings.

Most important play of the game:

Ryan Howard’s triple to right in the first inning (.117 WPA), giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. It was all pretty much downhill from there.

Music t0 make us feel better:

This gem with Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, please to enjoy.

Topics: Chase Utley, Jesse Crain, Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins, Nick Blackburn, Nick Punto, Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Howard

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