Who would have thought, after the shellackings the Twins suffered the past couple of days, that they would actually beat Roy Halladay? Actually, come to think of it, who would have thought the Twins would come back and win the series after that shellacking on Friday? Coming in to the series, I don’t think anyone expected the Twins to win this game. Doc owned the Twins throughout his career, boasting a 2.90 ERA, 5.83 K/BB ratio, while holding them to an anemic .320 slugging percentage. But, as in yesterday’s unlikely come-from-behind victory, the offense came through with some big hits, with a couple of home runs by Denard Span and Justin Morneau. Unlike in yesterday’s unlikely victory however, the starting pitcher actually made it past the second inning. Carl Pavano shut down the Phillies through nine innings (save for a solo home run to Wilson Valdez). He wasn’t flashy, striking out only two batters (compared to Doc’s 8 Ks), but he was effective and he got a lot of help from the defense behind him, with both Nick Punto and Jason Kubel (!) making some spectacular plays that likely saved the game.
Denard Span, .124 WPA. DSPAN went 2-4 with a home run that turned out to be pretty important when Wilson Valdez went yard.
Michael Cuddyer, -.063 WPA. There weren’t too many terrible hitting performances, as the Twins pounded out 11 hits against Halladay, but Cuddles’ 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts was definitely it.
The smartest pitcher in baseball, with a .454 WPA. He pitched nine innings, scattering four hits and giving up only one run. It has to be the ‘stache; I mean, come on, it’s absolutely terrifying. Poor hitters must see that face in their nightmares for days.
Most important play of the game:
For the Phillies, it was Wilson Valdez’s homer that cut the Twins’ lead in half at the time (.123 WPA). For the Twins, it was Span’s homer that gave the Twins that 2-0 lead (.117 WPA)