One to Forget… Quickly!

19 Aug

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Carl Pavano did not have a good night, and if he was going to have a night with poor results, this was the right night. Pavano gave up seven runs on a career-high 15 hits in just five innings. Although the results are really all the mattered, I think it is fair to say that Pavano was BABIP’d to death in this game. What does that mean, you ask? BABIP = Batting Average on Balls in Play. It basically is a way of saying that once a pitcher lets go of the ball, if he does not issue a walk, record a strikeout or give up a home run, then anything can happen. Francisco Liriano has been the most “unlucky” pitcher in baseball this year. His BABIP is approaching .350. On this night, Carl Pavano gave up 15 hits, but an argument could be made that only four or five were actually solid hits. Yes, the home run to Konerko, that was hit well. But other than that, there were a bunch of bloopers, a couple of infield singles, or singles just through the infield. On this night, the singles are singles and the runs are runs and it all adds up to a loss. But understanding that it was a very ‘unlucky’ night for Pavano helps put this game into perspective. Did Pavano pitch well? No, and I don’t think anyone would tell you as much. But if those soft hits were a few feet to either direction, the game is much different. Glen Perkins came in and pitched the 7th and 8th innings. He allowed two of Pavano’s runs to score, and he gave up four more, but in my mind, that’s just fine. That is the role that Perkins needs to fill. In a game like that, you don’t want any of your good pitchers to have to even warm up. Perkins helped the Twins on this night, even if the numbers were not good. Also, Jon Rauch pitched the ninth which was good as well since he needs some work and some confidence back.

The Twins had some base runners, but there is a reason the Mark Buehrle has been good for a long time. He is crafty.

I personally think that an 11-0 loss is much easier to move past than a tough loss. I know some think that this game will have lasting effects. Not at all. Starting pitching is what will determine how the Twins play against the Angels this weekend.

The Twins had their top three pitchers (Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano) on the mound in these three games against the White Sox. None of the three got on out in the sixth inning. Not great performances at all. Some will tell us that it is something we should worry about, and if you want to, you can. I guess I look at it and say that despite three less than normal performances, the Twins found a way to win a series at home against their biggest division rival. By winning two out of three, they added a game between them in the standings and head into the weekend with a four game lead.

Tonight’s game is over, and regardless of what would have happened tonight, the AL Central race would not have been.

Here is a quick glance at what happened on Wednesday in the Twins minor league system:

Red Wings Report   

Kyle Gibson made his second start for the Red Wings and did well. In five innings, he gave up two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out three. He threw just 76 pitches. Tim Lahey came in and threw two shutout innings. Alex Burnett pitched a scoreless 8th frame, but he then gave up two runs in the 9th and took the loss. Matt Tolbert went 3-5. Brian Dinkelman went 2-5 with his 28th double. Matt Macri went 2-4 with a walk and his 20th double. Brock Peterson was 2-4 with his 21st double. Brendan Harris was 1-3 with two walks.

New Britain Notes

The struggles of Deolis Guerra continued on this night, but the team was able to beat Richmond 7-6. He gave up five runs on nine hits (including two homers) and three walks in four innings. Tony Davis gave up one run on one hit and three walks in two innings. He struck out two. Loek Van Mil threw 1.2 shutout innings. Billy Bullock got his tenth Double-A save by recording the final four outs, two of them on strikeouts. Jeff Howell went 2-4 with his fifth Rockcat double. Evan Bigley went 2-5.

Miracle Matters

The Miracle lost to Charlotte 8-1. The biggest reason, the base on balls. Miracle pitchers walked 14 batters. Bruce Pugh started  and gave up two runs on five hits and six walks in five innings. Steve Blevins came in and gave up two unearned runs on one hit and three walks in his inning. Shooter Hunt came in and faced four batters. He walked all four. Three of them scored. Jhon Garcia came in and gave up one run on three hits and one walk in three innings. Nick Romero again led the offense. He went 3-4 with his 23rd and 24th doubles. Nate Hanson went 2-3 with a walk. Tobias Streich went 2-4.

Snappers Snippets

The Snappers scored three runs in the top of the 9th and held on for a 5-3 win over Wisconsin. James Beresford went 2-4 with his 16th double. Danny Rams was 2-4. Pedro Guerra made the start for the team and gave up one run on five hits and four walks in 4.1 innings. He struck out five. Brad Stillings then gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. Miguel Munoz struck out three in two scoreless innings.  

E-Twins Talkers

Elizabethton lost 6-2 to Pulaski. Blayne Weller gave up four runs (1 earned) on seven hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three. Dallas Gallant then gave up two solo homers in his second inning of work. Adrian Salcedo and Jose Gonzalez each threw a scoreless inning. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-3 with two walks. Buddy Munroe went 2-4 with his third home run. Nate Roberts went 2-4 with a walk. Derek Phillips hit his first home run.  

GCL Twins Topics

The Twins lost 3-2 to the Rays. Ricardo Arevalo started and gave up two runs on one hit and two walks in four innings. He struck out six. Luis Nunez then gave up an unearned run on one hit in three innings. Tyler Herr struck out two in a scoreless inning. Kelvin Silvania was 3-4 with his fifth double. Kennys Vargas went 2-3 with a walk and his 13th double.   

Any questions or comments on the Twins or the minor league system? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

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7 Responses to “One to Forget… Quickly!”

  1. TT August 20, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Good pitching prevents balls that are put in play from becoming hits. The idea it is luck is nuts. Its not only not luck, its a pre-requisite for a pitcher being really successful. The BABIP for the major leagues is .300 and you won’t find a pitcher in the HOF who is over that. If it was luck you would expect 50% of them to be above and the other 50% below. Pavano had a crappy night. He may have had some bad luck on top of that, but most of those 15 hits were a result of his lousy pitching

  2. zerg August 20, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    TT, do you make it a point to say intentionally stupid things, or do you actually believe your own nonsense?

  3. TT August 20, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Zerg –

    Name calling will get you nowhere, but people really do believe a lot of “stupid” things and the idea that pitchers have no (or even little) control over how many balls go for hits is one of them.

    But hey, you read it on the internet. It must be true!

  4. Shawn August 20, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    The hall of fame argument is a rational one I guess. Because as a luck statistic, BABIP evens out over the long term. A pitcher is just as lucky to get his ground-ball to SS to turn a double play as he is unlucky if that ball goes 15 feet to his right and becomes a hit in centerfield. Saying that all balls batted into play is some form of pitcher skill is ludacris. How many good pitches end up as hits, how many mistakes end up as outs. A pop up to right in most stadiums is an out, in Yankees Stadium, it could be a home run. Carl had a lousy night last night. Had luck swung in his favor he could have had a good night. He didn’t give up 15 HRs. I won’t worry about this outing, because…. wait for it, Carl has been very “lucky” this year. He was due for a regression start. If someone thinks every “dink”, “texas leaguer”, poorly played flyball double is the pitchers fault, so be it. I choose to watch where the ball goes. Lousy internet did it to me.

  5. TT August 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    “. Saying that all balls batted into play is some form of pitcher skill is ludacris. How many good pitches end up as hits, how many mistakes end up as outs. ”

    Ah – so hitting is not a skill since sometimes hitters are lucky and sometimes they are unlucky? I don’t think so.

    “How many good pitches end up as hits, how many mistakes end up as outs.”

    That depends on the hitters. How many mistakes there are and how many good pitches is up to the pitcher.

    “If someone thinks every “dink”, “texas leaguer”, poorly played flyball double is the pitchers fault, so be it.”

    Exactly. But if you accept the idea that the pitcher has nothing to do with whether a ball in play goes for a hit, then it IS the pitchers’ fault. They allowed the ball to be put in play They had nothing to do with whether it was a “dink” or a “texas leaguer”. That was “just luck.”

  6. Shawn August 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    If you think that pitchers are 100% responsible for anything that isn’t a strikeout, well, we sort of agree….

    I think a pitcher can throw a pitch to get a certain contact he wants, which gives him a better chance at a favorable outcome, but i don’t think he has total control of the outcome once it is hit.

    Probably why strikeout pitchers are so coveted.

  7. TT August 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    “I think a pitcher can throw a pitch to get a certain contact he wants, which gives him a better chance at a favorable outcome, but i don’t think he has total control of the outcome once it is hit.”

    I agree that is obvious. That’s why the Twins have put a premium on defense and tell their pitchers to let their defenders do their job.

    “Probably why strikeout pitchers are so coveted.”

    Yep. At least the ones who don’t have really terrible BABIP or walk a bunch of batters.

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