Yet again, after two of the Twins much more-heralded starters had particularly bad outings, Glen Perkins came through with a great performance but did not earn the win. This time, at least, the Twins claimed victory, though only after working a little overtime. Perkins brought a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning but he allowed the tying run which pushed his season ERA to 1.69. However, his GB% (62 to 56, MLB average is 76) has dropped from last year through these two starts, while he has yet to allow a home run. This trend is unlikely to continue, so Perkins will need to start inducing more ground balls or he'll probably see a large rise in his ERA.
After writing about using Joe Nathan more in non-save situations, it seems as if Ron Gardenhire has listened. Nathan pitched the ninth inning yesterday, despite the fact that the game was tied at two, and he therefore had no opportunity for a save. Of course, I still feel like he should have also pitched the tenth since he threw only twelve pitches--I'll refrain from quibbling, though, seeing as how it was a very encouraging move.
The 11 innings may not ever have been necessary had the Twins been able to push across a run or few in a golden opportunity in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the Twins plated zero runs due to a Michael Cuddyer strikeout and Joe Crede double play. Crede would later make amends with the game-winning double, but Cuddyer finished the game 0-5.
And I can't write a post about this game without mentioning Jesse Crain's performance. He pitched both extra innings and allowed no baserunners, while striking out two. The second strikeout, of Adam Lind, was an epic 12-pitch at bat that ended the eleventh inning. It's too bad Perkins was so good today, because Crain (as a reliever) doesn't have many chances to snatch a game ball and this would have earned it on a number of days.