Thursday, August 4, 2011

Twins Crank 5 Homers to Beat Angels

Coming off of three consecutive losses in which the starting pitchers had combined to allow 36 walks-plus-hits and 19 runs in 14.1 innings, the Twins could really have used a strong start from Scott Baker.  Instead Baker continued the miserable run of starting pitching, tacking on just 3 innings to the totals, but adding 6 walks-plus-hits and 4 runs.  Anthony Swarzak was up to the task, however, pitching 5 excellent innings of relief, allowing only one hit and one walk.

The game actually started smoothly for Baker, and through the first two innings he was looking effective.  Everything completely unraveled in the third frame, though, as he was forced to throw 46 pitches to make it through the disastrous inning.  While Swarzak held the Angels down, the bats ensured the win.  The Twins tied their season high in runs with 11, hit 5 home runs, and tallied 7 extra base hits.  The 5 home runs are also a season-high, and a feat the team has accomplished only two other times since 2008.  Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young had two home runs each, the first time that two Twins players have both had multi-homer games since October of 2009.  That time it was Young and Jason Kubel who victimized the Kansas City Royals.  Kubel also added the fifth home run in this game.

Minnesota was aided by Horacio Ramirez, who was brought up by the Angels to toss batting practice before games, but was mistakenly identified as a real pitcher by Mike Scioscia.  Seriously, since he was called up he has faced 20 hitters and given up 10 hits and 2 walks.  Of course it's a really small sample, but so far the returns indicate that when you bring in a a 31-year old pitcher who was never very good to begin with, has a career WHIP of 1.49, and has almost as many strikeouts as walks over his career... well, he's not really going to pitch that well.  The Twins, one would hope, learned this lesson long ago after their attempts to bring in Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, Livan Hernandez, and every veteran innings eater who can't get a contract with any other team because they are terrible.

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