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8/23 Game Thread: Minnesota Twins @ Baltimore Orioles

Game two of the series, the Orioles up 1-0.  Baltimore:  56-69.  Minnesota:  72-52.

Lineups
Minnesota Twins
Name       POS   AB  AVG  HR  RBI  OBP  SLG  VORP
Castillo    2B  462 .284   3   45 .339 .364  11.9
Punto       3B  300 .313   0   33 .398 .413  19.1
Mauer       C   407 .359  10   69 .438 .516  56.7
Cuddyer     RF  407 .265  18   80 .354 .494  21.5
Morneau     1B  444 .318  31  107 .371 .588  43.2
Hunter      CF  404 .270  17   63 .342 .446  16.3
Kubel       DH  203 .256   8   26 .296 .414  -1.7
Tyner       LF  136 .316   0    9 .350 .346   0.6
Bartlett    SS  203 .345   1   20 .409 .448  19.1

Baltimore Orioles
Name       POS   AB  AVG  HR  RBI  OBP  SLG  VORP
Roberts     2B  414 .297   7   47 .368 .430  34.4
Markakis    RF  343 .306  11   47 .369 .466  20.4
Mora        3B  494 .281  13   68 .353 .401  11.0
Tejada      SS  501 .331  22   86 .382 .525  57.9
Gibbons     DH  250 .280  11   37 .335 .476   9.7
Conine      LF  370 .268   8   46 .331 .400  -0.2
Patterson   CF  398 .274  13   47 .312 .422  16.6
Millar      1B  314 .239  10   47 .345 .385  -0.4
Hernandez   C   403 .261  15   69 .328 .439  13.1

Pitchers
Name       IP   W  L   ERA  WHIP   K/9  AVG  VORP
Garza     7.2   0  2 11.74  2.22  8.22 .382  -4.7
Lopez   153.2   9 12  6.03  1.55  6.21 .305  -4.7

On the game...

In Matt Garza's third start at the Major League level (thanks, Burt!), he faces a talented yet largely unimpressive offense.  There is marginal power up and down the lineup, but the Orioles are devoid of the talent necessary to compete day in and day out. The pitching is an especially painful area, but tonight I'm going to focus on the offense.

Miguel Tejada is having a career year, especially after his disappointing May.  His OBP (.382) is 40 points higher than his career average.  The slugging percentage, the batting average, they're still there; the OBP is making him more of a complete hitter than he's ever been.

Beyond Mora and Roberts, however, the pickings thin quickly.

Catcher Ramon Hernandez, for one, who by many measures was having a better first half than any other catcher in the American League bar Joe Mauer, has cooled off...to put it lightly.  In July, he compiled a .188/.241/.238 line, and in August has so far hit .250/.365/.318.  I'm not sure if this is the reason for him bringing up the bottom of the order, because I'm certain he's not the best man for the job, but he's hitting 9th nonetheless.

Conine is past his prime, Patterson has punch but is going to strike out more than 100 times, and Kevin Millar (remind me who thought he was a good idea as a free agent pick up again?) continues to be a replacement-level offensive force.

Garzas is due for a win, and he should have little problems if he continues to improve like he did in his second outing.  Circle the piranhas!