Left-hander Paul Byrd, 37-going-on-a-perpetual-45, gets his fourth start of the season against the Twins tonight. Only one, the first, was effective, and in total he's logged 15.1 innings while allowing 20 hits (four homers) and 13 runs, whie recording seven strikeouts and just four walks. On the whole it's been an off-year for Byrd, who's been more reliable than effective on the whole since 2005. Still, the Twins have their troubles versus southpaws (as we all know), so in situations like this the fact that the guys has been hittable this year doesn't necessarily work against thim. His FIP is 5.44.
Kevin Slowey is coming off of a complete game shutout over the White Sox, which was his first good start since throwing a complete game shutout versus the Brewers. In between there were a trio of sub-par performances, so here's hoping his second shutout of the year doesn't have echoes of the first. At any rate, Kevin's good for a few strikeouts in each game, a walk or two and if he doesn't have his best stuff probably a home run. But he's a flyball pitcher, and on the season has kept the ball in the park as well as you could hope for...if not better. Slowey is effective when he busts guys inside, and he's been doing that far more often this season, making him that much better. Against a depleted Cleveland lineup, look for more of the same.
I can't predict how the Indians will throw together a lineup, but I'd think that with Grady Sizemore leading off, the best thing they could do would be to line up Ben Francisco, Jhonny Peralta and Kelly Shoppach. Having Casey Blake would help out a little, but he's gone, and so with the absence of Victor Martinez and no Travis Hafner, throwing together a starting nine in Cleveland right now reminds me of lineups in the Dome around 1998.
Against a southpaw, the Twins lineup will likely look something like this: Span (RF), Punto (2B), Mauer (C), Morneau (1B), Young (LF), Ruiz (DH), Harris (3B), Everett (SS), Gomez (CF)
Or, in other words, exactly how it looked last night.
|2008 - Kevin Slowey||7-7||16||16||3||2||0||0||96.2||91||43||43||13||16||69||4.00||1.11|
|2008 - Paul Byrd||5-10||20||20||0||0||0||0||115.0||134||67||63||23||22||53||4.93||1.36|