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Game 113: Twins @ Mariners

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Pregame

With Livan Hernandez on the verge of heading to Colorado, it will be interesting to see what the Twins get back in return. I'm not expecting much, but it will be something. Maybe a pizza. Godspeed, Rockies fans. Turn up that humidor. Or down. Whatever. For Seattle, their news today included Jose Vidro getting his papers stamped DFA.

Onto tonight's action...this is from the Mariners' Series Preview:

R.A. Dickey: I have a friend, we'll call him "bobomojo", who's a big fan of Dickey, and would have liked for the Twins to have kept their paws on him. He throws a knuckleball about 70% of the time, which is neat, but apart from that he isn't very effective. Because in spite of the knuckler, he doesn't get a lot of ground balls, and traditionally he's been prone to streaks of missing his spots. I know, that's normal for a knuckle-ball pitcher, but the problem with Dickey is that he doesn't have anything else to offer. Still, over his last seven starts five of them have been "quality", so he is riding some success. Hopefully he won't buck his long-term trends on Tuesday, and he'll walk four if he goes six, and he'll probably allow 8-10 hits and a homer as well. Patience, as always, is the key!

For the AL Central-leading Twins it's right-hander Scott Baker. In spite of striking out eight in his last start, it wasn't his finest appearance. Still, he allowed four runs through six innings for a no-decision, and it was just the third time all year that he'd been charged with more than three runs. Baker's success this season is due to his control, the highest strikeout rate of his career, and his ability to mix speed and location. He's become incredibly reliable this season, and has established himself as the guy we all hoped he could be. Hopefully after the Seattle run-purge last night they're completely out of offense for the series, meaning Baker can re-establish his groove.

Over at Lookout Landing (also, check out their comparison of each team's starters, as well as the picture of Perkinsville from their game recap of last night...good stuff), here's what Matthew had to say about Scotty B.:

Scott Baker is in his third year in the Twins rotation and has seen some improvement and regression from 2007. He has been steadily missing more bats each year and his strikeout rate reflects that, now up to a very healthy 21.4% and he continues to pound the zone, offering up strikes on nearly 70% of his pitches and keeping his walk rate around 5%. His problem has been with the long ball. Never one to keep the ball on hte ground, Baker has been bit this year with more of those many fly balls landing over the fence. Nevertheless, his tRA is settling in the 4.4 range.

It's hard to say what Seattle's lineup will look like tonight sans Vidro, but I'm going with: Ichiro (RF), Reed (CF), Ibanez (LF), Beltre (3B), Lopez (2B), Cairo (1B), LaHair (DH), Johjima (C), Betancourt (SS)

For the Twins I'll wager the new standard: Span (RF), Punto (2B), Mauer (C), Morneau (1B), Kubel (DH), Young (LF), Buscher (3B), Harris (SS), Gomez (CF)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - R.A. Dickey 3-6 19 10 0 0 0 0 81.2 88 40 40 9 36 45 4.41 1.52


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Scott Baker 7-3 17 17 0 0 0 0 102.0 94 40 40 16 21 89 3.53 1.13