There's not much to say, other than the first two games of this series have gone nothing like what I thought they would. A win tonight would be nice before an off day tomorrow, and then three in Kansas City. Time to get back on the horse!
Jarrod Washburn: Washburn, clearly, didn't get traded at the deadline. Poor Yankees! Still, he's not worth what the Mariners are paying him. His only saving grace this season is that he's been able to keep the ball in the park, allowing just 14 bombs in 122.2 innings of work. But he does get hit hard: 23.1 LD%, .295 opponent average and a few walks which tends to result in about one-and-a-half base runners per inning. But here's the rub--he's pitched much better the last two months. Between May 25 and July 27 he made 11 starts, eight of which were quality starts and another two which were just one out away from a quality start. His ERA dropped in that run from 6.99 to 4.50. Now, his first August start was forgettable, but it's hard to ignore how effective Washburn has been the second half of his season. Plus, he's a southpaw. And we all know what that means.
Looking to salvage one game from this miserable series will be Nick Blackburn. Nick needs to log exactly six innings to surpass Livan Hernandez as the Twins' leader in innings pitched. He's fresh off a pair of consecutive seven-inning, one-run starts, giving him five quality starts in his last six (and seven in his last nine). While he's not a "ground ball pitcher" per say, he does get more grounders than fly balls or line drives, so here's hoping he'll be able to keep the Mariners from putting up crooked numbers.
And once more, from Matthew at Lookout Landing:
Like Perkins above, this is Nick Blackburn's first year in the rotation but he's taken to it better. Again, he throws strikes, 68.6%, and misses around an average number of bats, 7.3%. But Blackburn also has a an average groundball rate, something not usually seen in Minnesota. The whole package comes in at a touch worse than Scott Baker above, but he's more than quality at a 4.43 tRA and at the low cost of basically nothing. The Twins just have a clone farm for these guys.
08/06/08 4:40 PM EDT
|Minnesota Twins||Seattle Mariners|
|Denard Span - RF||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|Nick Punto - 2B||Jeremy Reed - DH|
|Mike Redmond - C||Raul Ibanez - LF|
|Justin Morneau - 1B||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Jason Kubel - LF||Jose Lopez - 2B|
|Randy Ruiz - DH||Jeff Clement - C|
|Brendan Harris - 3B||Wladimir Balentien - CF|
|Adam Everett - SS||Bryan LaHair - 1B|
|Carlos Gomez - CF||Yuniesky Betancourt - SS|
|2008 - Jarrod Washburn||5-10||22||21||1||0||1||0||122.2||144||68||65||14||38||69||4.77||1.48|
|2008 - Nick Blackburn||8-6||22||22||0||0||0||0||134.0||149||64||53||13||20||70||3.56||1.26|