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Game 144: Royals @ Twins

Pregame

Starting for the Twins tonight is Nick Blackburn, and for more on him we'll flash back to Dugout Splinters:

¨ Fastball, slider, curveball, changeup
¨ Has allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once since June 27th.
¨ Doesn’t miss high in the zone very often, but needs good horizontal movement to make the most of his "stuff".
¨ Like most Twins pitchers will put the ball in play, so he needs a solid defense to help him out from time to time.
¨ Gets more ground balls (44%) than all other Twins starters, except Francisco Liriano (44.9%).

For the Royals it's Brian Bannister. Bannister is having a tough season, because while for a bit his peripherals were actually out-performing his superficial evaluators, things have started to catch up with him. He's not stranding even two thirds of his base runners, but he IS allowing nearly one and a half bombs per nine innings. He's not walking significantly more hitters...but he...is...walking...more hitters. Not sure where the positives are on that one. If you're a KC fan though, don't fret, there's hope: Bannister has strung together a couple of decent starts in a row.