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Laffey Cruises, Indians Avoid Sweep

Is this how Carlos Silva survived with the Twins?  I think so.

Aaron Laffey did exactly what was expected of him:  get lots of ground balls.  On the rare occasion that Minnesota had a guy on base, a double play erased any semblance of progress.  Three times the Twins offense grounded into a double play, and two of them were on Laffey's watch.  He's now induced nine in just over 18 innings this year.

In the pre-game scouting report, I said this about Laffey:

[Laffey] has...a career that profiles him as a hittable, soft-tossing southpaw who induces more than his share of ground balls...which will help him out, but if the lineup can stay patient there isn't any reason they can't chase him early.

I was right and I was wrong, at the same time.  In six and a third, the Twins landed five hits and four walks off of him, but still weren't able to manage a run until Jensen Lewis gave up a two-run single to Denard Span with the bases loaded in the seventh.  Span's hit closed the gap to 4-2, but rookie Tony Sipp struck out Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel to end the threat.  But the Twins offense is almost an afterthought, because it was abundantly clear that they simply had no answer for a soft-tossing left-hander.

Let's take a look at a few key notes from the game...

  • After the third inning, once the Twins were down 4-0, the Twins stayed aggressive against a guy who had a history of control problems.  Of the sixteen plate appearances between the top of the fourth and the end of the top of the sixth, eleven of them saw the Twins hitter see three pitches or less.
  • Over the course of the game, Laffey threw 16 first-pitch strikes in 27 opportunities.  For him, that's a very good ratio.
  • Jose Morales went 4-for-4 with a trio of hits off Laffey, a couple of them hit pretty well.
  • Sin-Shoo Choo's RBI double in the first inning was a great hit on a very good pitch.  Perkins set a sinking fastball on the outside of the plate at Choo's knees, and Choo pushed it the other way.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI single was on a meatball, up in almost everyone's wheelhouse.
  • On Ryan Garko's two-RBI double in the third, Perkins missed his spot.  Morales' glove dipped down and in, giving it away before Garko took advantage and launched one to the left-center field gap.
  • All-in-all, Perkins had one bad inning in which he threw a couple of bad pitches.  It wasn't a nightmare by any stretch of the imagination.  He had to fight for any successes Sunday afternoon, and he battled hard.

Question for discussion:  Does Glen Perkins actually throw four pitches?  His last time out I talked about how Gameday had misinterpreted some of Perk's pitches, but tonight he again threw a fourth pitch, this time with more speed variance.

Stars of the Game
#3:  Glen Perkins  (5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 K, 2 BB)
#2:  Jose Morales  (4-for-4, R, 2B)
#1:  Denard Span  (1-for-2, 2 RBI)