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Game 32: Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins

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First Pitch: 1:10pm CDT
TV: FS-N
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Lookout Landing

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Nick Blackburn 2-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 34.2 44 24 20 3 10 13 5.19 1.56


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Erik Bedard 2-1 6 6 0 0 0 0 38.0 34 12 10 3 6 39 2.37 1.05

The last time the Twins faced Erik Bedard, he struck out eight over five innings in a game that Seattle would eventually lose. Four of his five starts since have been of the Quality variety, and on the season has retired on strikes more than a batter per inning. If Felix Hernandez is Ace 1-A, Bedard is 1-B; he's had that good of a year so far. Why is he having a good year, besides those strikeouts? Career-low walk rates, a 15.2-percent line-drive rate, a great home run-to-fly ball ratio, and as ever the good fastball-curveball combination. Both pitches have good movement.

For Nick Blackburn, he's another Twins pitcher who's trying to shake an early funk. He allowed four runs in five innings in his first match-up with Bedard in the second game of the season, which means Seattle batters could be slightly more aware of his approach through first-hand experience. Blackburn's issue isn't the long-ball, but in spite of a very low 16.5-percent line drive rate he's allowing one and a half base runners per inning. He needs to cut down on the walks and, like Gardenhire has said, make a pitch when he has to. His strikeout rates are down this year, and they weren't good to begin with. Right now he's sitting down just 3.38 hitters per nine innings on strikes, and that's just not good enough. For anyone.

Lineups


Lineup

Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins

05/10/09 2:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners Minnesota Twins
Ichiro Suzuki - RF Denard Span - LF
Jose Lopez - 2B Matt Tolbert - 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. - DH Joe Mauer - DH
Adrian Beltre - 3B Justin Morneau - 1B
Russell Branyan - 1B Michael Cuddyer - RF
Wladimir Balentien - LF Brendan Harris - 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt - SS Mike Redmond - C
Rob Johnson - C Carlos Gomez - CF
Endy Chavez - CF Nick Punto - SS

Once again I'd prefer Brendan Harris to be hitting second, but at least this way Gardy is spreading his "easy outs". Carlos Gomez is getting a little playing time, and Joe Mauer is playing on a Sunday...which is nice.