Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Over the Monster
Weather Forecast: Looks like it'll be in the upper 60's for the first pitch, with some occasional cloud cover. They expect it to clear as the game moves along, so hopefully most of this one will be played under sunshine.
#47 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins
Oct 26, 1983
|2010 - Francisco Liriano||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||6.0||4||3||3||0||5||3||4.50||1.50|
Cicso's first start of the season wasn't representative of how sharp he'd been all spring, so here's hoping he can show off just how impressive he can be this time around. His slider was still uber-effective last week; Liriano picked up a fair number of swinging strikes off it, and he was clearly feeling good throwing it as he chucked it 28 times in six innings. His problem was location of the fastball, and the fact that his changeup wasn't consistently thrown for strikes either.
What's encouraging from his start against the White Sox is that, in spite of not having his best stuff, he kept the ball in the park and kept them off-balance enough so that the five walks (!) didn't kill him when they easily could have.
Boston's offense is a bit more formidable however, so he's going to have to be sharp this afternoon. There are a few guys in that lineup who like to swing, and there are even more guys who don't like to walk, so those things should play to Liriano's advantage. If he can locate this fastball(s), he could dominate today.
#49 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox
Aug 02, 1966
|2010 - Tim Wakefield||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||7.0||6||2||2||2||1||6||2.57||1.00|
Wakefield can, and will, pitch forever. He's coming off a performance against the Royals that he probably should have won, no thanks to his bullpen, but depending on Minnesota's offense today he could mow through the Twins just as easily. This isn't yesterday's Twins, but he's owned us over the course of his career.
In his first start, Wakefield threw 18 fastballs, 1 curveball...and 77 knuckleballs. Nobody has a knuckleball that can be controlled like this guy controls his; he lives on it. It's easy to look at that 73 mph fastball and wonder how the hell he continues to survive in this league, but the fact is this: that knuckleball has a cloaking device. He can keep it in the zone consistently, he'll get you to swing and miss and, if you are lucky enough to swing and make contact, most of the time you're going to be frustrated with the results.
You should know that his curveball wouldn't pass most drivers on a state highway, and that it takes more than six tenths of a second to reach home plate. In the life of a pitch, that's an eternity.
So the Twins will, as they've done so many times in the past, pick their poison. They'll be patient and hope the knuckleball doesn't come through the strike zone, while waiting on that occasional fastball, or they'll be aggressive and try to time the knuckleball and force him from the mound. Good luck, boys.
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins
04/15/10 1:10 PM EDT
|Boston Red Sox||Minnesota Twins|
|Marco Scutaro - SS||Denard Span - CF|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Orlando Hudson - 2B|
|Victor Martinez - C||Joe Mauer - C|
|Kevin Youkilis - 1B||Justin Morneau - 1B|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Michael Cuddyer - RF|
|Mike Lowell - DH||Jim Thome - DH|
|J.D. Drew - RF||Jason Kubel - LF|
|Bill Hall - CF||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Jeremy Hermida - LF||Nick Punto - 3B|