It's shaping up to be another cold and dreary day at Target Field for the finale of this short two-game set between the Twins and White Sox. After receiving a disappointing performance from Kevin Slowey last night, the Twins will send out Carl Pavano today while the Sox counter with their top starter, John Danks.
With the chilly weather conditions and strong pitchers taking the hill, don't expect to see a lot of offense in this one. Let's take a quick look at each team's starters.
#50 / Pitcher / Chicago White Sox
Apr 15, 1985
|2010 - John Danks||3-1||6||6||0||0||0||0||41.0||33||10||9||2||11||34||1.98||1.07|
Danks is really good, and I don't think some people appreciate just how good he is. After posting a 3.32 ERA in 2008 and a 3.77 ERA in 2009, he's come out of the gates with a 1.98 ERA over his first six starts this year. His control has been excellent, as he's issued only 11 walks in 41 innings, and he's missing bats at a solid rate while keeping the ball in the park.
As good as he is, Danks isn't particularly tough on left-handed hitters over the course of his career. That's been particularly true this season, where lefties are hitting .318 with four extra base hits in 48 plate appearances against Danks while righties are hitting just .179 with one extra-base hit in 113 PAs. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jim Thome would seem have tough match-ups here on the surface, but evidence would suggest that's not the case at all.
#48 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins
Jan 08, 1976
|2010 - Carl Pavano||3-3||6||6||1||0||0||0||39.1||38||16||15||3||6||30||3.43||1.12|
I wrote an article about Pavano on Monday suggesting that he may turn out to be a bargain this year despite his high price tag and noting the similarities between his early results this year and numbers he posted in 2004 before earning a mega-deal with the Yankees. Pavano's control has been stupendous, he's missing bats at a quality rate and he's keeping the ball in the park with just three gopher balls allowed. His run support has been paltry this year, as evidenced by his 3-3 record despite a 3.43 ERA, and that doesn't seem likely to turn around today with the White Sox sending out their ace. Pavano has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his six starts thus far, and he'll likely need to do it again today to best Danks in what could turn out to be a tough pitcher's duel.
The Twins' lineup is listed below. I still haven't been able to track down Chicago's lineup so if someone wants to throw that up in the comments section that'd be great.
Let's get that split, boys.
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Alexi Casilla, SS
Carl Pavano, P