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Game 58: Twins @ Athletics

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First Pitch: 3:05pm CDT
TV: WFTC-29
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Athletics Nation


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Gio Gonzalez 5-3 11 11 0 0 0 0 66.0 54 27 27 4 31 57 3.68 1.29

Raise your hand if you're shocked that a young Oakland pitcher is having a good season. Nobody? Good.

What's making Gonzalez so much better than last season (because it's certainly not a great deal of improved control) is a good fastball, a great breaking ball and a little bit of luck. His home run rate is way down over last season, and considering he doesn't allow a great deal of fly balls anyway that's some pretty decent help, but overall there isn't much in his numbers that insist he should be significantly (or even marginally) better than 2009. Fewer swings and misses, no big changes on rates of balls-in-play...but fewer hits are dropping in spite of hitters continuing to make good contact.

To be successful today, the Twins need to make use of all that patience they've found this season. If they're selective enough, they'll have the opportunities to take a few walks while having every opportunity to put good wood on the ball. This is a good pitcher that the Twins can beat.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Nick Blackburn 6-2 10 10 1 0 0 0 64.2 83 35 34 9 13 17 4.73 1.48

After having a stellar month of May, Blackburn got lit up just a bit by the Mariners his last time out. The A's can't be under estimated, but this should be a good opportunity for him to get back on track.

What makes Blackburn's successes this year so odd, and even more marginalized than in previous season, is that in four of his starts he hasn't struck out a single hitter. His K/9 is at what can only be called awesomely low (2.37). I call it "awesomely low" because in no natural world would a big league pitcher be able to survive on that kind of a number. Yet here he is. And it's not like he's a scrub pitcher, either. Blackbeard is a freak of statistical nature.

And I love it.

Oh, and as for that lineup below...I suggest that whatever booze you didn't drink last night when Stu told you to go grab it, you drink now. The Twins are still down a number of regulars: Morneau, Cuddyer, Hardy, Hudson...plus no Thome. Viva run support!


Lineup

Minnesota Twins @ Oakland Athletics

06/06/10 4:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins Oakland Athletics
Denard Span - CF Rajai Davis - CF
Matt Tolbert - 2B Daric Barton - 1B
Joe Mauer - DH Ryan Sweeney - RF
Jason Kubel - RF Kurt Suzuki - C
Delmon Young - LF Jack Cust - DH
Danny Valencia - 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B
Brendan Harris - 1B Gabe Gross - LF
Nick Punto - SS Mark Ellis - 2B
Drew Butera - C Cliff Pennington - SS