We've talked in the past about how Kevin Slowey throws too many fastballs to be effective. Parker of TwinsCentric and Over the Baggy has done an excellent job pointing out the necessity for him to change speeds, on a couple of occasions. Above is the pitch speed chart for Slowey, and suffice it to say he played to his strengths.
Out-pitching one of the game's best in Felix Hernandez, Slowey sent every single right-handed hitter he faced back to the bench. Left-handed hitters didn't fare much better, eeking out three hits over eight shutout innings. He was able to keep his off-speed pitches low, and even if he didn't get many swings and misses, nobody was able to put good wood one anything either. Seattle's well-hit average of at-bats: .000.
According to Inside Edge's post-game report for Kevin Slowey, he received an A+ grade in 19 of 23 sub-categories.
In addition to spinning a gem from the mound, Slowey received some early offensive help. Alexi Casilla tripled with one out in the first, scored on a Joe Mauer single, Delmon Young followed that up (from the cleanup spot, remember) with his own triple, and Jim Thome doubled to make it 3-0 just five hitters and 12 pitches into the game. Hernandez would recover but his offense was unable to adjust, and those runs would be enough. Yound added yet another RBI by scoring Mauer on a single in the eighth.
The Twins have now strung together seven wins in a row, and are 12 - 4 since the All-Star break. They're also 9 - 1 in their last ten, meaning they've picked up three games on the White Sox. Back to within just one half of a game, the Twins could take their rightful place at the top of the division if everything goes right today.
Kevin Slowey (8 IP, 3 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 0 R, .401 WPA)
Delmon Young (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R, .104 WPA)
Joe Mauer (3-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R, .082 WPA)
Nobody, really. This was a good game.