Seven and a half games. Let me repeat that. Seven and a half games. It may not seem like much, but back on June 1st when the Twins were 16.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, I frankly suspected there was a good chance we would never see a deficit below ten games. But here we are on the first day of summer and the Twins are on a roll. Tonight, we face the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, who have played good, but not great baseball this year. The Giants come into this series leading the NL Central Division by a half game, but on a four game losing streak including a sweep at the hands of the Oakland A's, a stretch where they have scored a total of four runs.
#48 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins
Jan 08, 1976
|2011 - Carl Pavano||4-5||14||14||2||0||0||0||94.1||104||50||44||7||21||38||4.20||1.33|
Overall for the season, Carl Pavano's numbers aren't very impressive, with 104 hits allowed in 94.1 innings and only 38 strikeouts. But over his last seven starts, Pavano has a 2.24 ERA and has averaged 7.5 innings per start. With a tough road stretch beginning tonight, I'd love to see eight or more innings from Pavano. Of course, whether or not a pinch hitter is needed may play into how long Pavano can go, being a National League ball park and all.
#40 / Pitcher / San Francisco Giants
Aug 01, 1989
|2011 - Madison Bumgarner||3-8||16||14||0||0||0||0||84.0||84||35||30||4||24||65||3.21||1.29|
Judging by the picture above, Madison Bumgarner and his playoff beard is a member of either the Boston Bruins or the Vancouver Canucks. Since San Francisco is on the west coast, I'm guessing he's a dirty Canuck (no offense Justin...). Seriously, Bumgarner is Exhibit A showing why win-loss record is a poor way to evaluate pitchers, as his 3-8 win-loss record is way out of line with a 3.21 ERA. The Giant's MLB-worst offense 3.4 runs scored per game explains the record. But he is 21 years old, so expect to hear this if national announcers end up calling a game. In any case, while they might be the same height, Pavano has 25 pounds on Bumgarner, so I'm confident he could take him in a duel.