Scott Kazmir was just a little bit better than Mike Pelfrey today. In six innings he struck out eight and allowed seven hits and a run. Pelfrey allowed just one run in five innings and allowed just two hits, but struggled with the strike zone and handed out walks like they were going out of business. It didn't hurt him too much, but the Indians' first run of the game was the result of two walks and a single.
But Kazmir was strong and, apart from a couple of instances, pretty efficient. The result was a full six innings, only the 12th time in 23 starts this year.
Cleveland didn't exactly have a tough job. No Joe Mauer. Justin Morneau on a day off. Josh Willingham having a down season. But Kazmir's offense didn't do him any favors. When Pelfrey followed up his two-walk third with a three-walk fifth, the Indians actually put up a zero.
The Twins offense was about as good as it could be expected to be. Doug Bernier pushed a but between the pitcher's mound and first base, scoring Clete Thomas from third. A better approach by first baseman Nick Swisher would have had Thomas dead to rights, but (because of the poor approach) would have had to pivot to throw home, since he throws left-handed.
The run kept the Twins in it until the bottom of the eighth, when Drew Stubbs took Jared Burton deep to straightaway center field. Swisher later singled to bring the score to 3-1.
Bullet Point Highlights
- The Indians were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, which is bad. The Twins were 3-for-19. That a team can continually be this terrible in these situations would be unbelievable if it wasn't happening in front of our eyes.
- Wilkin Ramirez was the only player in the starting lineup with a batting average higher than .245.
- By allowing just one earned run in five innings, Mike Pelfrey's season ERA has dropped to 5.05. It's his lowest ERA since his first start of the year. In August, his ERA is 4.18.
- Caleb Thielbar pitched another scoreless inning, including a strikeout (both shocks, I'm sure). He also walked his first batter since August 4.
- Nick Swisher tried to stretch a single into a double, but Wilkin Ramirez nailed him en route, co-starring Pedro Florimon.