Are we all sure that we want to trade Mike Pelfrey? Because if you saw what he did today, I'm not sure the answer is so cut and dried if the purpose of this year is to win as many games as possible. Mike Pelfrey was great - yes, GREAT - today.
Bill James came up with a metric to measure the performance of a starting pitcher called Gamescore. Starters get points for things like strikeouts, outs recorded, full innings recorded, for innings recorded after the fourth; points are taken away for things hits, runs, and walks allowed. This afternoon Pelfrey went eight full innings, striking out seven and allowing seven hits, giving up just one walk and no runs to record a game score of 72. The last time he recorded a score better than that was when he threw a complete game versus the Angels on June 18, 2011.
All of Pelfrey's strikeouts came on splitters and sinkers. This is something I've discussed on the radio and I've discussed it here: one of the biggest reasons for his success this year is because he's hitting his spots and his pitchers are moving. The strikeout totals today are great, but that's not why he's having a great year. Pelfrey is having a great year because nobody is putting solid wood on his pitches.
Pelfrey's ERA is 2.28 now, by the way. That's insane.
The Twins managed a couple of early runs by Mike Fiers before they too were shut down. Eddie Rosario shot a double into the left-center field gap to score Torii Hunter from first base, who had a great jump. Rosario took third when he saw that Jean Segura was trying an ill-advised throw to the plate. On the very next pitch, Eduardo Escobar barely got hold of it but managed to squeak a grounder between Adam Lind and first base. It was a slow mover, so by the time Ryan Braun got to it and threw the ball back in Escobar was standing on third base. A walk, double, and luck-laden triple gave Minnesota both of their runs.
Pelfrey just cruised. Ryan Braun doubled with two outs in the sixth, but it was the only time the Brewers had a runner in scoring position all day. Glen Perkins closed the door in the ninth for his league-leading 21st save.
Games just like this are why the Twins continue to play well, and continue to hold onto first place. Minnesota is back to ten games over .500 at 33-23. This season has turned into one hell of a fun ride.
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COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD
wayback: "Is Eddie the new Jason?"
WIN EXPECTANCY GRAPH