After throwing at least 6 innings in his first 4 starts (all of them being Quality Starts), Glen Perkins has now gone two games in a row lasting just 4 innings. Last night he gave up 9 hits and 5 total runs (1 was unearned thanks to Delmon Young‘s 5th error of the year, even though it really was more Carlos Gomez‘s fault and not DYoung’s) and 2 solo homers. In 6 starts this season he’s now given up 6 homers which closely resembles Kevin Slowey‘s 8 HR allowed in 7 starts this season.

 

Boof Bonser made his second career relief appearance and did a damn fine job, throwing 2 and 2/3 innings, allowing just 1 hit. He struck out 4 and walked one and even though the balls in the walk at-bat were close to the strike zone (the hitter just wasn’t biting), Ron Gardenhire pulled him for lefty specialist Dennys Reyes. Boof exited to a standing ovation, and considering he threw 24 of his 33 pitches for strikes, he deserved it. It’d be incredibly beneficial to this time if he can become a reliable relief option so we don’t have to see Juan Rincon or Brian Bass come in when the team is down by a couple runs only to give up a couple more and let the game get out of hand. Although Reyes needed just 4 pitches to strike out the batter he came in to face, I disagree with the move in that situation because Boof was visibly frustrated with his walk and I would’ve liked to see him get out of the inning, just for his sake.

 

Joe Mauer stole the show offensively, first with a crazy 2-RBI sacrifice fly and then his second homer in three days. At first his sac fly looked like it had a chance to leave the park but Baltimore’s center fielder (Adam Jones) made a nice running catch in the middle of the warning track. As his momentum took him towards the wall, he tripped and fell but was able to shovel the ball to the left fielder. By this time, Nick Punto was probably sitting on the dugout bench chewing sunflower seeds after scoring from third and Carlos Gomez was hustling from second. There really was no chance to get him and he made it home safely to complete the play. I’m of the belief that an error should’ve been charged to Jones because had he not fallen, Gomez wouldn’t have scored, but my couch cohort disagrees. What do you think?

 

Like Mauer, Jason Kubel also had two hits. One was an RBI single and the other was an RBI triple that was just smashed to right-center field. I would’ve never guessed that Kubel could’ve ran to third on it, but he might’ve been thinking triple all the way because he hustled well and slid in safely. He scored the very next pitch on a Delmon Young sacrifice fly. I still think Kubel is going to turn it around. For instance, his Line Drive Percentage (LD%) was 22.1% last year but is down to just 16.2% through the first two months of 2008. His walk rate has decreased 1.5% from last season while his K rate has seen a jump of .6%. On the plus side, his O-Swing% (which measures the percentage of pitches swung at that would otherwise be called balls) is nearly 3% lower (which is a good thing) than the MLB average. One thing that is down this year for him, though, is his overall contact percentage. Last year, on pitches that were in the strike zone, he made contact 89.82% of the time. This season, that number has dropped to 82.97% (as an example, the MLB average in 2007 was 88.2%).

 

Those stats may be a little tough to take in right now, but with me being able to dedicate more time to my blog now that school is out (woohoo!), my goal is to be a more informative writer (blogger?) by introducing my readers into stats that may seem complicated at first but in fact can be quite useful. Aaron Gleeman does a pretty good job with it, and I suppose I can say that the overall nature of “obscure” baseball statistics is called Sabermetrics.

 

Today’s game is actually a day game, starting at 12:10 PM. Scott Baker is making his first start since May 3rd and all we can hope for is a pain-free start. Matt Macri is being sent down to make room and also, apparently some time ago the team sent down Howie Clark and unsurprisingly he passed through waivers and rejoined the Rochester Red Wings. You can check out Twins Squeeze Play which starts (I think) at 7 and it plays through the game in just 30 minutes.

Coincidentally, the MLB Draft is today as well and it starts at 1 PM central time. You can watch it on ESPN2, although it is probably incredibly boring. I’ll hopefully have a small, albeit solid, recap for everyone in my next post.

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