2011 Game 16: Twins at Orioles

6:05 Central Time start. Why is this night different from all others?

Happy Passover. Orioles are indeed kosher.

I for one have had about enough of bitter herbs this spring. Time to make some Hillel Sandwiches out of the opposition. Pass the matzot. And don't ask me what I am drinking in the third inning.

Pitching matchup:

F-Bomb (0-3, 5.30 FIP, 5.02 xFIP, 104 tRA+, 12:9 K:BB in 14.3 innings)

Chris Tillman (0-1, 4.85 FIP, 4.81 xFIP, 103 tRA+, 11:6 K:BB in 12.3 innings)

Tillman is a big (6'5", 210 lb) 23-year old, making his 27th career start for the O's. He was drafted in the 2nd round by Seattle in 2006 out of Fountain Valley, CA high school. The O's acquired him in 2008 as part of the Erik Bedard deal, along with former closer George Sherrill and current center fielder Adam Jones. I'd say that one has turned out pretty well for Baltimore.

Tillman has right-handed Jeremy written all over him. Fastball/curve/changeup. According to PitchFx, his fastball is mediocre, averaging 90.6 MPH last year (53.67 innings with Balt.) and 88.6 so far this year, registering at -1.79 runs above average per 100 (-1.55 RAA for his career). His heat maps indicate that he's "not been keeping the ball down" to right-handed hitters with his fastball this year. Of course, that might be better than what he's done in the past, which is throw it right down the middle a lot of the time.

Gardy would love this guy, because he pitches to contact. So far, hitters have connected on 90.7 percent of swings, and he sports a miniscule 3.9 pct swinging strike rate (6.3 pct for his MLB career to date; the MLB average for starters is 7.8 pct). So, hey, tonight should be a good night for the boys to bolster their scoring average.

As for Franchise, here's what the Yahoo preview has to say:

The first time through the lineup, opponents are batting .083 against Liriano. Second time through the order, however, Liriano is allowing them to hit .545. He has a 2.00 ERA through the first three innings, but from the fourth inning on, his ERA balloons to 21.94.

PitchFx says he's been throwing a lot of fastballs, per Gardy's instruction -- to the tune of -2.30 Runs Above Average (-0.77 RAA for his career). I'm not ready to panic yet, however. Baltimore's offense has been almost as awful as ours so far. I'm seeing this series opener as a golden opportunity to turn things around for our guys. Let My People Go from first to third with regularity. Let them sacrifice the paschal bunt. Let the Chesapeake run red with Twins' runs.

347 thoughts on “2011 Game 16: Twins at Orioles”

  1. It being Mrs. Hayes' birthday, I probably won't get to watch this one in real time, which means I'll watch it after she goes to bed. Look for the game log (and the third installment of View from the Ballpark) first thing tomorrow. Sorry about that.

  2. This is time first I'm missing the first night Seder in about 7 years (thanks to two night classes in the last week of the semester, so crucial to "pay" attention). I also impulsively bought a bunch of donuts this morning before realizing Sheenie can't eat them for a week.

  3. While waiting for the game to begin, I looked up Oswaldo Arcia's early #s at Beloit, since he became my favorite minor leaguer last season when he put up crazy stats. So far, picking up about where he left off:

    439/618/1.057

    And I just like the name "Oswaldo."

  4. bS, are you baiting me? Perhaps Matt Becker is baiting me. Those splits he quotes have HI-lariously small sample sizes. Tiny, minuscule nano-sample sizes. Through three games, Liriano has only 24 AB against for the first time through the lineup. Even adding second and third time through the lineup together only gets you to 35 AB. Quoting batting average over those kinds of sample sizes without at least listing the number of AB in each sample seems like poor form for Mr. Becker.

      1. I wouldn't joke about something as deadly serious as a Twins win. F-bomb will break out, as long as he can find the strike zone.

  5. It figures. I lurk on a site for 5 years and it folds 2 weeks after I sign up.

    This site appears to be a more than adequate replacement though...

    Also if this site dies in 2 weeks it's not my fault.

      1. I have a classmate telling horror stories about your experience with Professor Dayton right now.

        1. Heh...they're all true. To be fair, she gave me and extension that turned into an Incomplete that allowed me to earn a grade and write a long paper that has the potential to be something more.

    1. Sorry, HomerDome. You were making your mark, too. I have a feeling this joint will be here for awhile.

                  1. Good lord, that was terrible. Your pun is actually a redeeming feature. I give the vid credit for featuring my avatar, though.

  6. What are you guys talking about? According to yahoo! box scores, it's been one out, two men on in the bottom of the 1st for about 20 minutes.

    Guess I should switch to gameday....

    1. Gameday was all kinds of glitchy for me yesterday. We'll see how it does today. Seriously, it showed Tolbert getting a triple.

      1. You are not building credibility for Gameday or yourself, bhiggum. Try telling us something at least plausible.

      2. Gameday didn't give Tolbert a triple. The official scorer did. Even Dick called a single when it first happened (and we all know how much he would love to boost Tolbert).

  7. I always seem to have problems with Gravatar, so haven't brought my avatar over here yet. Kind of miss the Kevin McHale default photo...

  8. Evening, citizens. Chicken creole tonight, with steamed rice, corn muffins and a Grain Belt Premium (or six or twenty).

    1. Funny, I went with the chicken with red beans & rice and a glass of water (started training for a duathalon).

      1. Oh, man, do I love beans and rice. I used to live on that in college when the government used to give away rice and cheese and such.

        1. Sheenie was absolutely furious when the local Target stopped carrying the regular (aka good) jambalaya mix from Zatarain's and switched to only mild. Gotta be extra spicy for her Cajun tastes.

                1. The best part about Passover is the gefilte fish. Of course, I stupidly read the ingredients on the jar the other day...

                  1. Good lord. You don't actually eat that sh!t, do you? The function of gefilte fish is to be displayed on top of a lettuce leaf atop a small plate, then thrown away before the next course. (or so I have surmised from my Moms-in-law)

                    *I actually eat a piece every year, out of sympathy or summat*

                    1. Usually Sheenie's mother makes me about three extra pieces because she's so amused that I actually like it.

                    2. Usually Sheenie's mother makes me about three extra pieces because she's so amused that I actually like it.

                      Why not just give you everyone else's pieces? That would be more efficient.

                      And Twayn, yes. In fact, you could probably make it with lutefisk and nobody would know the difference (other than DP).

      2. bean and cheese burritos with a big salad, I think. Or mebbe falafels. And [redacted] to drink on this night.

          1. Cannon Falls is some pretty country. Got a few hills around there that I wouldn't want to be running up, though. Hope it warms up a bit and dries out for you.

            1. Swimming is not my forte either. I did this Cannon Falls last year, but I didn't own a road bike so I borrowed my cousin's. Got on it for the first time on the day of the race. I'm hoping I can make a better time this year.

    2. We're having some sort of chicken pasta with a cream sauce and a cheap chardonnay, which was required for the recipe and my wife can't drink and I hate seeing perfectly drinkable booze going to waste.

      1. Now I beg if it's been any more than a month.

        So do most married men, but what's that got to do with beans and rice?

      2. Now I haven't had any from any actual Cajun part of the country, but one of the local brewpubs in my area does a pretty delicious version that even comes with its own cute little bottle of Tabasco. (which isn't quite enough.)

    1. I would be ok with it as long as he finished it by saying "... sucks if you are capable of making guys swing and miss."

    2. From his anecdotes it's clear that he's forgotten most of the details of his games, but apparently he also can't remember what type of pitcher he was at the major league level.

      1. He certainly remembers the exact opposite quite well. Maybe from all of the coaches he didn't listen to.

      2. My favorite section of Bert's revisionist history is his affection for Chuck Tanner. Back in the day, he absolutely HATED that man, yet Bert always talks now about how he was a great manager who really knew how to motivate the team. Bert hated Tanner so much that he "retired" in the middle of the 1980 season to force a trade.

    3. I think there's a grain of truth in what Bert is trying to say, which is that sometimes Liriano tries so hard to strike people out that he just ends up missing the strike zone badly. He'd probably be better off trying to fine tune it a little less.

      1. Is Bert basically trying to say that it's better to throw strikes and get ahead in the count at the expense of giving up some hits than it is to be so careful about avoiding the middle of the plate that you wind up getting behind in the count and walking hitters?

          1. I always wonder if the PBP guys could do a better job goading their partners into making a more eloquent argument. I am such an optimist that I even think if you paired the right guy with Joe Morgan, he would turn out to be more insightful than he seems at first blush. (Even though I like Jon Miller.)

            1. Atteberry has done that in the past with Dazzle- the goading part, anyhow. Dazzle is allergic to eloquent.

          1. I remember that refrain. I wonder how Bert would critique a Scott Baker start where he did nothing but bounce pitches in front of the plate.

      1. I was looking at the standings and thinking of how totally inverted they are. Definitely still early in the season.

  9. During the first 3 innings of the White Sox game today, the Sox commentators were muted by technical difficulties, with just the crowd noise being piped through.

    These were the best 3 innings of Sox baseball I can ever remember.

      1. My understanding is that this is now an MLB.tv feature on premium. Should I ever move away from the midwest, I look forward to this.

            1. Well, it lists it in this FAQ under section 16.

              During live games, an "Audio Overlay" section is available allowing you to watch the video broadcast, while listening to the synced radio coverage. The NexDef plug-in is required for this feature. When watching a live Home video feed, you can hear natural stadium sound by selecting "PARK" under Audio Overlay. Selecting a radio feed in the "Audio Only" section will play the radio broadcast without video.

              I hope this works? Please re-route the package?

      1. You could just barely hear them commentating away.

        I don't think Hawk or Stone were ever told no one could hear them, though they ran "audio difficulties" on the banner at the bottom of the screen.

  10. Nice. I just found out that Sunday is John Axford bobblehead day at the Brewers game that I'm going to, and that the bobblehead has a terrific mustache.

    1. Axford does have a nice mustache. I don't think he's quite as burly as that bobblehead, however.

      1. I can overlook that for the mustache, though. As a fellow fine follicled facial fellow, I can appreciate a good stache.

      1. Something like that. I custom did it since the shrunk version didn't look all that swell. I didn't use (or have) the right font though. Just something to put up instead of a green flower or nothing.

  11. It seems I had to download this PS3 MLB.tv update today so I could have all sorts of playback problems that didn't exist all season long. Thoughtful of them.

        1. Hmmm...I'm probably going to be moving in a few months and I've been debating as to what to do. I currently have directv, but maybe I should not worry about getting directv wherever I go and just use that as an excuse to get a PS3 and MLB.tv.

            1. I think if you have a good enough internet connection a PS3 + Netflix + MLB.tv would pretty much provide you with everything you need. It would for me!

      1. I'm considering picking up a used PS2 for the basement. Our Playstation died years ago, but lately Younger Daughter's been asking about getting another one so she can play her old games again. Plus, we don't currently have a DVD player downstairs. I'm seeing some used PS2s on craigslist and ebay for anywhere from $50 to $100.

        1. Yeah, I think you could probably pick one up pretty cheap these days. The slim models got knocked down to $100 new last summer I think. If you can pick one of these up, it's definitely worth it. They're much, much more reliable than the old fat models.

  12. Ms. de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong's lyrics about a closer* are becoming more relevant, suddenly.

    *It IS about a closer, right???

  13. This season, outfielders named A. Jones are hitting 2-5 off of Liriano, with a double and a home run.

        1. This is one that has been extremely one sided though. In past games, the zone was reasonably consistent for both teams (albeit still terrible), not so much here.

          1. The graph needs to be split between righties and lefties first before you become too indignant about the injustices against the Twins.

            1. There aren't many data points this game for Twin's pitchers versus LHH, but the outside pitches called strikes to Twin's LHH's is pretty comical compared to all the other data points. (but I do understand what you're getting at.)

    1. That'd be the second time this season, that I know about, that Thome has gotten pissed at an ump. Some bad umpiring going on this year.

      Also, since I'm on the site:

      Not a strikeout.

      1. On Gameday, the Kubel called third strike looked close enough that I'd give the ump the benefit of the doubt, but that Thome called third strike looks well outside.

        1. I think part of the reason Thome was so pissed was that it seemed to be the second blown call of the inning.

          1. The cognitive dissonance of seeing Top Jimmy attached to smart comments is doing a number on me...

  14. Holy cow. 15mph b/t the fastball and the change is a very nice way to attack a hitter. Crossing fingers.

  15. Maybe Delmon is crazy like a fox, maybe he just drives me crazy, but of all the times to be patient and take some pitches, he decides to do it right after Kubel and Thome strike out looking on questionable pitches? I guess everyone's happy with the results, this time.

  16. I understand you haven't had a major league team in Baltimore for a number of years, Jim, but you really don't have to explain the tagging up rule.

  17. Casilla and Delmon with the only two BB's for the Twins tonight- who'd thunk it? I guess on a night when Butters has 3 RBI, anything is possible.

          1. That first winter was tough. I was getting less than ten page views a day. I kept going when no one was reading.

            1. Doesn't sound so bad, I've argued with the television for years, even when no one was listening. šŸ™‚

            2. In all seriousness, considering the lifespan of most blogs, it's quite impressive that you kept going.

      1. I remember when SB Nation upgraded their software last, and made it so that you didn't have to reload the page to refresh the comments, their game threads went absolutely nuts with comments.

  18. Well, at least Tolbert still isn't hitting. I believe it was his evil twin who snuck into the game last night.

  19. Durrr, "fisted" to short. Other than that, Robinson has been solidly above average on the broadcast. He referenced b-ref and OPS early on tonight.

    1. I listened to Ted on Thursday night. I really enjoyed it. He really worked to focus Dazzle on specific topics.

      1. Pretty sad how hard he has to work at that, but at least he's giving it a shot. I'd like to hear an Attebery/Robinson combo, but that's probably never going to happen.

    1. He's a birther (not sure if you knew that)
      /sheepishly walking away from forbidden topic

  20. We interrupt your regular program for this announcement:

    Tim Lincecum is pitching VERY WELL!!!

  21. Eric Hacker up

    LaVelleNeal Twins option Alex Burnett, call up Eric Hacker to be the long man out of 'pen. #stribtwins

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