MINNESOTA 3, BALTIMORE 1
Record - 7-12 (Last in the Central)
Highest WPA - Baker (7.0 IP, 0 R, 9 SO) and Thome (2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI)
Lowest WPA - Hoey (0.0 IP, 2 H) and Valencia (1 for 4, SB)
Notable - Jim Thome has hit .455 (5 for 11) in the three Thursday games this season and has a positive WPA in all three.
The story in this one was Scott Baker. For the second consecutive outing, he looked really good. Nine strikeouts (only one walk) in seven innings. Only four hits allowed, and the O's went 0 for 5, with a walk, against him with runners in scoring position. That was actually better than batters had done against Baker in that situation so far in 2011. With this game added in, now opponents are hitting .000/.048/.000 (21 PAs) against him with runners in scoring position so far this season. With that in mind it's probably unlikely that we'll continue to see Baker completely shut teams down as he has recently, but it's a good reminder that he's got the stuff to strike some people out when he's in a jam (24 K's in 25 IP in 2011) and if he keeps the ball in the park (6 of his 7 runs allowed courtesy of the longball - 14.3% HR/FB) he can be a real good pitcher.
Speaking of the longball, Jim Thome and Michael Cuddyer each poked one out, and Thome added an RBI single to supply the offense. It seems like a fool's errand to attempt to draw any conclusions about this team offensively when so many parts are missing, so I'll just stick with the sentiment that I'm glad the offense scored enough runs to make the gem that Scottie pitched stand up.
First Thursday win of the season!
And the first Thursday that didn't end up with a regular on the DL!! (Mauer last week, Nishioka the week before)
Does it get any better?