One down, one hundred fifty-nine to go!
Chris Colabello may not have a long career, but he's put together some memorable games. He had a couple of game-winning homers last year, and he drove in six runs yesterday to lead the Twins to victory. Five of the runs were on two-out doubles. Regardless of whether you think clutch performance is a skill, it sure makes you feel good when you succeed in those situations. Colabello will definitely have some stories to tell his grandchildren some day.
He had some help later in the game, of course. Trevor Plouffe drove in a couple of key runs (also with two out), Josmil Pinto, in his first game of the season, hit a homer, and Oswaldo Arcia made his first hit of the season count, driving in the winning run.
Phil Hughes pitched well for four innings before giving up some extra-base hits in the fifth. One assumes he may have tired at that point (he threw 97 pitches in five innings), although it's also possible that he simply threw some bad pitches. Ninety-four pitches in five innings is clearly not what you want, and Hughes will need to be more efficient than that if he's going to get deep into games. On the other hand, the Twins did not do a very good job of stretching their starting pitchers out in spring training, rarely letting them go more than five innings. If a pitcher only throws four or five innings at a time in March, he's probably not going to be able to go seven or eight in early April.
The bullpen, which is expected to be a team strength, did not do all that well in this series, which is not to say we should panic about it or anything. Really, though, the only relief pitcher who did poorly in this game was Swarzak. Thielbar made one bad pitch, which will happen sometimes, but pitched well otherwise. Duensing did a good job, and Perkins pitched around a defensive miscue that got him into trouble to get the save.
In other notes, Josh Willingham got a couple of hits and a couple of walks. Jason Bartlett made his first appearance in the outfield and did not have a ball hit to him. The Twins drew six walks and have walked fourteen times this season.
So, the Twins move on to Cleveland: city of light, city of magic. We're still on track for 160-2!