Tag Archives: Carl Pavano

Random Rewind: 2011, Game Thirty-two


Date:  Sunday, May 8.

Batting stars:  Jason Kubel was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.  Danny Valencia was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a stolen base (his second), and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Alex Burnett pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Joe Nathan struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Adrian Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with a home run (his fourth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his tenth).  Kevin Youkilis was 2-for-4 with a double and four runs.  David Ortiz was 2-for-4.

The game:  It started well.  Denard Span led off with a single and Trevor Plouffe walked.  With one out Kubel had an RBI single.  A ground out moved men to second and third, and Valencia delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 3-0.

It wouldn't stay that way for long.  The Red Sox got on the board in the second when Youkilis led off with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs.  They took the lead in the third.  Carl Crawford led off with a triple and scored on a ground out, making it 3-2.  Ellsbury singled, Dustin Pedroia walked, and Gonzalez singled in a run to tie it.  An RBI ground out put Boston ahead, Ortiz singled, and J. D. Drew had a run-scoring single to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead.

The Twins got a run back in the fourth when Valencia led off with a home run.  In the fifth, however, Gonzalez homered to make it 6-4, Youkilis and Ortiz singled, and another RBI ground out increased the Red Sox lead to 7-4.

Boston put the game away with two in the seventh.  Gonzalez singled, Youkilis reached on an error, and Jed Lowrie hit a two-run double.  The Twins scored one more in the eighth when Plouffe doubled and scored on a Kubel single, but the Twins did not threaten to get back into the game.

WP:  Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3).  LP:  Carl Pavano (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Joe Mauer was injured much of the season, so Drew Butera was the regular catcher.

The Twins used a variety of players at shortstop, none of whom really got the job done.  Tsuyoshi Nishioka played the most games there (66), as he held the job for most of the second half of the season.  Plouffe, who was the shortstop in this game, played 45 games there.  Others to see time there were Alexi Casilla (36 games) and Matt Tolbert (31).

Span was the centerfielder when healthy, but he also missed a lot of the season due to injury, so Ben Revere played the most games there.  In this game Span was in center, with Revere in left.  Delmon Young played the most games in left.  Michael Cuddyer was in right.

Kubel was the DH.  Jim Thome played the most games at DH with 59--Kubel was second at 37.  The Twins used a total of 18 different players at DH for at least one game.

Tolbert came in to play shortstop in place of Plouffe in the ninth.  Rene Tosoni pinch-hit for Butera in the ninth.

Kubel was batting .351.  He would finish at .273.  Plouffe was batting .300--he would finish at .238.  Among players with a significant number of at-bats, Mauer led the team at .287.  Cuddyer led the team in home runs with twenty.

Pavano started and pitched five innings.  He allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out none.  Pavano was very up-and-down in 2011, and this was obviously one of his down stretches.  His ERA at this point of the season was 6.44, but it would end up at 4.30.

This was the second of a nine-game losing streak for the Twins.  They would go 8-19 in May.

Record:  The Twins were 12-20, in fourth place in the American League Central, 9.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 63-99, fifth (last) in the American League Central, 32 games behind Detroit.

The Red Sox were 16-18, in third place in the American League East, four games behind New York.  They would finish 90-72, in third place, seven games behind New York.

Happy Birthday–January 8

Walker Cooper (1915)
Jim Busby (1927)
Gene Freese (1934)
Reno Bertoia (1935)
Bruce Sutter (1953)
Ramon Romero (1959)
Randy Ready (1960)
Brian Boehringer (1969)
Jason Giambi (1971)
Mike Cameron (1973)
Carl Pavano (1976)
Jeff Francis (1981)
Jeff Francoeur (1984)

Three players named Jeff were born on this day.  In addition to the two listed above, this is also the birthday of Jeff Hoffman of the Colorado Rockies.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 8

2012 Game 46: Tigers @ Twins

Okay. This team stinks, but last week, I posted the game plan for victory - and they followed it to victory. The best part? Absolutely nothing has changed. Sure, Max Scherzer might strike out 30 more per nine innings than Carl Pavano (I think I actually saw Carl Pavano summon the ghosts of baseball players past so he could un-strike them out, lowering his k/9 to something like -4... dark magic, that), but he has no facial hair whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Morneau has parlayed his smooth Canadian charm into in actual war on the opposing pitcher - I wouldn't be surprised if he hit seven home runs today in four at bats.

Mauer's a pussy, but he'll probably whine his way on base two or three times this afternoon. A.J. would advance the runners with a leadership scowl, but walking's cool, too, I guess.

We're actually playing at Target Field today, so expect the Tigers to ground out weakly in shame when they think of where they have to play their games.

This is in the bag, people. Can we just skip to tomorrow so that we can catch a nailbiter?

My prediction: Twins 14, Tigers 8.

Game 40: Twins @ Brewers

Well, hey. It looks like we've got ourselves a little winning streak here. Let's do some in-depth analysis and see how the odds look for extending it.

Carl Pavano (2-3, 4.38 FIP, 4.28 xFIP, 0 k/9)
Yovani Gallardo (2-4, 3.89 FIP, 3.96 xFIP, made up name)

Edge: Initially, it would seem that the Brewers have the edge here, but even though Pavano seems to have taken a sacred vow to never strike anyone out ever, I'm going to go with the Twins here. Unless you're Randy Johnson, pitching is 90% luck, 10% facial hair, and Pavano's rebounded nicely after a tough 2011.

I'd be a fool to bet against a lineup that prominently features a catcher sporting a .350/.381/.450 slash line. Twins, it is.

Miller Park can't possibly hope to match Target Field, so even though they're not playing at Target Field today, I'm giving the advantage to the Twins.

Morneau's radiant good cheer (that is how he won that MVP in 2006, right?) is worth a hundred of whatever the Brewers might have in this department (beer, maybe? brats? Ryan Braun's contaminated urine?)

Adding all of that up (4-0), I'd say it's pretty much a sure thing. The Twins are going to sweep this series!*

* yes, I might be getting ahead of myself here, but with literally every indicator saying that they'll win this game, why wouldn't they win the next one, too?

2012 Game 35: Indiginous Tribe vs. Split Zygotes

First Pitch - 7:10 p.m. CDT
Television - FSN (Twin Cities), STO (Cleveland)
Game Notes

After too many games against east and west coast teams, it's time to flip this season over and give it a good shake so we can focus on losing within the division now. The Twins kick off a two game series tonight against the Indians, just the second divisional series for the team this year. About ten minutes before the first pitch, Daughter the Younger will commence her final orchestra concert of the year. Las Vegas has set the line at 7-to-1 that I'll be watching the concert instead of the game tonight. Play something sweet, play something mellow, play something I can sink my teeth in like Jell-O.

Continue reading 2012 Game 35: Indiginous Tribe vs. Split Zygotes

Game 15: Twins at Rays

The internet connection is extremely spotty at my house right now, so instead of giving you the well thought out, well researched behemoth of a game log intro that you all deserve, I'm going to spout off random things that I like and dislike about the team without backing any of it up with anything resembling a fact.


  • Burton's Splange - He threw one or two last night, and when that pitch is on, it's a thing of beauty. He seems like a good pickup about 10% of the way through the season, and looks like he could be a decent late inning option. I wasn't expecting to say that about any of the offseason relief pickups, but none of them have been failing to live up to what I'd hope for (Grey is finally letting the rest of the team's pitchers wins a few games, Maloney hasn't tripped on the pitching rubber or picked any fights with fans or umpires, there might be someone else I'm forgetting, but the fact that he's not springing to mind means that I probably haven't been cursing his name too often, so... uh... keep being invisible, other relief guy).
  • The Porkstar - My Reds fan buddy noted how nice it was that the Twins finally had a free agent signing work out. I could have punched him for his condescending tone, but instead, I simply nodded my head in agreement. Willingham's been good with the bat, and he's only the second worst outfielder I've seen play for Minnesota over the last five years. Once you factor in that they had to get rid of Delmon Young to make it so that they could go out and get him, and it's not just a net positive - I can confidently say that it's the best thing that's ever happened to this team.
  • Mauer/Morneau - I was concerned about Morneau for a bit there in the first few games, but he seems to be taking much better swings over the last few games. Mauer's been solid as he ought to be; I just wish he were just a little bit more manly, because seriously, it's got to be bringing the team down.
  • Having a middle infielder simultaneously batting second and not sucking - Carrol's D is much better than I expected (no one show me any +/- numbers, I don't want to see if I'm wrong on this one. It's also really nice to not have a black hole batting second. The hits are starting to come, and I love the patient way the guy bats. They've got 3 guys at the top of the lineup that bleed the pitcher dry. Very cool.
  • Span - It's really nice having him back as the leadoff hitter. Now that Baker's probably gone forever, I'm tempted to say that Span's my favorite Twin.


  • Casilla - I'm pretty sure that the stats don't bear me out on this, but I find myself constantly unimpressed by Casilla. I know he's the replacement-level guy who's just a placeholder at this point, but I find myself going to the kitchen to get a snack when he comes up. If my diet is going to succeed, I need someone else there.
  • Starting pitching - I was slightly (probably stupidly) hopeful coming into the season. The idea of Liriano pitching well, Baker doing what he always does, Pavano eating innings, with some combination of who cares and someone else filling out the last two spots meant that the Twins would likely be getting 2 or 3 strong starts per time through the rotation. The quality start stat is an awful way of looking at anything, but if Pavano bombs tonight, we'll have gone 5 games without seeing a single start that was even halfway decent. With Hendricks, Blackburn, Swarzack, and Liriano (who seems to be intent on showing that 2011 was not his floor) behind Pavano, I have zero faith in the rotation - and more worryingly, no real hope for anything in the future to patch things up. The idea of being just close enough at trading season for management to go get a "proven winner" puts a chill in my bones.
  • Capps - He hasn't exactly exploded into tiny pieces yet, but it's coming, my friends... oh yes, it's coming.

Pavano* takes on Shields* tonight.

I'm to predict a win. 6-3. Mauer gets a double and a couple of RBIs, but Willingham's hit streak ends (he'll make a comment in the aftergame interview on how all that stuff is cool, but "it doesn't matter, so long as we get the 'W'").

* Both of them have presumably played baseball at some point this season, but if you want all those sexy stats, you'll have to look them up yourself, my computer is currently in a hate/hate relationship with any kind of site where I could look them up for you.

2012 Game 10: Twins at Yankees

First Pitch - 6:05 p.m. CDT
Television - FSN, ESPN
Game Notes

Oy. Considering the season start we're having, heading to New York City for a four-game series against the Evil Empire just seems sadistic. What, the brain trust that is MLB scheduling couldn't wait a few weeks to add insult to injury? They couldn't wait until May or June to have the Twins demonstrate their futility in the Bronx?

Few things tickle me as much as the fact that the Yankees paid Carl Pavano 40 million dollars for less than 150 innings of work over 4 years, and the Twins have wrung 220+ innings out of the guy each of the past two seasons. So at least in the coveted IPP metric (Innings Pitched per Pavano), the Twins continue to outperform the Yankees. While Pavano has been adequate as expected in his first two starts, he's giving up more hits and more runs that any of us would like and would do well to pitch a bit less to contact and a bit more to the catcher's glove.

On the other side of the street, the Yankees send longtime lefty Twins nemesis Freddy Garcia to the mound. The last time I saw Garcia pitch, Jim Lehland was trotting him out against Ozzie Guillens' White Sox in a rainout makeup game that would send the Sox to a game 163 versus the Twins. The last actual time Garcia pitched, just last week, he threw five wild pitches, the first MLB pitcher to pull that off since 1989.

In a universe where karma moves faster than a rebate check from Menards, the Twins would win this game by ten or twelve runs and Pavano would throw a 130-pitch complete game shutout (come on, you just know that a-hole A-Rod would break up the no-hitter with a two-out Texas league dink in the 9th inning). But I'm going on the record as predicting that won't happen today, or any other day for that matter. All I'm asking for out of this series is a split and I'd settle for just one measly win. With Sabathia pitching tomorrow and former Dodger Kuroda on the hill Wednesday, today may be as good a chance as we get this series.

Play ball!