Buchholz vs Pineda
Tortuga behind the dish in place of Castro and batting 7th (bumping Schoop down a spot), but otherwise the lineup looks like last evening’s successful bunch.
Pindeda’s innings pitched in his first three starts have gone 4, 5 & 6. Rocco & the Bullpen certainly wouldn’t mind if he continued that trend with 7 (or 8 or 9) innings this afternoon.
Salvage the Split!!!
Even casual fans, with proper coaching and education, are able to see that the Win is a flawed statistic for measuring pitcher performance. We can all take consolation in just how flawed the statistic is as the Twins begin a four-game series this evening at Fenway with Clay Buchholz taking the mound for Boston. Because Buchholz has notched six wins this year in his six starts and will be going for this seventh straight tonight. Earned Run Average is another pitching stat that's been maligned in recent years, though it certainly has more evaluative utility than the Win. So don't put too much stock in that 1.01 ERA that Buchholz will take to the mound with him, either. It's still early in the year, the sample size still small. And the fact that Buchholz is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA against the Twins since 2010 shouldn't matter to you too much, either. Remember, numbers don't win games, players do. If you can repeat that mantra throughout the night about every ten minutes, in Joe Morgan's voice, you'll be just fine (or, ready for institutional commitment). There is still reason to hope for a Twins win tonight. Because just like warm weather in the spring, regression to the mean can come a lot later than you expect.
On the mound for the Twins tonight is Vance Worley, also tossing his seventh start of the year but with nary a Win to his credit and a 7.22 ERA to boot. But again, forget about the numbers. The beauty of this game is that anything can happen. Buchholz might get food poisoning or the gout. Somebody might shoot him in the arm with a tranquilizer dart during warmups. He could slip on a banana peel or some other less trite but equally slippery fruit rind and wrench his back. The point is that there's always hope. For Worley, who the Twins seem to be souring on a bit lately, the best hope is to keep the ball from flying out of the ballpark and to miss a heck of a lot more bats. Let's hope he can figure out how to do that tonight. And remember, hope is a good thing. It's just not a good basis for wagering.
Clay Buchholz [9.00 ERA 7.86 FIP 5.34xFIP 4.76 K/9] v Liam Hendriks [ 3.86 ERA 5.92 FIP 4.32 xFIP 3.86 K/9]