I think Alex Burnett is the werewolf.
Hitters of the Week: Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee
Pitcher of the Week: Jim Hoey
Not a lot to say. Dan Haren, even when he's not great, is pretty good. The Twins, this year, are not, and their infield defense today especially was not.
I feel kind of bad for Jim Hoey. I can't hate him. It's not his fault someone thought he was a decent trade return for a salary dump of a bona fide major league shortstop. It's not his fault someone thinks he's a major league quality relief pitcher, and it's not his fault that he keeps being asked to perform as one when it seems clear, right now, that he's not. When he came in the game in the top of the 9th today, the score was 5-3, and I figured that after he did his damage, the Twins were about to make it closer in the bottom of the 9th. They did, scoring two runs after Hoey gave up a home run to Mark Trumbo, the first batter he faced. It's been that kind of year.
Hitter of the Week: Denard Span
Pitcher of the Week: I ought to be more selective, but I can't, because suddenly it's the majority of the starting rotation that's keeping the Twins' heads anywhere close to above water. Nick Blackburn pitched a good game that he won, and Scott Baker and Anthony Swarzak pitched possibly even better games that they didn't win, earning them the undying ire of Twins broadcasters, but hopefully some respect from Twins fans.
Weather: 67°F, partly cloudy
Wind: 2 mph, out to CF
Given the night the top five batters in the order had, there's no way the Twins could have expected to win this game. Not with one of the four remaining spots in the lineup featuring a middle infielder with a bat -34.7 runs above average in 1108 career plate appearances. Not with one of the three remaining slots featuring a backup catcher, forced into a starting role, whose bat was worth -10.3 runs above average in 2010. Yet that backup catcher knocked in three of the evening's five runs and secured the win with what, thanks to some shaky ninth inning relief, proved to be a key run-producing double late in the game.
Continue reading 2011 Game 16: Twins 5, Orioles 3