Tag Archives: Scott Baker

Game #159: Twins 6, Indians 4

Twins record: 61-98
Fangraphs
MLB Game Wrap

I didn't watch a bit of this game today. I barely paid attention to it online. But, I was glad to see they won it in the extra frame. Obviously, my ideas and enthusiasm for recapping games this season were tapped out by the end of July. I would apologize to the WGOM Nation for that, but I don't think the Twins are going to be apologizing to me any time soon, so we'll all just have to live with it.

Without going into too many specific points or breakdowns, I will say that I am not at this time particularly optimistic about this organization's chances for success in the near-term going forward. I was on record (privately, but I know I told this to at least one Citizen) before the season as believing the Twins would definitely not win the division or make the playoffs. I didn't foresee a collapse this large, but I didn't foresee the injury disasters of this season, either. However, I don't believe the injuries alone account for the weaknesses of this roster's construction. I believed in March, and I still do, that this roster, even at full strength, was not as good as last year's team and not good enough to make the playoffs. I hope the organization takes some major steps this offseason to address turning the team back around. I'm not sure I have much faith in the current regime's ability to do that meaningfully and successfully, though. I hope they prove me wrong.

Since this is the last Sunday recap of the season, I tallied up my non-joke Hitter and Pitcher of the Week awards. I now present you with the Second Annual DK Hitters and Pitcher of the Season.

Co-Hitters: Jim Thome and Jason Kubel each were awarded weekly honors five times. It's hard to remember (for me, anyway), but for a couple of months before he got hurt and the Team MVP took over, Kubel basically was the Twins' entire offense. I think all but one of his awards came in April or May. Thome, meanwhile, is the sentimental and very deserving pick for reaching a career milestone in a Twins uniform.

Pitcher: Scott Baker was also named five times this season. This, too, may be hard to remember, since he was shelved by injury for almost the entire second half, but Light Rail was by far the best starting pitcher the Twins had, showing, I hope, those who doubt him that he really can be a very valuable piece of the rotation puzzle when he's healthy.

2011 Game 115: Red Sawks!!!! on ESPN!!!!

Tonight on the 4ltr, the Red Sawks play*, and the Yankmees don't!!!!111one111!!! How did that happen?

Anyway, there is some sort of milestone at stake (Tim Wakefield seeks career win 200, including many games NOT against the Yankmees).

In order to provide context for the milestone, there may or may not be another team on the field. However, it is rumored that two non-Sawks players that 4ltr viewers may have heard of, Joe Mauer and Jim Thome, may be mentioned. Mauer, because his iconic sideburns are two of the most notable features of flyover America, and Thome because he too is within striking distance of a milestone of sorts, even though it is likely to happen in obscurity unless it happens tonight.

Bring the snark, kids. That's what we are playing for.

*some guy named Booker or Barker or something is starting for the other team, in case anyone cares.

2011 Game 105: Twins at Rangers

After suffering the beatdown for the ages, just a couple days later, the Twins are poised for - at worst - a season split. Plus, their best pitcher is going. Well, how about that?

Scott Baker 8-5, 115.2 IP, 8.48 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, 2.88 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 3.48 xFIP, 2.4 WAR
Matt Harrison 8-7, 118 IP, 5.95 K/9, 2.90 BB/9, 3.05 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 3.88 xFIP, 1.9 WAR

Is Matt Harrison the Scott Baker of the south? Their numbers are similar enough, outside of Ks, that I'm guessing he's probably underappreciated down there. Or maybe I'm just cynical because of Bert's endless whining about the bullpen and all that.

Setting aside the usual snark about Baker's unwarranted strained relationship with the jagweeds in the media, he really is having a nice season. To date, Baker's best season was 2008, and this one is on pace to surpass it.

The Twins are six games out as well as six games under, and that seems to be the way it's been for a week or two. Let's take another step in the right direction tonight.

2011 Game Logs Game 84: Rays @ Twins

James Sheilds

@

Scott Baker

The Twins are in a pretty good position right now. If they win the next two Minnesota will go into the All Star Break riding an 8 game winning streak, setting themselves up nicely for a second half run.  What? Is it too soon to just chalk up every game against the White Sox as a win?

Without getting too New Guy-y here I predict the Twins will be in third place in the AL Central before the Mid Summer Classic.

Game 79 Recap: How about them dodgers?

Twins 1, Dodgers ZERO
WP: Light Rail
LP: De La Rosa
SAVE! Matt "I'll Busta" Capps (13)
Twins record: 34-45, 8.5 games out of first NOT LAST IN THE AL CENTRAL!!ONEOENEOENEOQN!O!NIW

Fangraphs knows scottie baker wasn't looking at the bullpen.

Well, well, well, a save on a wednesday? My goodness gracious, let's take a look at the king of the savers race. The Beard is racking up saves like nobody's business. He currently owns the top spot with 24 saves. We would have to drop six spots on the leader board to find someone in the league that counts but I really don't care that much.

Player A .281 / .304 / .303 / .607 ops+69
Player B .296 / .320 / .336 / .655 ops+79

Just looking at their rookie seasons I'd think these dudes are brothers from another mother. In other news, Scott Baker tossed an absolute gem today. So did De La Rosa for that matter. If you tuned into this one late you missed the scoring action. Sweet Ben hit a lead off triple and was driven in by Nishioka's swinging bunt. That was it. I never doubted the Twins for a second on this one, matt capps excepted. When the camera flashed on Joe Nathan during the ninth I found myself longing for the good old days, and wondering if we'll see Joe back in the closer role before the end of the season.

Go see some art on paper at the walker. 50/50, up 'til July 17, half curated by the unwashed masses, half by experts:

Featuring some 200 works hung salon-style, 50/50 is at once an experiment in crowd curation and an exploration of the Walker’s collection, with each of the two sections filling half the gallery space. This shared exchange sparks a range of questions about the dynamics between “audience” and “expert,” or between curatorial practice and so-called “mass taste.” It also touches on a broader contrast between the act of making aesthetic judgments in an online context and the experience of looking at and thinking about art up close, without time constraints.

2011 Game 79: Twins v Trustee aka in re Dodgers

Late night reports from Target field hint that the hometown 9 25 do indeed have a pulse. But questions remain:

Will the Twins win the series?
Does Jim Thome really watch reruns of the Mod Squad in the clubhouse?
Why haven't Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau hugged lately?
If Joe Nathan throws 93 mph from a train leaving Eighth Street, at what time does he arrive home?
Who the hell is Rubby De La Rosa, and why do I feel dirty when I say it out loud?
Will Nishioka eat grits?
Does Scott Baker look at the bullpen out of respect for Bert?
Will these questions ever be answered?

Pitching:
Rubby De La Rosa pitching against Twin's undeniable champion, ace, and all around nice guy, Scott Baker.

Lineups:

Twins:
1. Revere 8
2. Nishioka 6
3. _auer 2
4. Righthanded w/ power 9
5. Thome Bench spot saver
6. Dani 5
7. Hughes 3
8. Repko 7
9. Tolbot 4

Orphans:
1. Gwynn 7
2. Blake 5
3. Ethier 9
4. Dairy Brand 8
5. Lonely 3
6. Uribe 4
7. Thames DH
8. Navarro 2
9. Gordon 6

Go Twins!

2011 Game 74 Recap: Twins 3, Brew Crew 4

Weather: 67 degrees, cloudy
Wind: 12 mph, out to center
Time: 2:28
Attendance: 39,819

Box Score
Fangraphs

The Case of the Missing Mojo - Part II

The doll had no idea what she was getting into when she poured herself into my office on a dreary summer night a couple of weeks ago. Then again, I had no idea myself that the hunt for the Twins' mojo would take me from the Twin Cities to the sunny California coast and all the way back east to Brewtown. The name's Twayn. I'm a shamus.

I'd been on the case for two weeks, trying to find out who had the mojo, but this puzzler had more twists and turns than a barber pole. It seemed clear as gin at first - the starting rotation had to have it. Pavano, Baker, Liriano, Blackburn, they were pitching like a carnival barker - hard, fast, crooked and all night long. How else could you explain the way they've been dominating on the mound? Then in San Fran the offense took off like a Chinatown rocket, at least for an inning, so maybe they had the mojo. One thing was sure, there was no shortage of guys suddenly playing better than they were before the start of June.

Continue reading 2011 Game 74 Recap: Twins 3, Brew Crew 4

2011 Game 74: Twins at Brewers

Scott Baker vs Randy Wolf

One thing that jumped out at me as I perused Light Rail's B-R page was his strikeout rate: 8.6 K/9. What? It did increase from 7.3 in 2009 to 7.8 in 2010, but I wasn't expecting another 0.8 jump. However, the season is just shy of 50% complete and so, how much of the increase is real? Fortunately, that was recently answered.

What we want is the K/(PA-IBB-HBP)* line, and that says at 126 denominator units, 50% is the player's ability and 50% is the mean. Baker has 369 PAs, which means 74.5% of the 8.6 K/9 is him while the other 25.5% would be regression to the mean. The mean we want would be Baker's historical performance with however much regression is needed.

Taking the last three years, Baker has 2240 PAs, which means we need 94.7% of those three years and 5.3% league average. Baker's three year average for those three years is 7.5 K/9, which is reasonably close to the league average of 6.8. Let's just use 100% Baker. More rounding error.

Putting it all together means the best estimate for his talent right now is 8.3 K/9. Combined with the miniscule (0.09) increase in his BB/9 rate equals good things for his results. His xFIP so far is easily his best yet and his FIP is slightly better than from 2008. Finally, an ace!

* I'm calling these PAs from now on, despite it actually not being a plate appearance. He has one intentional walk and four hit batters, so it's basically rounding error anyway.

Game #70: Twins 5, Padres 4

Twins Record: 31-39
Fangraphs
MLB Game Wrap

Happy Father's Day to the WGOM Nation from Sunday Recap Central. Just imagine there's a picture of Butters Stotch hugging his dad or something right here.

Hitter of the Week: Even in a week during which the Twins win all their games, when two of those are 1-0 wins, picking this award gets a little tougher. Or, maybe it gets a little more obvious: Team MVP Michael Cuddyer seems to be the best candidate once again.
Pitcher of the Week: All the starters were good-to-great. I'll have to again pick Scott Baker as the best. He is this team's first half All-Star as far as I'm concerned.