|Trevor May waits on the Twins bench to return to the|
mound Thursday night in Detroit.
Trevor May had a rough first two months in the major leagues: 3-6, 7.88 isn't exactly staking a claim on a 2015 rotation spot.
Still, one can find reasons to believe. Thursday night's loss to Detroit gave some.
May had one of those minimal quality starts that dampen the stat's reputation: six innings, three earned runs. He was stung by home runs from Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera, which hardly makes him unique. The plus side: one walk allowed, and that intentional, as compared to seven strikeouts.
In his first three outings in the majors (two starts and one relief effort, total of nine innings), May walked 13 and struck out three. In his seven subsequent starts (36.2 innings), he walked nine and struck out 41.
Obviously, he still wasn't going particularly deep into games. The ERA (7.61) in that span still wasn't anything resembling good. But he clearly took to the example Phil Hughes set -- he threw strikes and trusted his stuff. And his two best starts came against Cleveland and Detroit, two good lineups both still in the hunt (at least at the time).
The Twins brain trust on Thursday offered Hughes an opportunity to pick up a relief outing this weekend, pick up that elusive 630th out and get his half-a-million bonus. He declined, saying he had put enough innings on his arm and didn't want to jeopardize his health with a short-rest relief appearance, even a brief one.
Were the Twins in the hunt, Hughes would probably be volunteering to start on three days rest in the season finale. They aren't, to state the obvious.
By not pitching this weekend, Hughes not only protects his arm after setting a career high in innings pitched. He also preserves what stands now as the major-league record for strikeout-walk ratio: 11.4 strikeouts for every walk allowed.
That may not be a prominent a record as, say, Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA in 1968, but it's still a significant achievement.