Sunday, June 7, 2009

They only come out at night

One of the reasons for the Twins' inconsistent play is that they simply haven't hit in day games.

They've played 18 day games so far, in which they've scored 70 runs — 3.89 per game. And that's deceptively high, because it includes their 20-1 shellacking of the Chicago White Sox on May 21. Remove that one, and they've got 50 runs in 17 day games — 2.91 runs per game.

At night: 39 games, 210 runs — 5.38 per game.

As a team, the Twins are hitting .242-.320-.363 in the day time, .287-.359-.460 at night.

The pitching staff has also been better in the daytime, but not to this extent (4.39 ERA day, 4.75 night). As a result, the Twins are 5-13 in day games, 23-16 at night.

Some — Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel — are doing well during business hours, but even they are hitting better when the sun goes down.

And some ... Well, Denard Span in the daytime has an OPS of .521, .898 at night. Joe Crede is .615 in the day, .811 at night. Michael Cuddyer is .681 day, .943 night. Mike Redmond — a big part of his job is catching day games — .445 day, .823 night. Brendan Harris, .604, .790.

And Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young, Alexi Casilla, Nick Punto — these guys haven't hit at any hour.

Is there a solution? The obvious initial theory is that some of these guys need the Dan Gladden treatment — Tom Kelly seldom played Gladden day game after a night game. But TK wasn't playing with a four-man bench in those days. Ron Gardenhire doesn't have as many options.

It's possible that all this is fluke anyway, that Cuddyer, Crede and Co. will eventually hit during the day.

But right now, the sun is not their friend.

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