Saturday, May 12, 2012

Late night: Twins 7, Blue Jays 6

Friday's game was delayed one hour and 51 minutes by rain,
which made it impossible to get the result in the print edition.
Game story here

Box score here

Nine walks. That's the key number for the Twins in this game — they drew nine walks from the Toronto pitchers. The Blue Jays pitchers threw 174 pitches, a figure that should make somebody's arm throb.

Which is how they could be out-homered four to zero and still come away with the W.

Nick Blackburn had a serious gopher ball problem, giving up three dingers in five innings. He also walked three men himself. Five earned runs in five innings ... he got credit for the win (his first since last July), but he shouldn't feel good about his outing.

But the bullpen was pretty solid. Glen Perkins wasn't sharp, but the three right-handers (Alex Burnett, Jared Burton and Matt Capps) each threw shutout innings.

Burnett is having an interesting season. His ERA is down to 2.89, about half what it was last season, but his hit rate and home run rates aren't improved, and his strikeout rate continues a steep decline (7.0 K/9 in 2010, 5.9 in 2011, 4.3 to date this year). But he's also knocked his walk rate under two per nine innings.

Friday marked his 14th appearance of the season, but only the second in a game the Twins won, and the first time, I believe, that he was entrusted with a lead. Not that the starters have turned a lot of leads over to the bullpen.

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