Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Trevor May and a sloppy opener

That was one ugh-ly game, folks.

The Twins lost 12-3 and really didn't play even that well. And still I rise to the defense on starter Trevor May. The linescore says he gave up eight hits and five earned runs in 5.1 innings. Fact: he pitched a lot better than that.

Yes, he gave up a monster homer to Kendrys Morales, and yes, in the sixth inning the Royals started hitting balls hard.

But the second run scored because Brian Dozier and Danny Santana, trying to turn a spectacular double play in the third, neglected to get even one out. Just one out there would have allowed May to escape the inning with the fly ball that followed; instead it went as a sacrifice fly, and Kansas City took the lead.

Dozier and Santana failed again to convert a DP in the fourth inning, a failure that didn't lead to any runs. And in the sixth, the inning that drove May from the game, we saw a throwing error by Torii Hunter and a "double" that clanked off Oswaldo Arcia's glove.

It got worse from there, but frankly, once May was pulled and the bullpen called upon to squirt lighter fluid on the fire, I lost interest in keeping track of the miscues. There were plenty.

The friend in the next seat asked whether a right fielder should be expected to reach the sixth inning double that led to Hunter's throwing error. I suspect there are right fielders who would have caught that ball, but I don't know that for a fact. I know Hunter did not come close.

With better defense, maybe May gets through the sixth with, I don't know, two or three runs allowed. Which is a lot better than five runs in 5.1.

What I particularly liked about May's performance: he threw strikes: 78 pitchers, 54 strikes. He walked one man, and that was intentional. (One thing we can definitely say about Paul Molitor as a manager: He is far more willing to issue an IBB than Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly were. I don't regard this as a good thing, but that's a topic for another day.)

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