April 17, 2009

Again? Really?

Much like yesterday's post, this one will (for the most part) have a negative tone to it. We're still under two weeks into the season, and already I've grown sick and tired of the hot/cold (but mostly cold) offense coupled with the horrendous bullpen. Last night, the Twins were clobbered again losing 9-2 to the Blue Jays while falling to 4-7 on the season.

The Twins received a solid start from southpaw Francisco Liriano. He gave the team a chance to win which is something most of the Twins starters haven't done up to this point. He gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits through the six innings that he was on the hill. Despite surrendering only one walk while striking out five, Liriano still had a hard time finding the strike zone and when he did, he left the ball out over the middle of the plate which negatively reflected his ground ball to fly-out ratio. But thankfully, he kept the ball in the park unlike Scott Baker last night.

Back when he was "on top of his game" or prior to his surgery, Liriano had a great 2.37 GB/FB ratio. This season, he has a 0.86 GB/FB ratio. Obviously we can all scream "SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!" however, each game these ratios have gotten worse and worse. To compare, on Opening Day he induced 12 ground balls while only inducing 2 last night.

Thankfully, last night yielded his best results of the season and left a lot of encouraging thoughts . He now sits at 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Last nights start was his most encouraging of the season, but like Baker, he will have his work cut out for him in his next two starts. Both are slatted to start against the Red Sox and Rays in their next two starts. And unfortunately for Liriano, both teams are hitting left-handed pitching a lot better than right-handed pitching so far this season.

The Twins starters are now a combined 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA. Last year after 11 starts, the team sat at 6-5 while the starters were a combined for a 6-4 record and a 3.22 ERA. Hopefully the Twins starters can start figuring things out. Thankfully the next four opponents they're set to face all have sub-.500 win percentages right now, and like the Twins all figure to be significantly better than what their current record suggests.

You may think this entire post is verbose and completely redundant, and you may have a point. Pitching better really means nothing if your offense cannot score runs. That is one thing (of two) that is currently frightening me more than our starting pitching.

The bullpen... uhh...well... that's another story all together. Uff da!

Game Ball

April 16, 2009 vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Francisco Liriano - Starting Pitcher
Line: 6 innings pitched, 7 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 walk, 5 strikeouts