Yeah, we've won two out of the first three games, which probably should make me smile. But it really doesn't. Not when our starting pitching combines for an ugly 6.50 ERA, 1.333 WHIP and four home runs just 18 innings. I'll give Francisco Liriano a pass… he really did pitch well, giving up just four hits (two for homers) in the opener. He was pretty dominant otherwise.
But Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn have no excuse. TWENTY freaking baserunners? In 11 innings? Call it first-game jitters if you want, but I'm a little concerned. The earned runs don't bother me as much, because if you're playing with fire the way those two were on Tuesday/Wednesday, you're going to get burned. But we're playing the Mariners, folks. The Seattle Mariners. They had a combined .265/.318/.389 team batting line last year, and that was with Ichiro and Raul Ibanez. I'll give you ONE guess as to who hasn't been in their lineup the past three days… yup, it's Ichiro (illness) and Ibanez (on the Phillies).
Call me a "negative nancy", "grumpy gus" or "disgruntled duncan", but if this is what Slowey and Blackburn are offering, then I'll rebut with a polite "no, thank you." I could rail on these two for hours, but I realize we're three games into the season. I want to stress the point without belaboring it.
A couple of other thoughts:
- Seattle outfielder Wladamier Balentien is a pretty solid prospect, but his name grates on me. It's pronounced VLA - DA - MEER, when it's clear it should be pronounced WALLA - DA - MEER. Personally, I prefer the later pronunciation. I'll work on this and get back to you.
- The Twins had their first spotless night of relief Wednesday when Craig Breslow, Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth inning, respectively.
- After a horrific two-game power outage, Justin Morneau and Denard Span blasted the Twins' first and second home runs of the season. Nice to see 'em get off the schnide.
Alright, that's all for today - check back tomorrow for another post!