The Indians Series – by the numbers
I’m not sure if I’ll do the by the numbers stuff after every series, but I’ll keep doing it for now. So far it’s easy to compile the stats by just working off of the splits, because the Tigers have only played teams once.
That was Carlos Guillen’s batting average on balls-in-play. For the series, Guillen was 4 for 9 – with 4 strikeouts. His only non-strike out came on a pop-up to short.
Not a bad ERA from the bullpen. Despite Urbina’s rough outing Friday night, the bullpen pitched well. In fact, the two runs allowed by Urbina were the only two runs they allowed in 8 innings of work. Kyle Farnsworth led the way with 3 scoreless innings where he allowed only 2 baserunners while striking out 3.
It only took Jeremy Bonderman 59 pitches to get through 5 innings of work on Sunday. Unfortunately it took him 45 pitches to get through the first inning. Despite battling control problems early in the game, and almost getting pulled, Bonderman fought back to finish strong. Of course you never want to spot a team 6 runs, but the fact that Bonderman bounced back the way he did was impressive.
2 for 3
While Rodriguez mowed down all 3 runners in the KC series, the Indians were more successful going 2 for 3 on stolen base attempts. Vance Wilson however is still perfect. He gunned down the only runner who tried to steal on Saturday.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the team’s ERA. Not that it would be bad, but the ERA was a full run lower at 3.67. Unfortunately, 4.67 is the pitchers’ K/9. Below typical strikeout performances from both Robertson and Bonderman contributed to the low number. Despite the outfield’s strong showing on Saturday, I’m not convinced that the defense is good enough to support a low strike out rate.
Twins On Deck
Fortunately for the Tigers, they’ll miss Johan Santana this series. And with the injury to Carlos Silva, the Tigers will be facing Joe Mays who will be making his first start since the Tigers were chasing records of futility in 2003. The Tigers will be sending out Maroth, Johnson, and Robertson to face Joe Mays, Kyle Loshe, and Brad Radke.
Despite what AL Player of the Week Dmitri Young may say, I still think the Twins are the class of the division – but not by leaps and bounds. They have the best top two pitchers in the division in Radke and Santana. They also have the best closer in the division in Joe Nathan, along with several more formidable bullpen arms. The big quesiton mark is the offense. The bulk of the production is expected to fall on Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Mauer has 40 games of MLB experience, is a catcher with questionable knees, and is 22 years old. If he can stay healthy all indications are that he could be spectacular, but those knees make for a large quesiton mark.
Now when it comes to blogs, the Twins are definitely the class of the division. They have the rabid fandom of Bat-Girl. The measured and practical analysis of Twinsgeek. And of course a friend of my blog, Seth at Seth Speaks. Seth touches on all Minnesota sports in a friendly, hanging out with buddies talking sports, conversational sort of way.