Sunday, May 20, 2012

Handcuffed Arms, Brewers Series Recap, and Other Notes

On Friday when the Twins were beating up on the Brewers, for as much as I was enjoying the production, I was thinking to myself that they should save some of their hits for another day when they needed them. It's a cliched joke, I know, but considering how shaky this season has been, I worry about such things.

But I'm reasonably pleased that the Twins still took the series, and things have been looking less glum. And, yeah, Sunday was pretty ugly; fortunately it only counts as one loss.

A few notes about the series:
  • After the game on Mother's Day, Trevor Plouffe cut off his flowing long hair for charity. It's a great story. Before then, he hadn't hit any homeruns; since then he's hit three, including the game-winner in extra innings on Saturday. Maybe his bangs were in his eyes. Maybe all that hair made his helmet too tight. Maybe he's more aerodynamic now. Whatever -- keep it up, Trev.
  • I think Matt Capps's new pitch -- it's a splitter / chageup combo that he calls a "splange" -- is flirting with me. I think it's kind of sexy.
  • I thought it would have been safe to take a nap on Sunday afternoon when the Twins were down 11-2. I was more than a little annoyed that no one woke me up when Drew Butera pitched the bottom of the 8th. 
  • I don't think Jason Marquis wants any of us to love him.
The Twins are sure handcuffed when it comes to dealing with their struggling pitchers. Hendriks was sent down to Rochester, Liriano was sent to the bullpen, and Blackburn was placed on the DL. Pavano has been fighting discomfort in his shoulder, and even though he looked pretty good on Saturday, the Twins would like to push his next start back a day. And then there's Marquis.

The Twins are running out of options to fill in while the starters get on track. Swarzak could have made a spot start on Thursday to allow Pavano an extra day, but he pitched a ton on Sunday in relief of Marquis. Duensing could do it too, but it seems like he's been used a lot out of the pen lately.

So, the Twins are stuck praying that batters haven't figured out Diamond and Walters yet, and then, after that, who knows? Liriano? Duensing? Call up Hendriks again? Someone else? Oh, and there still isn't anyone to replace Blackburn.

Gardy said earlier this season that he can't replace the whole starting staff. But, man, he might have to. It's a bummer that it's come to this.

Injury updates:
Carl Pavano received some extra treatment on his shoulder earlier this week, and was able to make his start on Saturday. He was pretty effective, and his velocity seemed better that it had been. The Twins still want to push his next start to Friday to let his shoulder get back to normal.

According to Sports Illustrated, Ryan Doumit tweaked his calf muscle last week by leaping in the air celebrating a win. I didn't know that's how it happened. Anyway, I think he'll be fine. By resting for the most part during National League play (he did make a pitch-hitting appearance on Saturday, walked and got pulled for a pitch runner), plus the off day on Monday, he should be good to go again soon.

It was good to see Denard Span back in the lineup.

Tweet of the series:
We've all seen Drew Butera make strong throws from behind the plate. I guess he carries that skill to the other side of the battery as well. From blogger, and noted stat-head, Parker Hageman:

He links to the site that tracks Drew's pitching performance. Cool stuff.

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