Nothing like getting swept in New York to take away all the warm fuzzies of the wins versus Boston at home. The Birds head up to Minnesota to check out the Twins’ brand new (outdoor!) stadium for a four-game set. Starting things off will be a Brad Bergesen-Carl Pavano match-up.
On the bright side, Joe Mauer isn’t in there. On the other hand, his replacement is raking so far. The Twins are often thought of as a Punch-and-Judy offense, but these guys can score some runs.
The American Idle, as he was named in New York for his frequent DL stints, is having another good year after a surprsingly effective bounceback season in 2009. He’s walking nobody, and missing some bat here and there, which is a pretty good combination.
Pavano’s gone to the two-seamer heavily in 2010, and though it’s not a true sinker, it does get better movement than his fastball. He won’t overpower you with the pitch, but mixing in a change-up, slider, and (apparently) a splitter with good control makes things somewhat difficult for batters. While patience is a good thing, it might behoove the O’s batters to jump on the first hitable fastball in the zone they see in order to avoid having to go after his off-speed offerings.
The O’s have as below replacement level players in the line-up as above replacement ones (with Hughes in between). And what’s going on with that defense? Tiny sample sizes, but that’s a lot of negative numbers.
Bergesen’s clearly not right, as he’s having trouble with his control and isn’t getting near the sink on his fastball that he did last year. He’s given up more flyballs than groundballs, for Pete’s sake! If he gets knocked around again tonight, I think there’s a good chance he’ll either be demoted or placed on the DL. If the O’s have a small lead going into later innings, we might see the recently activated Koji Uehara setting things up for Alfredo Simon (who needs a good nickname if he’s going to remain the closer).