Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 Twins Challenge

Time to test the Bullpen Catcher's Theory

This year's Twins team is shaping up to having the best beginning to a season in the team's 50-year history. The key to the 8-3 start? Certainly we could point to the power production (3rd in the AL in homeruns; 2nd in Total Bases) or the bullpen led by surprising closer replacement Jon Rauch (all 6-foot-11, 290-pounds of him).

The Twins are damn good so far. Damn good. It's hard for anyone in snowmobile land to not be thinking about how they'll be sneaking schnapps into The Bullseye come October, but there is one thing that will keep Minnesota the strongest team in the land -- starting pitching.

Here's the rotation as it stands today:
  1. Scott Baker (2-1 record, 3.38 ERA)
  2. Nick Blackburn (1-1, 5.02)
  3. Carl Pavano (2-0, 1.38)
  4. Kevin Slowey (1-1, 3.48)
  5. Francisco Liriano (1-0, 2.08)
The challenge as it's always been with these guys is to see if they can go one time through the rotation with each having his best stuff. We'll rank them on a 0-1-2 scale. 0=Did not pitch up to snuff; 1=pitched OK, not great; 2=pitched above and beyond what we expect weekly, but lived up to his hype and expectations. For instance, in Thursday's win over the Boston Red Sox, Liriano lived up to his expectations and showed he can dominate like he did in (was it really that long ago?) 2006. Liriano would have gotten a 2 on the BP scale.

The Bullpen Catcher believes if the Twins can link together a round of all five in the rotation earning 2's (a total of 10 points), it should push the Twins so far ahead in the Central quickly they will immediately be so far ahead in the standings, the playoffs will be set. The more BPC's starting pitching points (9's and 10's) the better the predictor of winning the, um, whatever they call the World Series trophy with the flags and all.

So here we go, game-by-game thus far:

Rotation #1:
Baker 0
Blackburn 1
Pavano 2
Slowey 2
Liriano 1

Rotation #2
Baker 2
Blackburn 0
Pavano 2
Slowey 0
Liriano 2

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