I’ll admit that I have never been very high on Carl Pavano. This might be because of the simple fact of his injury-devastated tenure with the Yankees or the fact that I always seemed to get most involved in the games that he lost. Either way, I know his peripherals from last year indicated he had big things in store, but I still mentally steel myself for a rough night when he’s going to pitch. So: I am proud to say that feeling was entirely wrong last night, though it sure felt right for the first two innings or so.
That said, i have figured out why Denard Span is having such a rough time. Please compare the following pictures; one from last season, one from two days ago:
Okay, so I couldn’t find a good picture of Span from this season so far. The point is that last year Span sported a shaggy man-beard, which I think may have been the source of his power. Now, he’s rocking the basic Torii Hunter Goatee, which is apparently not suiting him. Two things:
- I know Span has a connection with Torii Hunter, but time has demonstrated that Torii is just not someone that we want him to mimic, with the possible exception of the occasional outfield catch. Everything else? Not so much.
- If Span is indeed some weird post-modern version of Samson, there is only one way to solve his problems – a combination of Cuddyer magicking his razors away and a continued commitment to being Good at Baseball.
I first noticed this problem during the broadcast of last night’s game, and needless to say I just about fell off my chair. Denard, bring back the Man-Beard!
Despite the sadness that is the lack of Man-Beard, there were some important, clutch performers yesterday night:
- Neck Tat picked up his second save, which ties him atop the MLB leaderboard at this point in the season. This save was a bit tougher, as he gave up a couple hits and an ER on his way. However, as Aaron Gleeman often says, pretty much any idiot can successfully not cough up the lead when you’re up 3. WPA: .051.
- Matt Guerrier was quality, cutting through the heart of the California Angels of Anaheim that are also from Los Angeles’ lineup in his 8th inning. WPA: .062.
- JJ Hardy continues to be decent at the plate (another home run and two hits) and shockingly good on defense (his arm is an amazing cannon). WPA: .049
- Twins Territory once again collectively crapped its pants when Nick Punto hit a triple. WPA: .051
- Justin Morneau hit another home run, leading to the creation of the Twitter hash tag #allyourmaplesyruparebelongtotheminnesotatwins and a WPA of .212.
- HERO OF THE DAY: Carl Pavano went 7 innings (the first Twins starter to do so), giving up only 6 hits and 1 ER, with no walks issued and 6 Ks. Beautiful outing. I need to think of a nickname for him. Squinty? I’m working on it.
Unfortunately, some of the Twins crapped the bed yesterday as well:
- Michael Cuddyer was very nearly picked off first base again. Other than that, he was unremarkable. WPA: -.019
- Orlando Hudson had another terrible night. He’ll fix it eventually, but man… WPA: -.074
- Jim Thome was in the lineup for Kubel for some unknown reason, and he did not acquit himself well, striking out three times in four at-bats. WPA: -.067
Last night was the debut of the “M” logo hat. I haven’t had time to decide what hat tonight will demand, but I’m leaning toward the red “TC.” Thoughts?
Tonight’s Game: Twins, 2-1 (Kevin Slowey, 0-0, 0.00) at Angels, 1-2 (Joel Pineiro, 0-0, 0.00). 9:05 CST.