Hadn’t had a chance until now to comment on last night’s Minnesota Twins’ season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Angels. So here it goes:
- Scott Baker gone wild. That wasn’t the Baker that Twins fans have grown accustomed to seeing. He didn’t look like "Big Spot Scott" last night.
- Pretty encouraging night from Delmon Young. I’ve been pretty tough on Young, so he’s going to need a lot more nights like Monday to change my mind. But it was a good start. His two-run homer in the second inning was big, helping to erase a two-run deficit. Nice to see a stolen base, too. The lost weight helped there.
- One effective pitching performance for the Twins was provided by Jesse Crain, who got five outs without allowing a baserunner. Is he in line for a bounce-back year? I know what you’re going to say, but consider his second-half numbers last year coming back from a minor league demotion: 33 games, 34 IP, .217 opponents’ batting average, 2.91 ERA, 30-15 K-to-BB ratio. Those numbers surprised me when I looked them up prior to our Sunday section’s Twins preview.
- The Angels bullpen is intriguing. I like their middle relievers (Jason Bulger, Scot Shields and Kevin Jepsen) better than their two guys with closer experience (Brian Fuentes and Fernando Rodney). Either way, this is a REALLY deep bullpen.
Looking forward to keeping an eye on tonight’s game.
By the way, for those wondering about potential bullpen help, John Smoltz made his debut as the color commentator for MLB Network tonight. He said there’s nothing like Yankees-Red Sox, but didn’t mention how his fastball is doing while I was watching.