Ben Revere is everywhere these days. And deservedly so. The rookie outfielder has been swinging a hot bat and making highlight-reel catches with pretty good regularity as the Minnesota Twins have won nine of their last 11 games.
He’s the posterboy of the recent stretch, doing interviews on MLB Network and the like.
I’m not here to take anything away from him. He’s hit .292 since June 2, when the Twins started to make their run. In fact, I sang his praises last week in a post.
But I do think one aspect of the team is being overlooked, and that’s the starting pitching.
In their last 11 games, Twins starters are averaging nearly 7 innings per start, posting an ERA of 2.09 during that stretch.
Starters are measured in a couple of ways: 1) Keeping runs off the scoreboard. 2) Work deep into ballgames. And for the Twins, the latter could not be more important. The Twins bullpen ranks last in Major League Baseball with a 4.84 ERA.
The starters – and manager Ron Gardenhire - are getting the message: Keep the relievers off the field.
In seven of those 11 games, the Twins starter has gone at least 7 innings. Their record in those games: 7-0.
Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Scott Baker have pitched brilliantly in the last couple of weeks. Nick Blackburn has been solid. Brian Duensing got roughed up his last time out, but threw eight shutout innings the start before that.
Pavano takes the mound tonight with the Twins having cut their deficit in the AL Central down to single digits. How well he and the rest of the staff does will be the biggest factor in whether or not the Twins can come back.