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Postgame: Burton startled by how far Giambi's fly ball traveled

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • May 3, 2013 - 11:45 PM

A couple of leftovers from the Twins' 10-inning loss to Cleveland tonight:

-- Jared Burton may have been the only person in Progressive Field who didn't think Jason Giambi's fly ball was headed to the seats in the eighth inning.

But he was right.

Giambi, the Indians' 42-year pinch-hitter who has 431 career homers and the 2000 A.L. MVP award, smacked a fastball high and deep to straightaway center, and the crowd of 20,200 cheered as it flew. Burton wasn't worried. Yet.

"Honestly, it didn't sound like he got it too good," Burton said. "And then [center fielder] Aaron Hicks got back to the wall, and I began to kind of wish it back into the park a little bit. But I got behind 2-0, and he earned himself a fastball, and I had to throw it in there and let him do what he wanted to do with it. Luckily, I got the out."

He did, but only when Hicks, touching the fence, had just enough room.

Funny he should say "luckily," because his luck up to that point wasn't so good. The first two batters he faced got on board with fluky hits, Mike Aviles with a seeing-eye single, and Drew Stubbs with a popup to short right that was just out of reach of everybody.

"You've just got to kind of take those and forget about them, because there's going to be several times this year where they hit a laser at somebody," Burton said. "They go both ways."

-- Brian Dozier knows he shouldn't have dropped Jason Kipnis' ground ball in the eighth inning. But he's not certain he could have turned it into an inning- and threat-ending double play.

"Burton did a good job getting the ground ball. But would I have made it? I don't know. Kipnis runs well," said Dozier, who was running away from second base to field the ball. "It's a tough play, but those should be made."

Even his manager thought it was only a so-so shot at two outs.

"The guy pulls the ball toward the hole, [so] everything is goign ot have to be perfect to get him with his speed," Ron Gardenhire said. "If he comes up clean, he's probably going to spin and throw it, but who knows if you're going to get the back side of it."

-- Pedro Hernandez's problem: Location. His changeup and fastball kept drifting too high in the strike zone, he said, which explains the four walks he allowed. It's also the reason he threw a cutter to Mark Reynolds, rather than his change.

"That's what my pitching coach say -- he told me, 'Use your best pitch,' " said Hernandez, whose ERA rose to 3.92 with a so-so start. "So I worked with my cutter, it's working today."
 

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