Postgame: Correia 'felt strong' into eighth inning
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- May 14, 2013 - 11:52 PM
A couple of leftovers from the Twins' 4-2 loss on Tuesday:
No reliever was warming up when Kevin Correia took the mound in the eighth inning Tuesday, and the reason was simple, manager Ron Gardenhire said: None was needed.
"He had [thrown] 92 pitches, 93 pitches [actually 94] -- I think he was just doing fine," Gardenhire said. "He was cruising through everything. It's easy to sit and say, 'Oh, he might have been tired,' but that wasn't the case."
Absolutely true, Correia confirmed. "I felt strong, still," said the Twins' starter, who finished with 100 pitches. "That last pitch was probably as hard as my first pitch."
Only bad part was that Dewayne Wise and Tyler Flowers, about as unlikely a rally-igniting duo as you can find in the A.L. Central, hit those pitches for back-to-back doubles that broke a 2-2 tie and cost the Twins their fourth straight victory over the White Sox.
It had nothing to do with his energy level, said Correia, who has pitched in the eighth inning three times this year, while his fellow starters have yet to do so once. "I'm not trying to go out there just for the sake of going out for the eighth. I'm here to win games," he said. "I felt really good."
The 92-degree weather helped, said the San Diego native, especially after throwing so many games in frigid temperatures. "That was nice. We skipped the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s -- but it was nice out there," he said.
-- In addition to collecting a hit in each of the last 13 games, Joe Mauer has also struck out in the last 13 games. The phenomenon has resulted in a rather bizarre statistic -- as if Mauer striking out in 13 straight games isn't bizarre enough, considering his longest previous streak was six games -- for sabermetricians to examine: Mauer's BABIP, or batting average on balls in play.
A .300 BAPIP is roughly average for most hitters, but during this streak, Mauer has reached some Ruthian heights, albeit in a small -- but growing -- sample size.
Mauer has batted 62 times during the streak, and walked 11. In his 51 official at-bats, he has struck out 18 times, leaving him with 33 balls in play. And of those, 22 have resulted in hits, giving him a BABIP of .667.
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