Postgame: End to an interesting month for Twins
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- June 1, 2013 - 12:12 AM
A few quick notes on the end to the Twins' four-game losing streak, before we start working on Saturday's noon rematch:
-- Ron Gardenhire was praising Pedro Florimon and Chris Parmelee before Friday's game, and as if on cue, those two hitters were the only Twins who seemed to figure out Hisashi Iwakuma. Parmelee and Florimon combined to go 5-for-5 with a walk against the Seattle righthander. Only problem: The other Twins were a combined 2-for-24 against him. Iwakuma's got an array of pitches and a hitch in his motion, but the real secret, the Twins said, was something much less exotic: His split-fingered fastball had a lot of late bite, diving under bats.
-- The Twins finished the month of May with a 12-17 record, a disappointment after an 11-12 April. In a "Other-than-that-Mrs.-Lincoln" kind of stat, the Twins had only one losing streak longer than two games -- but it was the ugly 10-game skid that considerable damage to the feel-good storylines they had produced up to that point. But they also had three- and four-game winning streaks, and except for three games with the White Sox and four with Milwaukee, played probably the toughest schedule they'll have in any month.
-- Joe Mauer has said a couple of times lately that he's not happy about all the strikeouts he's taking this year, but as long as he keeps hitting like this, will anyone really complain? (OK, dumb question. I read Twitter.) But the Twins' $184 million man finished the month of May with 39 hits, the most he's had in any month since a 45-hit August during his MVP year in 2009. Then again, he also struck out 31 times in May, a new career high.
-- You wouldn't have guessed after watching Iwakuma shut them down Friday, but the Twins are also on a power surge; their 31 home runs in May were the most since July 2009. Pretty amazing, considering Justin Morneau didn't contribute a single one of them.
-- The Twins have been shut out four times this season, and the pitchers mostly responsible are an interesting (and international) lot: Wade Davis of Kansas City, Wei-Yin Chen of Baltimore, Anibal Sanchez of Detroit and Hisashi Iwakuma of Seattle.
-- Caleb Thielbar didn't pitch in any of the four games against Milwaukee, but the layoff didn't affect him. The Randolph, Minn., native faced three batters Friday, struck out two of them and fielded a tap back to the mound. That brings Thielbar's major-league record to 6 1/3 innings, two hits, eight strikeouts -- and zero runs. Not bad, especially when you add in his final 11 1/3 innings in Triple-A: one unearned run and 15 strikeouts.
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