Postgame: Fastball subpar, Pelfrey stuck to sinker
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- June 19, 2013 - 12:19 AM
A couple of extra notes after the Twins' clutch victory:
-- Mike Pelfrey pitched into the seventh inning for the third straight start, but as has happened more than once this season, his results didn't match his stuff. His fastball was a beat slow, so he stuck to his sinker all night, a pitch so effective opposing hitters were complimenting it to catcher Ryan Doumit. "Adam Dunn commented on how good Pelfrey's sinker was. The guy's got like 500 home runs [actually 424], so when a guy like that comments on a pitcher's sinker, you take that to heart," Doumit said. "When he's got a sinker working like it was tonight, he's going to be very effective."
That's the theory, anyway. But Pelfrey allowed 10 hits and four runs against the White Sox, and his 6.11 ERA remains the highest in baseball among pitchers with more than 68 innings.
"Obviously, I gave up 10 hits so I was over the plate a little too much," he said. "I was disappointed I gave [the lead] back."
Pelfrey is doing several things well now, and he's much better than he was in April. For one thing, despite all the hits he allows -- only six A.L. pitchers have given up more, and none with as few innings as Pelfrey -- he's kept the ball in the park very well. OK, another Wichita State alum, Conor Gillaspie got him Tuesday with a cannon shot that hit the facing of the upper deck in right. But that's only the seventh home run he's allowed in 14 starts, or half as many as Kevin Correia.
-- Glen Perkins is all but unhittable these days, and the White Sox had no chance against him Tuesday. Perkins missed the plate only once to each of the three hitters he faced: Gordon Beckham, strikeout swinging; Tyler Flowers, strikeout looking; and Alejandro De Aza, one-hop tap back to the mound. His fastball hit 96 mph consistently, and the pitch he threw to Beckham, after five straight fastballs, was a slider that had him way out in front.
But Perkins knows not to take his hot streak -- he's allowed one baserunner in seven appearances in June -- too seriously. "It's all cyclical," Perkins said humbly. "Pretty soon, I'll have one that goes the other way."
-- Jared Burton was too slow to the plate, Ron Gardenhire said, and it cost him in the eighth inning. After Alex Rios led off with a walk, Burton "was picking up his leg, and Rios will take off every time," Gardenhire said of the stolen base that put the tying run in scoring position. Paul Konerko followed with a clutch single to center, his 127th career RBI against the Twins.
Burton realized his mistake afterward, Gardenhire said, and it's not likely to happen again.
"We have a lot of trust in [Burton]," Gardenhire said. "He's been pretty good for us."
© 2013 Star Tribune