CLEVELAND - Most starting pitchers use a full windup with nobody on base and switch to the stretch position when a runner gets on, allowing for a shorter delivery to home plate.
Brian Duensing ditched the windup for two starts, pitching exclusively from the stretch, and went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Then, in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Indians, he opened the game in the windup.
And what happened?
He walked leadoff man Jason Kipnis after being ahead in the count 1-2. After that, Duensing stuck with the stretch for the rest of his seven innings, as he allowed six runs (four earned) on 11 hits. He struck out three and walked one.
"I've been working a lot with [the windup] in bullpen sessions, and actually figured it out -- or thought I figured it out --two days ago," Duensing said. "When it didn't go so well, I said, 'It's out.'"
Pitchers typically throw harder from the windup, but for Duensing, that can lead to diminished command.
"If I'm 88-91 [miles per hour], my stuff is better than if it's 90-93," he said. "So I just have to figure out how to transition from windup to stretch. I mean, I don't want to be one of those guys who pitches out of the stretch all the time. But as of now, I'm going to because the results are better."
Revere's streak ended
Ben Revere went 0-for-4, stopping his 21-game hitting streak, the longest for the Twins since Torii Hunter had a 23-gamer in 2007. Revere nearly beat out a ground ball to shortstop in his final at-bat, but first base umpire James Hoye called him out.
"It was bang-bang," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It happens."
Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe hopes to return from the disabled list Friday, and the team said he had no issues with his bruised right thumb while swinging in the batting cage Wednesday at Target Field.
The Twins plan to have Plouffe take more swings Thursday. If they activate him Friday, they'll need to make a corresponding roster move. They can option Tsuyoshi Nishioka back to Class AAA Rochester or perhaps trim to 12 pitchers.
Carl Pavano right shoulder felt good, and his fastball averaged 86-87 miles per hour in Tuesday's rehab start for Class A Fort Myers, Gardenhire said.
"I'm sure the big thing for him was just getting in there and throwing the ball, and he did that," the manager added.
Support for Nishioka
Even though Nishioka's defense cost the Twins four runs, Duensing voiced his support for the struggling second baseman.
"He's our teammate," Duensing said. "Everyone makes mistakes. It happens. Everyone loses a ball in the sun. Physical errors happen all of the time; that's just part of the game."
Added Twins reliever Glen Perkins: "[Nishioka's] obviously struggling, and you want to see a guy succeed, and I know they want him to succeed.
''It doesn't really matter who it is, any time a guy has a bad game, you feel for him, and he had three.
"He's in a tough spot. He struggled last year and hasn't been here all year, so I'm sure he wants to come up and show what he can do. And so far it hasn't gone too well, but I don't think that's a reason to write him off. Give him some time. I think anyone can have three bad games."