Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: 4-batter stretch undid Walters' night

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 4, 2013 - 12:26 AM

 

Quick turnaround for tomorrow, so I'll keep this short. It was a depressing night for the Twins, who took a 2-0 lead on CC Sabathia, but gave it back during one bad inning. P.J. Walters pitched well -- he allowed only one hit over five innings, but then four straight hitters reached base in the sixth, ending his night -- but his streak of six games without a win and his 5.95 ERA probably make him the odd man out when Mike Pelfrey is activated on Wednesday. It's too bad, he's a nice guy in the clubhouse, always cooperative, even during this rough stretch he's going through.

A few notable numbers from tonight:

-- The Twins outhit the Yankees 8-4, yet lost; that's just the second time that's happened this season. The Twins are now 24-2 when they outhit their opponents.

-- Caleb Thielbar continued his amazing pitching, and this time it had a twist: He entered a tie game. In Thielbar's previous 15 appearances, the Twins were always losing, by an average of 4.0 runs. He had only come into one game with even a one-run deficit. So the lefthander from Randolph, Minn., the former St. Paul Saint, has obviously earned a greater role. I understand why Ron Gardenhire has been reluctant to push him into high-stress moments, given that his fastball doesn't even touch 90 mph. But his numbers, which added two more perfect innings tonight, have gotten too amazing to ignore.

How amazing? Thielbar has pitched 18 2/3 innings and has yet to give up a run. (He has allowed a few inherited runners to score, like Wednesday's game-winner on a sacrifice fly.) That's the longest active scoreless streak in the American League and second-longest in baseball, behind Milwaukee reliever John Axford with 19 2/3 innings. The record for most appearances to start a career without allowing a run is 17, set by Mets reliever Joe Smith in 2007. Thielbar now has 16 appearances.

It's not just the runs, though. Thielbar has gone nearly a month without giving up a HIT. He's allowed five hits in total, four singles and a triple, but none since June 9 in Washington. He has recorded 29 outs since that last hit, giving him a kinda-sorta no-hitter over his last eight appearances.

-- Robinson Cano is 14-for-24 on the Yankees' road trip thus far, four of them home runs, and he's had multiple hits in every game. That's a .583 average over the past week. Yet he's only batting .299 on the season. After watching him this week, that's hard to believe.

-- Sabathia on collecting his 200th victory: "It makes me feel old." Probably makes the Twins feel that way, too. The last time they beat the lefty workhorse? It was in late July 2007, and the Twins game-winning rally off him began when Sabathia hit Jason Tyner with a pitch and Mike Redmond drove him home with a double. Dennys Reyes got the victory in relief of Matt Garza, and Lew Ford hit a home run. There, now I feel old, too.

-- Two starts into his big-league career, and already the Twins desperately need Kyle Gibson to step up. The Twins haven't won since his debut on Saturday, and they face a 10-game road trip, longest of the season, heading into the All-Star break. They also haven't won the season series against any of the upcoming opponents (Toronto, Tampa Bay and New York) since 2006. So yeah, they really need the kid to pitch another great game.

Happy July 4th, everyone.

 

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Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 4th Qtr 1:20
Sacramento 94
Milwaukee 76 4th Qtr 9:45
LA Lakers 71
Oklahoma City 89 4th Qtr
Portland 78
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 3rd Prd 8:53
Anaheim 2
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
NJIT 78
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71
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