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.

Never-win vs. never-lose? Twins beat the odds

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: September 11, 2013 - 12:36 AM

    Jarrod Parker never loses. Liam Hendriks never wins. So of course the Twins beat the A's on Tuesday.

    The Parker-Hendriks matchup was instructive in how statistics can deceive, and how perceptions color what you see. Neither starting pitcher was involved in the decision, which isn't unusual for either one. It's the fourth no-decision in seven starts this year for Hendriks, and the 12th in 29 starts for Parker.

    Their career paths could not be more different, however. Hendriks has started 27 career games and owns only two wins. Parker, only 10 weeks older than Hendriks, has 24 wins in 59 career starts. Though he started the season by going 1-5, Parker has not lost a game since May 22, a streak of starts that reached 19 tonight, just two shy of Lefty Grove's 21 straight for the 1931 A's. (One other amazing stat: Parker has never taken a loss in a game in which the A's scored three or more runs.)

    The statistics say they had a pretty comparable night. Hendriks recorded 16 outs, Parker 18. Each allowed seven hits. Hendriks struck out six (a modest career-high) and walked none, though he hit two batters, and regretted both. Parker walked three, none to any effect, and struck out four. Parker allowed two solo home runs, Hendricks one homer and three runs.

    Yet while Hendriks had only allowed two baserunners through the fourth inning, and Parker had given up four hits and a Josh Willingham homer, it always felt like the A's righthander was in control, and the Twins' was trying to hang on.

    "It was labor. He really worked at it. A lot of fastballs -- he really didn't have much of a breaking ball. Some decent change-ups," manager Ron Gardenhire said of his starter. "The best you can say is, he hung in there, he never gave up the big inning. But the pace of the game wasn't very good. There were a lot of big counts. He hung in there, he didn't implode. He didn't put us deep in the hole, but it wasn't his best performance."

    Parker, however, never seemed anything but in total control -- even if the stats say he was just so-so.

    "He's a really good pitcher. You saw the great change-up -- that's the best changeup I've seen him have. We've heard he's gotten a lot better, well he definitely has," Gardenhire said. "Early in the game, lot of guys were rolling over balls. He had late movement with some good sink on it."

    So doesn't Hendriks worry that the perception of his ability might be colored by his inability to record a win?

    "It gets a little frustrating, but that's how it goes. Hopefully i can stay here long enough to let it swing the other way, and I go on a streak," he said. "I'm starting to feel good, and keeping the team in the game. ... I know the coaching staff, as long as I'm improving, it'll be good."

    -- Yoenis Cespedes is a fast runner, but he has a reputation for being a mistake-prone baserunner, and he lived up to that with a critical error on Tuesday. The Cuban slugger was on first base, and Brandon Moss on second, with one out in the sixth inning, when Alberto Callaspo hit a fly ball to the warning track in center.

    Alex Presley caught the ball, turned and fired it in. Moss tagged up and moved up to third -- and Cespedes decided to move up, too.

    Big mistake. Presley nailed Cespedes at second, killing a good scoring opportunity. It was the Twins' 42nd outfield assist of the season, second by Presley, which is the fourth-most in Twins history.

    "That was a big play," Gardenhire said, and not just by Presley. "[Pedro] Florimon, who was out [in the outfield], recognized it, came back and made a nice play himself on getting back to the bag and making the tag."

Final123456789RHE
Detroit2200000004110
Minnesota «30000302X8130
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Gibson(12-11) L:D.Price(14-12)
HR: DET- None MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - N. Martinez 2:35 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Boston - B. Workman 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Washington - G. Gonzalez 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Hand
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT