Twins' dip in walks has resulted in fewer runs

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER
  • Updated: May 24, 2014 - 11:56 PM

– The Twins got reacquainted with an old pal Friday night — their ability to draw lots of walks — but it didn’t do them much good. Tim Lincecum walked six batters over his six innings in the series opener, and the Twins drew seven overall, though not one of the free runners came around to score.

Still, it was a note­worthy event. The Twins drew a half-dozen or more walks 13 times between Opening Day and May 1, but the free passes have dried up; Friday was only the second time it had happened since then. The Twins averaged 5.13 walks per game in April, a franchise-record pace, but they had collected only 3.10 per game in May.

All those extra runners made it easier to score, and their absence shows now, too. The Twins averaged 5.45 runs per game in April but only 3.48 in May. They scored six or more runs 11 times through May 3 but reached the number only once in the three weeks since.

But that’s no reason for alarm, Brian Dozier said, because as he pointed out, the record hasn’t suffered. The Twins went 12-12 in April and entered Saturday night’s game 11-10 in May.

“We’re playing a different style of game now, but we’re still winning,” Dozier said. “We’re getting better pitching, and we’re doing a good job of winning close games.”

Indeed, the Twins are 8-4 in one-run games. Manager Ron Gardenhire said the drop in walks has more to do with opposing pitchers, and warmer weather, than his team’s hitters.

“Pitchers have a better feel for it now. And once those numbers start flying around, that these guys take a lot of pitches, that means teams are going to start attacking you different, start throwing the ball over a little more,” Gardenhire said. “That’s kind of how scouting reports go.”

Mauer coming around

Joe Mauer was 4-for-12 in the first three games of the road trip, and while that’s a tiny sample size, it’s still welcome progress, Gardenhire said, for a guy who was in a 7-for-30 rut since returning from a sore back.

Gardenhire said he expects Mauer to get hot soon, because he’s figuring out how to hit against defenses that shift against him.

“I noticed every time he hits a line drive to left, they’ve got six guys over there,” Gardenhire joked. “He’s been hitting rockets to left field, right field, third base, and there’s a lot of guys playing over that way, it seems like. He’s making an adjustment because they’re playing him where he likes to hit the ball.”

Etc.

• Gardenhire said the Twins, who have fallen to 13th in the AL in home runs, are eager to get Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia back in the lineup from Class AAA Rochester when the team gets home Monday. “They’re both swinging well. Willingham is seeing the ball and his timing is looking really good,” the manager said. “We’d like to see what it’s like having some pop in the lineup again.”

• The return of the two outfielders means two cuts are coming, and that’s assuming the Twins stay with seven relief pitchers. Chris Herrmann seems a likely candidate, but the identity of the other player headed to Rochester is a matter of intrigue, especially after Gardenhire declared, “It means you’ve got some people who are being sent out who have done OK here.” Rookie infielder Danny Santana, who has batted .321 in 10 games, would fit that description, as would Chris Parmelee, who homered three times in 10 days.

And so would Chris Colabello. He still leads the Twins with 30 RBI, but he has been in the starting lineup only once since May 11 and was stuck in an 0-for-23 slump. A decision is likely to be announced after Sunday’s game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 12:05 PM
Atlanta
Philadelphia 12:05 PM
NY Yankees
Detroit 12:05 PM
Baltimore
Toronto 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati 2:05 PM
Cleveland
San Diego 2:05 PM
Seattle
Chicago WSox 2:05 PM
Los Angeles
Kansas City 2:05 PM
Texas
Oakland 2:05 PM
San Francisco
Wisc-Milwaukee 2:05 PM
Milwaukee
Arizona 2:10 PM
Colorado
Univ of Minnesota 6:05 PM
Minnesota
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Orlando
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Toronto
Utah 6:30 PM
Boston
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Detroit 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Memphis 7:00 PM
Houston
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Detroit
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 11:00 AM
Presbyterian
Campbell 1:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Liberty 5:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Ohio State 5:00 PM
Penn State
Maine 6:00 PM
Albany
Duquesne 6:00 PM
Fordham
George Washington 6:00 PM
George Mason
Tennessee 6:00 PM
LSU
Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Louisville
SE Missouri St 6:00 PM
Morehead State
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Hartford 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Wagner 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Long Island 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
La Salle 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Providence 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
UCF 6:00 PM
South Florida
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UMBC 6:00 PM
Vermont
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Bryant
Richmond 6:30 PM
Massachusetts
Wake Forest 7:00 PM
Duke
Purdue 7:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
St Bonaventure 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
New Mexico St 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Howard 7:00 PM
NJIT
SIU Edwardsville 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill
St Johns 8:00 PM
Marquette
TCU 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cincinnati 8:00 PM
Tulsa
USC 8:00 PM
UCLA
Miss State 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Air Force 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nebraska 9:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:00 PM
San Jose St
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 11:00 AM
Northern Ill
Wake Forest 12:00 PM
Boston College
Eastern Illinois 12:00 PM
UT Martin
Austin Peay 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Virginia Tech 2:30 PM
NC State
Massachusetts 3:30 PM
St Bonaventure
Auburn 4:00 PM
Florida
Penn State 5:00 PM
Indiana
Clemson 5:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Davidson 6:00 PM
La Salle
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
James Madison
Delaware 6:00 PM
Elon
Drexel 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Hofstra 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Towson 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Akron
Ball State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Western Mich 6:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
Ohio U 6:00 PM
Kent State
Illinois-Chicago 6:00 PM
Wright State
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Lafayette
Boston U 6:00 PM
Colgate
Alabama 6:25 PM
Vanderbilt
Detroit 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Purdue 7:25 PM
Wisconsin
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: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close