Update: Sadly, we won't be seeing any grand slams this evening. Tonight's Twins vs. Orioles game has been postponed until Saturday as part of a day/night doubleheader. (12:10pm and 7:10pm.)
Carl Pavano suffered yet another hard-luck outing Thursday evening, as the Twins were shut out 2-0 by the Baltimore Orioles in the first of their four-game series at Target Field.
The righty scrapped his second consecutive eight-inning, two-run effort after making an early mistake that would haunt him for the rest of the night: a hanging slider off the hot bat of Ty Wigginton in the second inning, which was all the Orioles needed to notch their eighth win of the season. Just look at Pavano's expression...
Meanwhile, the Twins couldn't manage to put anything together. Orioles righty Brad Bergesen littered six hits and a couple of walks over 6.2 innings, filling the bases in the second for Michael Cuddyer, who flied out just short of the spruce trees. Minnesota threatened again in the seventh when reliever Will Ohman walked Justin Morneau to load 'em up for Jim Thome, who struck out swinging. Bummer.
Twice on Thursday, the Twins were faced with what has become a baffling obstacle: the elusive bases loaded situation. Ten runners total were stranded, which is evolving into a pretty nasty habit. In fact, they've worked their way into a gaudy 7-for-47 rut when the bags are juiced.
This is where you guys (and gals) come in. You're the wittiest, most detail-oriented crew of commenters ever, and more importantly, you know your baseball... but are there any math whizzes around here? Isn't there some sort of law of probability or something we can apply to ease our minds that someday, someone in a Twins uniform will hit a grand slam again? I can't be the only one with a hearty craving for a grand salami that a bases-clearing double just won't cure.
Alright, that was a little dramatic. But just for fun, I'd love to hear your calls: who will be the next Twin to drive in four runs with one solid crack of the bat? If you end up being the first person in the comments to guess correctly, we'll revisit this post down the road, at which point I'll give you a super sweet prize. Or I'll bake you muffins. Either way, it'll be awesome.
Tonight's starting pitcher, Francisco Liriano, was honored as the American League's Pitcher of the Month after a lights-out start to 2010, flaunting a 1.50 ERA and a spotless 4-0 record. The last time Frankie faced the O's, he tossed seven shutout innings of one-hit baseball.
Baltimore will look to Kevin Millwood, who is 0-7 with a 5.90 ERA in 12 career starts against Minnesota. A couple of opponents who stand out against the righty are Thome and Orlando Hudson. Jim Jam has seen Millwood just nine times in his career but has managed to take four walks, smoke a double and knock three balls over the fence. O-Dog has faced him just eight times and reached base on six occasions. Not bad.
Also, depending on whether and where you live within the realm of Twins Territory, some folks may need to retrieve their warm winter Twins hats this weekend. However, it looks as though Target Field is clear of any major snowfall in the forecast so far. Predictions. Go!