"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Friday, July 08, 2005

Another Look at the Numbers

The good news is that the Twins seem to have broken out of their long streak of lousy games. The bad news is that they've started a new streak of bouncing wildly between greatness and hideousness.

The first half of June was fabulous. Much of the second half, not so fabulous. The beginning of July has been a roller coaster. Some people will tell you it all evens out. Let's check on that theory, using the last 30 days as our frame of reference against the rest of the year. Year-to-date figures are presented in [brackets].

From June 8 through July 7, the Twins have played in 27 games, for a record of 12-14 (.462) [46-37 (.554)].

The team ERA is 4.44 [3.75], with starters pitching an average 6 2/3 [6 2/3] innings per start and posting a 4.60 [4.01] ERA. Relievers put up an ERA of 4.20 [3.09]. The pitching staff has given up 30 [93] home runs, 72 [165] walks, 8 [17] wild pitches and 10 [22] hit batsmen while recording 161 [498] strikeouts. The pitching staff ranks 10th [4th] in the AL based on ERA.

Twins hitters are hitting .262 [.268] with a .736 [.744] OPS, 25 [79] home runs, 171 [501] strikeouts and 81 [258] walks. They have stolen 19 [55] bases and been caught stealing 8 [25] times. They have grounded into 18 [76] double plays. The offense ranks 10th [7th] in the league based on BA and 10th [10th] based on runs scored.

Minnesota fielders have completed 292 [915] assists and commited 16 [54] errors in 1025 [3224] chances, leading to 9 [29] unearned runs, for a team fielding average of .984 [.983]. Twins catchers have caught 5 [23] baserunners stealing while allowing 11 [29] stolen bases and 3 [6] passed balls. The field ranks 9th [10th] in the AL based on fielding average.

In sum, the hitting lately is more or less on a level with the season as a whole (though I will take the opportunity to point out that the season as a whole has been pretty lousy on the run-producing front), and the fielding has actually improved.

So. It's the pitching, then. ERAs are shooting upward, balls are flying into the stands, walks are piling up, batters are getting plunked and wild pitches abound. The whole staff, with the possible exception of Juan Rincón (1.64 ERA / 0 HR / 13 K over the last 30 days, and yet he's hit two and walked five...) seems to have lost its collective location and/or control.

I'm guessing that part of the problem is a staff worn out from trying to compensate for lousy run support. If the hitters pick it up (unlikely, given that they're already hitting about as well as they have the last few years), the pitchers can relax. The All-Star break might help, at least temporarily.

Tell you what, though--we really need that patented Minnesota Second-Half Surge this year. Cross your fingers, get out your lucky rally cap, and for the love of the game, find this team a hitting coach!

1 rejoinders:

Batgirl sounded off...