That was one amazing start for Ricky Romero. The Twins didn't get their first hit until after 2 outs in the 6th. In all, Ricky went 8.2, allowed just 4 hits, 3 walk and 8 strikeouts. Just a terrific job. He gave up a walk and a hit in the 9th, with 2 outs and John Farrell decided to pull him and put in Frank Francisco. I'd have left Ricky in, but with the winning run at the plate, I can understand the move. It wasn't what I'd do, but 101 pitches in, cold night, in the rain, right-handed batter coming up, I can understand the move. Might as well go righty-right match up. If you are manager you can't be worrying about complete games. Frank got the strikeout and got the save.
On offense, we got 13 hits and 4 walks, and yet we only scored 2 runs. One on a Juan Rivera single that Corey Patterson misread (or something) and still scored on from second. The other run was a Jose Bautista solo home run, surprise, surprise. Bautista had 3 hits on the day, Rivera, Encarnacion and McDonald each had 2. All the starters, had a hit except J.P. Arencibia. If he or Hill had a hit at the right moment, the game would have been a blow out.
Jays of the Day are Romero (.604 WPA) and Bautista (.219). Francisco had a .090 but I can't bring myself to give him a JoD for getting one out, even though it was a big out. JP had the Suckage number at -.200, but I can't really get on him, he called a heck of a game and that's pretty important too. So no Suckage awards today.
McDonald put down a really nice bunt, though it didn't help us score and made a great play at third. Encarnacion made a great stretch and catch on that play. Patterson and Rivera (!!) each stole a base.
There were a couple of bad moments too. Escobar put down a bunt with EE at third. I'm thinking it was a safety squeeze and, if it was, EE was right not to go home, it was a bunt straight to the pitcher. Even if it was a suicide squeeze, he'd have been out at the plate. Also the hit in the 9th that knocked Ricky out of the game, the ball just got by Aaron Hill. Hill got a very late start on the ball. He looked flat footed on the play. Could have really helped Ricky out.
And we had roughly 200 runners left on base.
Anyway, third win in a row. Winning is fun. Tomorrow it is Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3, 5.00) vs. Nick Blackburn (2-4, 4.41). It is a 4:00 Eastern time. Come on Jo-Jo, it is time for a win.
Was that the best start we've had this season?