Friday, June 1, 2012

No Ace In The Hole

The Minnesota Twins are going into Cleveland tonight to take on the second place Indians in the start of a three game series.  The veteran Carl Pavano (2-4, 5.46) will take the hill facing Derek Lowe (6-3, 3.25) at 6:05 CT. 

Carl Pavavo
The expectations for the Twins pitching staff going into this season weren't very high to begin with, but they were counting on Pavano to at least be the anchor and make an attempt to be the ace.  Thus far he has definitely not been that, floundering on many of his starts and looking washed up. 

His 2 wins have really been his best games.  The first came against the Yankees back on April 16th where he threw 7 innings, gave up 3 ER on 7 hits and had 6 K's with only 1 BB.  His second win came against the Mariners back on May 4th where he went 6 innings and gave up 2 ER with 2 K's and 0 BB.  Both wins were on the road and, in fact, his worst game of the year came at home against the Angels where he went only 4 innings and gave up 4 ER. 

Derek Lowe
Pavano's fastball has dropped to an average of 86-87 mph and his stuff lacks any bite to it.  I hate to be a downer but I don't see him making it out of the 5th inning tonight and with Derek Lowe going for the Tribe, the Twins offense will definitely be challenged and most likely held to 1 or 2 runs.  The one saving grace will be that the Indians are struggling with injuries to key players such as Travis Hafner (knee), Carlos Santana (concussion) and Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring) and have dropped their last two.

I think it will be up to Pavano though and whether or not he can get a quality start and give the Twins a chance to win and with the young pitching staff having some success, old man Pavano is going to really have to step up his performances if he is to keep up.  Otherwise, he might be another one the Twins designate for assignment.

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