Remember when Carl Pavano sucked? When he would get injured all the time and get chased out of a game in five innings or less? Those were some good times.
Sadly, Pavano seems to have forgotten all about them. He helped lead Minnesota to a 5-2 win over the Sox today in the grand opening of Target Field.*
Pavano allowed just four hits and one run over six innings. And by that time the Twins had jumped all over Jon Lester. Pavano threw 62% of his pitches for strikes, which is where a pitcher wants to be. It shows he has his control working, and Pavano surrendered just one walk.
Lester, obviously, had a much rougher outing. He threw just 55% of his pitches for strikes, which resulted in three walks, nine hits and four earned runs in five innings of work. The Twins' batters were solid, putting up three runs in the first two innings and working from a position of strength the whole game. And that allowed Pavano and Company to run from the front and attack Boston's lineup.
Not that Boston's lineup helped itself much. Right from the first inning, Scutaro got picked off first after a lead-off single. Pedroia doubled next and it could have been 1-0 had Scutaro stayed on base.
And then in the eighth inning, down 5-1, Pedroia gets Hermida across to make it 5-2 with one out and a runner at first. And then V-Mart grounds into a double-play to kill the rally. And that was pretty much it.
One thing must be noted: David Ortiz hit a RBI double for Boston's first run. It was his only hit of the game and he did strike out two more times (he leads the AL with 11 strikeouts), but it is always good to see Ortiz drive in a run. Now he just needs to sustain that production over a stretch of games.
Hopefully Boston will bounce back on Wednesday afternoon. John Lackey takes the mound and he has been Boston's best starter so far in this short season. But Minny's Kevin Slowey is no scrub. Despite an ERA of 4.86 and a WHIP of 1.41 in 2009, he went 10-3 in 16 starts. Boston has to come out and attack him from the start.
* It's about damn time Minnesota got a new field. The whole process has taken almost two decades. At one point the Twins were almost sold to a jackass from North Carolina who wanted to move the Twins down South. Bud Selig tried to contract them before the Minnesota Supreme Court stepped in. And they played in a stadium more suited for a wrecking ball that a major league franchise. So yes, I don't root for the Twins. But I am very, very pleased to see them in Target Field.