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The B-List: 8/17
The B-List: 8/17
Is it just me, or does that hug between Byrd and Victor look really uncomfortable? If I could photoshop, I'd caption in Victor saying "Thank you for not making us go to the bullpen Paul." In todays B-List, Buff examines yesterdays 3-2 win over the Twinkies. He breaks down Byrd's outing, theorizes on Andy Marte's struggles, and chronicles what was a bad series for Grady Sizemore.
A nice win in the getaway day game of a series always makes for a nice evening with less needless stress. (With three children, there is always enough "regular" stress.)
1) The wily old veteran
Paul Byrd, by his own admission, did not have his "best stuff." That is because it is no longer the 20th century. Still, one mark of a good pitcher is to be able to be effective without his best stuff, and Byrd certainly was that. By changing speeds and keeping the Twins off balance (not to mention throwing apparent strikes, meaning pitches that looked enough like strikes to induce bad cuts), Byrd threw his first complete game in over a year, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 0 walks.
One interesting feature of channeling Randy Jones is the ability to get people out without making them miss: through 8 innings, Paul Byrd induced five swinging strikes. Four of them were by Michael Cuddyer. Apparently Byrd has Cuddyer's number, which, given our general inability to get him out this series, is a really good thing. Otherwise, no Twin except Luis Rodriguez once swung and missed the ball. Note that Cuddyer struck out on a 3-2 Jonesball with runners on 1st and 2nd to end the 8th. Insert chutzpah reference here.
In the ninth, the Twins appeared to press (and Mike Redmond remembered that he is, in fact, Mike Redmond: since he is hitting an improbable .336 this season, it was a bad time for this memory to come to the fore) and missed five times. In all, Byrd finished at exactly 100 pitches, fewer than rookie Matt Garza needed to get through
innings. Byrd had four innings with fewer than 10 pitches, which is quite good.
Still, did anyone else see "Ed Harris" from "Major League" out there?
2) The young Turk
Speaking of Garza, he was all but the anti-Byrd: he walked 2, struck out 5, gave up 3 runs, and was gone by the end of the fifth. It wasn't that he was terribly inaccurate, just that the Indians made him work and he threw a couple of pitches he probably wants back today (notably the triple to Luna).
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