Pregame notes: Cuddyer and Mauer own Lackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With Red Sox right hander John Lackey on the mound today, the Twins will trot out their opening day lineup once again:
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. J.J. Hardy, SS
9. Nick Punto, 3B
Lackey took a no decision in his first start last week against the Yankees, throwing 6 innings and allowing 0 runs, while striking out three and walking two.
In 21 plate appearances against Lackey, Mauer is batting .450/.476/.750 with two HRs, and Cuddyer is hitting .313/.389/.875 with three HRs in 18 plate appearances.
* As mentioned yesterday, the Twins bullpen has allowed only one walk through the first eight games.
"We have to throw the ball over," Gardenhire said. "We can't start giving free passes, we have to make them swing the bat and we have to catch the ball. That goes right along with the starters too."
Twins pitching staffs usually hover near the league leaders in terms of control and BB/9, but one walk in 21+ innings for the bullpen is pretty miraculous.
* After batting practice, Orlando Hudson addressed the buzz about his comments regarding racism and baseball free agents -- specifically Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield.
He walked a fine line today between accusing major league general managers of being racist and simply showing his frustration about the lack of African Americans in baseball.
"You'd think somebody who put up numbers like that shouldn't have a problem finding a job," Hudson said about Dye.
Hudson went on to say, "It's sad to see the declining amount of African Americans playing ball. It's probably teh biggest reason why you don't see too many Africa American in the big leagues. It kind of turns away teh young African Americans."
I'll have a lengthy piece about this later on, with plenty more quotes and analysis.