Scott Baker's struggles and other thoughts from Opening Night
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Some scattered thoughts on the Minnesota Twins' 6-3 loss on Opening Day to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ...
* RHP Scott Baker looked every bit like a pitcher too amped up for his first Opening Day start. He walked two in the first inning (both scored), gave up four runs total and was done after 4 2/3 innings, having thrown 92 pitches (35 balls). Baker's line could have looked even worse, but Jesse Crain came on and stranded runners at the corners.
* OF Delmon Young provided positive signs in his first two at-bats. He drilled a two-run homer to left-center field in the second inning to knot the score 2-2. Then, Young beat out a fifth-inning dribbler for a single. The Twins have been happy with Young this spring because he's pulling the ball and, after dropping a bunch of weight in the offseason, running better. Both showed Monday night. But he also grounded into a first-pitch double play to squash an eighth-inning rally.
* 2B Orlando Hudson took a breaking ball off the left kneecap in the seventh inning, briefly lay on the ground in pain and then went down again on his way to first base. He stayed in the game, though.
* It's simply raining crap on 1B Justin Morneau. His spring slump continued despite tearing a bases-loaded rip 1B Kendry Morales snared to end the top of the seventh inning.
* LHP Jose Mijares' performance was a perfect example of why he never was seriously considered for the closer's role. After getting out of the seventh inning untouched, he allowed back-to-back homers in the eighth, extending the Angels' lead to 6-3. Mijares has excellent stuff, but there are major doubts about his mental makeup -- too often, trouble seems to snowball quickly.
The second game of the series is at 9:05 p.m. CT Tuesday.