Wetmore: 5 thoughts, Correia helping his cause, saving runs, and RISP
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The Twins routed the Rockies on Saturday, with offensive contributions up and down the lineup, including starting pitcher Kevin Correia. Correia's RBI double put the Twins up 4-0, and they beat Colorado, 9-3.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Saturday's game.
As always, feel free to ask questions or make observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. Chris Parmelee hit a pinch-hit, two-RBI single in the eighth inning. Before that base knock, Parmelee had been 0-for-28 with runners in scoring position this year. (He did have 4 RBIs in such situations, but none had come on a base hit before Saturday.)
Entering Saturday, Parmelee had hit .319/.364/.458 with nobody on base, compared to .197/.219/.328 with runners on. It's hard to believe that Parmelee becomes a significantly worse hitter when teammates are on base in front of him, or that pitchers can "bear down" and get Parmelee out with ease in such situations.
If you believe, like I do, that a stat like that will regress to a mean, expect Parmelee to improve his numbers with RISP.
2. Eduardo Escobar hit a solo home run in the third inning Saturday, his second of the year and first in nearly a month. He also hit a deep fly ball to right field for an out and hit a line drive to left for an out in the seventh inning. He singled and was stranded in the eighth. Escobar also turned a double play on a ball hit toward second base by Troy Tulowitzki in the fifth inning. He fielded the ball while on the run toward second base, stepped on the bag and fired to first to complete the double play.
It was a good game all around for Escobar, who has cooled off considerably since a fabulous start to the season.
3. Kevin Correia helped his own cause with an RBI double with two outs in the fourth inning. Josh Willingham scored from third base on a ball hit down the left field line. When there are two outs and the pitcher is at the plate, it seems the general feeling is that the inning is over. But that's not always true, of course, and it wasn't the case Saturday.
In 340 career plate appearances entering Saturday, Correia had hit a measly .112/.145/.130. That's poor production, even by a pitcher's standards, but even that batting line means the opponent records an out against Correia in 85.5 percent of his plate appearances.
In the rest, Correia avoids an out and extends the inning. And, as was the case Saturday, it's easy for a runner to score from third base with a ball put in play to the outfield.
4. Brian Dozier made a nice play on a ball hit up the middle in the third inning to save a run. With runners on first and second and two outs, Justin Morneau lined a ball back up the box, and pitcher Kevin Correia deflected it with his glove. Charlie Blackmon was running from second base on the full-count pitch, and when the ball appeared it would get through the infield, he rounded third base and headed for home. But Dozier fielded the ball in shallow center field, and, knowing that a throw home wouldn't allow any other runners to advance, he fired to catcher Eric Fryer at the plate, just in case Blackmon tried to score.
The throw was in time and on target and Blackmon was ruled out. After an umpire review, the call stood and the Twins were out of the inning.
It was to make room for Trevor May, who reportedly will be activated from the disabled and pitch Sunday.
May, who would have pitched in the All-Star Futures Game if not for a calf injury, seems to be a strong candidate for a second-half call-up to the Twins.
Additional listening: If you haven't the Sports Over Beers podcast with Dave St. Peter, it's worth a listen for all the All-Star week content. After an intro talking some baseball with Phil Mackey, I sat down for a half an hour with the Twins president to go over all the cool things going on in Target Field and in the city of Minneapolis over the next three days.