Wetmore: 5 thoughts, Hughes outdueled, May to DL, good glove/bad glove
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Phil Hughes ran into trouble in the 8 th inning and Yu Darvish was stellar through 8 innings to turn what felt like a pitcher's duel into a 5-0 Rangers victory.
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. The Twins placed prospect Trevor May on the 7-day disabled list Saturday with a right calf strain. He's scheduled to pitch in the All-Star Futures game at Target Field in two weeks. The DL stint is retroactive to June 26.
#Wings RHP Trevor May was placed on the disabled list today (retro to June 26) with a right calf strain. May is 8-4, 2.94 in 14 GS for ROC— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) June 28, 2014
If the injury is not a serious setback -- and it sounds like it's not -- I wonder if May will join the Twins rotation after the Summer Classic.
#MNTwins VP Mike Radcliff says pitcher Trevor May's calf injury is not serious. Should be back in the 7 days -- 7 day DL at AAA.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) June 28, 2014
2. Pedro Florimon gave the Rangers an extra base on an RBI double from Chris Gimenez in the second inning. On a hit over Sam Fuld's head in center field, Florimon was the cutoff man, and uncorked a wild throw home, which missed by a wide margin, about one-third of the way up the first base line. It would not have been in time to get Adrian Beltre out at home, and the runner Chris Gimenez advanced from second to third on the wild throw. Phil Hughes got the next batter out to end the inning, so it was inconsequential, but that's a mistake right in line with an outfielder missing a cutoff man.
In Florimon's defense, it looked on the TV broadcast like the middle infielders had been lining up to cut off the ball and throw to third base, and center fielder Sam Fuld's throw came straight to the middle of the infield. So by the time Florimon caught the ball, he was on the run toward right field, and tried to make the throw as his momentum carried him that way, which appeared to pull the ball way left of his target, the catcher.
Still, with Florimon's inability to hit, it's pretty difficult to accept defensive miscues from him, and that seems out of character for Florimon. He's ordinarily very strong in the field.
3. Sam Fuld misplayed a soft line drive in the sixth inning but it didn't cost the Twins anything. Carlos Pena hit a ball to center and Fuld charged in and slid to try to catch it. It missed his open glove and hit off his throwing hand before bouncing away toward left field. Pena was limited to a single.
For his reputation as a solid glove outfielder, Fuld is not a complete package. He's fast, so his range is good. But his arm is not strong and it's not always accurate.
4. On the next batter, Chris Parmelee eliminated Pena from the bases by throwing him out at third.
Parmelee made a nice play to cut off a ball hit by Adrian Beltre, which was headed for the wall in left field. He gathered the groud ball before it reached the wall and set himself up to throw to third, where the slow-footed Pena was headed after rounding second base. Parmelee got the ball to third baseman Eduardo Escobar in time to apply the tag and erase Pena from the bases.
5. The final line doesn't look like it, but Saturday's game felt like a pitcher's duel all the way through 7 innings. Darvish was his typical extraordinary self. He allowed just four hits across 8 innings and combined with Neal Cotts to pitch a shutout. Darvish struck out 10 Twins batters and walked just one.
Hughes, meanwhile, was good most of the game, too. He allowed more base runners and was hurt by some plays in the field, but it was a 2-0 ball game after 7 innings. The Rangers opened the 8th against Hughes with conseuctive singles, a fielder's choice rundown and an intentional walk (Beltre). But Luis Sardinas entered for a pinch-hit suicide squeeze to drive in another run, and Leonys Martin doubled to drive in two more and put the Rangers up, 5-0. Hughes was yanked at that point for Casey Fien.
The final line is ugly -- 7 2/3 innings, 11 hits, 5 earned runs -- but it didn't seem like he pitched nearly that poorly. He gave up five earned runs in his previous outing, too, but I don't think fans should panic just yet about Phil Hughes. He's probably not as good of a pitcher as he has shown the past two months, but he's good enough to be the Twins ace.