So what if C.C. Sabathia has dominated the Twins for much of his career? So what if he's having an excellent 2006 season? So what if Carlos Silva's ERA entering the game was north of 6? On this night, it didn't matter, because the Twins were determined to a pick up a victory in the aftermath of an extremely disappointing loss on Friday night.
The 4-1 victory was a convincing one. The Twins scored four runs on 14 hits, getting a very solid performance (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) from Silva, his third in a row. The bullpen delivered two scoreless innings, with Joe Nathan tossing a hitless ninth on his way to his 33rd save of the season. The Twins went just 1/11 in scoring opportunities, but got a key home run from Torii Hunter and received some clutch RBI hits despite an 0-for-5 day from their offensive MVP Justin Morneau.
Silva's last three starts (20 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K combined) have been extremely encouraging. He has looked like Silva Version 2005, which is the best thing we could hope for. Over those three outings, he has induced 36 ground-ball outs (60% of the outs he's recorded), which leads me to believe he might be feeling that sinker again. Carlos is not a dominant pitcher by any means, but if he can continually force opposing batters to hit the ball on the ground he will be in good shape, because Nick Punto has shown some great range at third base while Jason Bartlett and Luis Castillo have formed a formidable duo up the middle.
Today the Twins will be looking for a series victory, but Scott Baker is going so it's tough to predict what kind of outing we'll get. Baker certainly has the stuff and the poise to have success in the majors, but for whatever reason he has had a tough time putting it together this year. Let's see if he can take a step in the right direction this afternoon against Paul Byrd.