A few notes in preparation for tonight's Sox/Twins tilt:
* Tonight, Glen Perkins takes the hill in a key game against the White Sox. Chicago will counter with the outstanding southpaw John Danks, so this is about as lopsided a pitching match-up as the Twins have seen all year. If they can find a way to win, I'll be extremely impressed. If not, the Twins will still have a decent shot at taking the series with Francisco Liriano toeing the rubber tomorrow night.
* I like Scott Baker, but one thing that has always driven me mad about his approach to pitching is his tendency to throw utterly hittable pitches on an 0-2 count. Last night, with the Twins leading 5-0, Baker left such a pitch up and over the plate to Carlos Quentin and Quentin drilled it over the fence for a three-run homer. At the time, it looked like a huge mistake for Baker, though his offense took any possible heat off his shoulders by continuing to crush Sox pitching all night. Nevertheless, the issue remains prevalent for Baker, who has allowed a .389 slugging percentage on 0-2 counts this year, compared to the major-league average of .214.
I, personally, am of the opinion that 0-2 pitches should rarely be anywhere near the strike zone. Sadly, it doesn't seem as though coaches in the Twins organization instill the same philosophy.
* I was honored when Rob Neyer approached me last autumn with a proposal to join his SweetSpot Network over at ESPN.com. Honored because I know Rob doesn't take such decisions lightly, and the fact that he felt this little old blog was up to snuff for his elite network meant a lot to me.
As such, I'm very pleased to see a couple bloggers I've started following with increased interest recently gaining similar recognition from Neyer. The Common Man (not to be confused with KFAN's mid-day host) and Bill from The Daily Something are now joining forces at The Platoon Advantage, which becomes -- to my knowledge -- the first non-team-specific SweetSpot blog.
If you enjoy smart, irreverent baseball analysis, I strongly recommend adding The Platoon Advantage to your daily reading list.
* I was featured in an interview over at TwinCitiesSpark.com earlier this week. If you're interested, you can click on over and learn more than you'd ever like to know about this blog's origin, history and impact on my life.