Game 1 Observations

Good:

  1. Joe Mauer hit the ball well.
  2. Casy Fien struck out the side in his only inning in relief.
  3. After a rough start when not-well-hit balls fell in for hits and non-stellar defense didn’t pick up the slack, I was impressed with Vance Worley. He threw 101 pitches, went six innings allowing only the three runs (scored in the first two innings) and got a lot of ground ball outs.
  4. Pedro Florimon had a good at bat that ended in a line drive base hit to right field. The latter may be a stretch to highlight here, but it was in fact the first single of the year (two others had doubled previous) and if the at bat is an omen it is a good one for his being able to hit well enough to stay in the lineup.
  5. Web gem of the day: Pedro Florimon went deep in the hole as shortstop and threw out the runner. Even if it was the slow-running,Prince Fielder, it was a solid play.

Bad:

  1. Pedro Florimon made an error on a routine ground ball. In his defense, he may have lost sight of the ball or been distracted by the base runner, but he needs to make that play.
  2. Pedro Florimon failed to get the tag on the runner on a strike-out, throw-out base stealing attempt. The throw from Mauer was a little high and off target, but Florimon needs to come to the ball then make the tag. It cost the Twins and Worley a run that inning.
  3. Several poor at-bats that effectively kept the Twins from scoring and probably winning the game. Josh Willingham had two opportunities with runners in scoring position and failed to deliver both times. Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee also looked terrible when they both struck out with the bases loaded to end a potential rally.

General Observations:

  1. The game was better than I expected it to be, although it was very long. Verlander pitched well, but was not as efficient as he normally is. The cold may have had something to do with that.
  2. It is a little surprising as cold as it was to have no reported injuries.
  3. The telecast had a couple of new wrinkles:
    1. Along with the score, base runner graphic, and count to the batter, the FSN crew have added the total pitch count for the starting pitchers. Good to have that info as important as the pitch count has become in MLB.
    2. No visual framing of the strike zone on replays of close pitches. Will this feature return in future games or is this gone?

If the twelve strikeouts by Twins batters are an indication of what the future holds, it is going to be a frustrating season to watch, especially in clutch situations. Then again, Verlander will not be the opposing pitcher every game, and Aaron Hicks (3) and Josh Willingham (2) will get in a better groove eventually.

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