Today’s Lesson: Don’t Pitch To Kubel With The Bases Loaded On Sunday
Last year, Jason Kubel finally become the big lefty bat the organization saw all along by putting up these stats: .300 AVG, 28 HR, 103 RBI, .907 OPS. This year (at least so far), the numbers have dwindled: .256, 12 HR, 58 RBI, .756 OPS. Unfortunately, Kubes has been just as likely to ground into a killer double play or whiff on 3-4 pitches this season than provide the big hit.
However, there is one obvious exception: When the bases are juiced (particularly on Sunday!) and the Twins need runs:
In early May against the Yankees, Big K did this off Mariano Rivera to prevent a sweep:
Less than two weeks ago, Jason did likewise to the Orioles.
Today, the damage was done in the form of a three-run double, once again with the bases loaded on a sticky Sunday afternoon, that put the Twins up for good.
Of course, it also helps when Francisco Liriano (7 IP, 11 K) is pitching lights-out, at home, against one of the worst offensive teams (Seattle) in the majors.
8 in a row for the hometown crew! The road gets a lot tougher from here, though, as a big four-gamer is nigh against the Rays. Whaddya say we show a potential (hopefully…anybody but the Yanks) playoff opponent what Twins baseball is all about!
Preview (59-46, 2nd, 0.5 GB CWS): Carl Pavano (13-6, 3.21) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 0.00).