Twins walk-off in style vs Angels

May, 29, 2011
5/29/11
12:46
AM ET
On a night full of walk-offs, the Minnesota Twins stood out from the pack as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1-0 in 10 innings.

The Twins won the game on a walk-off hit by Danny Valencia, Minnesota's second walk-off victory this season. Both of the Twins walk-off victories have come courtesy of a Danny Valencia single.

Minnesota's pitching staff limited Los Angeles to just one hit in 10 innings. In the live-ball era, the Twins are just the fifth team to win an extra-inning shutout in which they allowed one hit or fewer via a walk-off.

The last to team do so was the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1997, when Francicsco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined on a no-hitter through 10 innings before Mark Smith hit a pinch-hit three-run home run to give the Pirates the walk-off win.

Up and Down on the Mound

Jered Weaver
Weaver
Anthony Swarzak
Swarzak
While Valencia's walk-off hit stole some of the thunder, the stars of the game on Saturday were starting pitchers Anthony Swarzak (8 innings, one hit) and Jered Weaver (9 innings, two hits).

Swarzak, filling in for Francisco Liriano, carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before it was broken up by Peter Bourjos. In his 13 career starts entering Saturday, Swarzak had never gone more than 3 1/3 innings into a start without allowing a hit.

While Swarzak's performance was a shock, Weaver continued his strong pitching performance this season, lowering his ERA to 2.10, fourth-best in the American League.

Saturday night featured other notable pitching performances, but not for the right reasons.

After allowing 14 earned runs in his first 10 starts combined, Jaime Garcia allowed 11 earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings pitched in the St. Louis Cardinals loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Garcia saw his ERA jump from 1.93 to 3.28 from this one game alone. According to Elias, in the last 90 seasons only one other pitcher having made at least 10 starts in a season saw his ERA jump 1.35 points after one game.

That was Charlie Morton in 2009 who saw his ERA jump 1.70 points -- from 3.81 to 5.51 -- after giving up 10 earned runs while recording only three outs.

While Garcia's start was horrendous, it may not have been the worst on Saturday. Kansas City Royals starter Sean O'Sullivan gave up 10 runs on 15 hits, five of which were home runs against the Texas Rangers.

O'Sullivan was the first pitcher in 71 years to do so, and just the fourth pitcher in the live ball era to sport such a stat line.

So whose start was worse? We use Game Score, a metric developed by Bill James which "grades" a starting pitching line, based on the number of hits, strikeouts, innings pitched, walks and runs allowed, to be the judge. A score of 50 is average in this system, with the higher the number, the better the start.

O'Sullivan registered a -2 Game Score, one of two negative Game Scores this season. The other now belongs to Jaime Garcia who finished with a Game Score of -6, the worst in the majors.

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