Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Twins' Hernandez struggles against righties
By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info
(The Boston Red Sox host the Minnesota Twins, Wednesday at 7 ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.)
A pair of rookie starting pitchers take the mound at Fenway Park. Pedro Hernandez and Allen Webster were acquired by the Twins and Red Sox, respectively, in midseason trades.
Hernandez came to Minnesota in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano to the Chicago White Sox, and Webster was part of the blockbuster deal that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hernandez will be making his fifth career start, and he can expect to see a heavy dose of right-handed bats in the Red Sox lineup. Left-handed hitters are 4-for-29 against Hernandez, but right-handed batters are hitting .353, with three home runs, and twice as many walks as strikeouts.
Webster has even less experience than Hernandez. He’s making his second major-league start. In his only other start of 2013 (April 21 against the Kansas City Royals), Webster’s fastball averaged 94.5 mph – the seventh-fastest average in a start this season by a pitcher who threw at least 40 fastballs.
Ortiz 27 And Counting
David Ortiz is riding a 27-game hit streak that dates back to July 2, 2012. Among hit streaks since 1900 of at least 20 games, Ortiz’s streak is the second-longest in terms of days (309), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Only Nomar Garciaparra's 21-game streak that spanned 322 days from September 2000 to July 2001 was longer.
The only designated hitters who have had longer hit streaks are Paul Molitor (39 games in 1987) and Juan Gonzalez (30 games spanning the 1998-99 seasons). Ortiz is also seven games shy of the longest hit streak in franchise history. Dom DiMaggio hit safely in 34 straight games in 1949.
Ortiz is also just 63 hits shy of Harold Baines’ record for the most hits by a designated hitter. Baines had 1,688 hits as a DH.
Mauer looks to stay hot
As for the Twins, Joe Mauer has hit in six straight games and is 4-for-9 with three doubles in the first two games of this series. Minnesota's No. 3 hitter Josh Willingham, has the highest walk rate in baseball this season at 20.0 percent.
However, the Twins aren’t receiving much production behind Mauer and Willingham.
Minnesota’s No. 4 and 5 hitters -- primarily Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee -- have hit just .217 with three home runs and a .597 OPS.