It’s awfully strange to think that the Yankees took two of three games from the Twins and are mired in something of an offensive slump. But both these things are true: the Twins won the last game of their series with the Yanks, 8-2, avoiding a sweep, and while the Yanks won the first two games of the series, their offensive doldrums continued as they scored only six (6) runs in the series.
Once again, Jason Kubel and his big bad bat prevented the Yankees from sweeping, He had a huge
night on Thursday with two home runs, a double
, three runs scored and five runs batted in. His 3-run jack
doubled the Twins’ lead from 3 runs to 6 runs and pretty much put the game out of reach.
Denard Span somehow managed to score zero runs in the series despite collecting seven hits in 13 at bats and raising his average and on-base percentage to .290 and .376, respectively; his wOBA stands at .357 in 2010, just a tick under his career mark of .360. He is clearly doing fine.
Twins’ starting pitcher Nick Blackburn
deserves a ton of credit. He has started both the games that the Twins have won against the Yankees this season, and he has performed brilliantly in those starts. On Thursday night he went 7 innings, allowing only a pair of runs and earning a game-high WPA of .232
. In his two games against New York this season, Blackburn has pitched 14 innings and given up only 5 runs, posting an ERA of 3.21. [UPDATE: According to the New York Post
, Blackburn became the first Twins starting pitcher to defeat the Yankees twice in the same season since 2001
(look way down at the bottom under the heading “Unsung Hero”).]
In the month of May
Blackburn is 5-0 in five starts with a WHIP is 1.27 and an ERA of 2.72. He’s not the ridiculous Ubaldo Jimenez
, but his performance has been a real lift for the Twins.
As for the Yankees, since they traveled crosstown to play the Mets, they have scored 2, 3, 4, 1, 3, and 2 runs in their last six ballgames, averaging just 2.5 runs/game. Given that their season-long average is 5.36 runs/game, this has clearly been a weak week for the Bombers. It hasn’t been as bad as the Phillies’ recent woes at the plate, but the Yanks and Phils have one thing in common in their recent lack of offensive punch: The Mets(!).