ALDS Coverage: Twins’ Run Ends

Yesterday, the Twins lost to the Yankees to close the book on the 2009 season and their time in the Metrodome. After going quietly in the first game against CC Sabathia the Twins made games two and three interesting, pushing game two to extra innings and keeping game three close in a pitching duel between Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano.

Pavano gave the Twins a real shot to win the game, striking out nine while giving up just five hits and no walks over seven innings. Unfortunately, two of those hits were solo homers to Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

Pavano, for the most part, throws three pitches: a fastball, changeup and slider. The Yankees had a lineup full of lefties and switch hitters and Pavano predominately uses a fastball-changeup combo against lefties. Yesterday he went up-and-in with the fastball and down-and-away with the change. Here are the locations of those pitches. The colors are based on the colors in the pitchf/x section here, so green for fastballs and yellow for changeups. Faded out pitches were taken. Boxed pitches were called strikes, circled swinging strikes and the Posada homer is in the red circle.
pitch_loc_fa

Pavano got lots of called strikes on his fastballs up-and-in. It looks like he did a good job at challenging the Yankees up there, even though he only works in the low-90s. Then he went down-and-away with the change, and got tons of swings chasing those pitches. He changeup was nasty, inducing seven whiffs on 13 swings. The fastball Posada hit for a HR was down-and-away.

The Twins’ magical run is over. They had to play a great Yankees team in especially tough circumstances because of when they clinched and when the series started. Still, it has to be considered a good season for the Twins, Joe Mauer had an amazing season and will most likely be the MVP, and they got to the playoffs one of the most dramatic ways possible.



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Dave Allen's other baseball work can be found at Baseball Analysts.


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Tom B
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Tom B

good now, write something about the yankees you losers.

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