Scott Baker looked dominant today facing the Tampa Bay Rays. He threw seven innings, only allowing one run on four hits. He struck out six and walked just one. This was the version of Scott Baker the Twins desparetly needed to see today. For a team that has been struggling out of the gate a great start was just what the doctor ordered. This is the version of Scott Baker that had me supporting him all Spring. And if he could just find some consistency he could really give this club a shot in the arm.
Baker was able to operate effectively up in the zone today. He was striking hitters out when they had two strikes, as opposed to giving up foul ball after foul ball that usually end up in base hits. Baker looked crisp through seven innings and even worked out of a few jams. The most surprising stat from his outing was that he only needed 96 pitches to get through seven innings, even after he struck out six batters. Usually Baker has trouble finishing batters off and allows way too many foul balls, which usually leads to high pitch counts and early exits.
This is a very positive outing for the Twins. I write this as the “two closers” squandered Baker’s lead in the eighth and ninth innings and now Joe Nathan is struggling to even keep the Twins in the game. I am not even going to keep writing about that. I don’t want to take away from the great outing Baker had. I am on the pro-Baker bangwagon, so I want to give him his credit today.
If Baker can bring this kind of focus and consistency to the mound more often the Twins will be much better off, especially since the pitching has been less than promising so far this season. So as the Twins blow another lead and struggle to score runs I am going to stay focused on the positive, because I just can’t focus on how bad this team is playing anymore. So thanks Scott Baker for giving me something to be happy about.