Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Vance Worley may have taken the loss for the Twins on Opening Day, but at least he gave his team a chance to win against the defending American League champions.
The Twins put forth the worst starting rotation in the American League last season. A 5.40 earned run average, a depressing 541 strikeouts and a .291 opponent batting average in a meager 880 innings is certainly nothing to write home about. The organization knew the only way they would be able to compete in 2013 is if the starters could improve.
Worley set the tone for the season with his performance against a loaded Detroit Tigers offense. He surrendered three earned runs over the first two innings, but settled down enough to give Minnesota a chance to come back.
“We had a chance the whole game, and that’s all you can ask for,” third baseman Trevor Plouffe told Twins.com. “Our pitching kept us in there. Vance did a great job today, and our bullpen came in and did a great job. But it’s all about getting those timely hits, and we didn’t do that today. But I like where we’re at.”
Worley was able to strikeout three batters in six innings, and the team could not have asked anything more than that from the third-year player. It would have been nice to see him shut out the Tigers on Opening Day, but the fact that he was able to last six innings after a bumpy start is impressive all in its own.
Not to mention, he was going up against the best pitcher in Major League Baseball in Justin Verlander, which could not have been easy on Worley’s mental state going in.
It will be interesting to see how much of an effect Worley’s performance had on his teammates when the Twins host the Tigers on Wednesday.