To say that there were a fair share of people who didn’t believe in Kevin Correia going into his Wednesday evening debut for the Minnesota Twins would probably be an understatement.
A low-strikeout, pitch-to-contact type facing the powerful lineup defending winners of the AL Central? If you were the betting type, the safe one might have been on one that had Correia get hammered by the Detroit Tigers.
It certainly wouldn’t have been the seven-inning performance that the Twins got from their new No. 2 pitcher anyway. Though the low-strikeout part of Correia’s game stayed true to form (he recorded just a pair of whiffs), the righty was also able maintain his control (one walk), and kept the Tigers offense in check, scattering seven hits through his time on the mound.
Correia allowed a runner to reach second or further in only two of his seven innings, and the two runs he did give up were on base hits to triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera, so it’s not as thought there’s any real shame in that. Outside of those hits, he got the ground ball when he needed, and kept his team in the game long enough to make Eduardo Escobar‘s ninth-inning heroics a feasible scenario.
In short, it was exactly the pitching performance that the Twins had expected to get when they signed him to a two-year contract in the offseason.
That said, Correia hasn’t completely silenced his critics yet.
It’s a long season, and there’s a rather long track record that suggests that it’ll end up being a rather long one for the hurler and his team. It is only the first time that the 32-year old has faced the Tigers lineup, after all, and there’s still no shortage of reasons for doubters to believe why the results might end up being different next time.
With a few more performances like that, however, Correia might just turning some of those doubters into believers.