Vance Worley’s career as a Minnesota Twins’ pitcher hasn’t started the way that he had planned, but his last two starts have shown glimpses of promise. Unfortunately, Worley’s promise over his last two starts hasn’t amounted to a win. Worley gave up six hits, two runs, two walks and struck out three batters in five innings of work as the Twins lost the opener of a four game series with the Texas Rangers 2-1.
If you couple Worley’s latest numbers with his last start when he went seven innings allowing five hits, one run, two walks and striking out seven batters, Worley is starting to string together some solid outings. It is important to see the progress out of Worley from his starts at the beginning of the season to where he is at right now. By no means has Worley fully reached his potential with his latest performances, nor does his last two starts indicate that Worley has figured it all out. All it shows is that Worley is starting to make adjustments to his pitching style to acclimate himself to the Twins’ rotation.
It was unfortunate to see how little of success the Twins’ lineup was able to put up against the Rangers starter Nick Tepesch on Thursday evening. Tepesch has been off to a decent start and sported a 3.07 ERA entering Thursday’s game, but to expect him to hold the Twins to five hits was a little surprising. I thought the Twins would have a better approach at the plate, but Twins’ hitters were anxious and Tepesch only needed 22 pitches to get through two innings. As the game went on, the team got more patient and once they strung a few hits together, were able to put some pressure on the Rangers in the seventh inning; however, it was too little too late.
If the Twins want to win close games against the league’s best teams like the Rangers, you are going to need a disciplined approach at the plate to supplement good pitching. If Worley can hold a potent Rangers’ lineup to only two runs, you have to find a way to score more than two runs against a rookie pitcher and one of the Rangers’ least experienced hurlers.
Now will be the test to see if the Twins can stop the bleeding of a losing streak at two and get back in the winning column tomorrow night when the Twins send Scott Diamond to the mound. If there were one pitcher that I’d feel most confident in trusting to end the losing streak, it’d be Diamond. The ability to put an end to losing streaks before they reach large numbers will be an indicator of how well the team does in 2013. If the Twins want to remain in contention, these are the types of series they will need to split or win. With our best pitcher on the mound tomorrow night, the time is now for the Twins to get back on the winning track.