Minnesota Twins-Seattle Mariners: Brandon Morrow Gets Revenge, M's Earn Split

Dan WadeSenior Analyst IApril 9, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 12:  Starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn #56 of the Seattle Mariners pitches during the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the game at Angel Stadium on August 12, 2008 in Anaheim, California.    The Angels defeated the Mariners 7-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There was a moment this offseason in which it looked like the Minnesota Twins were going to trade Delmon Young to the Mariners for a package which included Jarrod Washburn.

Thursday's game showed why the Twins considered Washburn an asset worth having.

He held the Twins to just six baserunners on five hits, and the Twins left every one of them on base on their way to a 2-0 shutout loss.

The hard luck loser was Glen Perkins, who gave up a run in the first, then settled down to keep the Mariners from scoring again in the eight innings he pitched. Perkins struck out four hitters and walked just two, while allowing five hits. 

The chances of the Twins were few and far between, but they did exist.

With one out in the eighth, Washburn walked Mike Redmond and gave up a single to Brendan Harris, but Denard Span and Alexi Casilla, the heroes from Tuesday night's ninth inning comeback, couldn't save the Twins again and the Mariners survived.

Brandon Morrow came on in the ninth and walked the first batter he faced, but unlike on Tuesday, he buckled down and struck out Justin Morneau and Joe Crede before getting pinch-hitter Jason Kubel to fly out and end the game.

At some level, this split is disappointing for the Twins. They came into the game hoping to take the first series 3-1, and they certainly could have done it, but a 2-2 split isn't a bad way to start the season.

The Twins got three mediocre starts from the front end of their rotation, they clearly missed the offensive consistency of reigning batting champion Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau was a shell of himself, and no one really stepped up to take offensive control.

It would not at all be hard to see this series having ended as a 1-3 loss for the Twins. One out on Tuesday night is the difference between a .500 team and going to Chicago two games under.

This is not to say the Twins should be grateful for their split. After all, they had a chance for better. However, as long as the Twins can stay competitive in the division while they wait for Joe Mauer and Scott Baker to get healthy, it's hard to complain too much that they aren't thriving.

The Twins fly to Chicago to open AL Central play with their biggest rivals. While few predictions have the Twins and Sox competing against one another for the division title, the rivalry has lost no luster this offseason, especially with the Twins' signing of long-time Sox third baseman Joe Crede.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey replaces the injured Scott Baker in the rotation, followed by Francisco Liriano and Nick Blackburn, who are both looking for their first win of the season.