Three times through the rotation, the Twins have had a few surprises. There are none bigger, however, than the emergence of Glen Perkins.
Scott Baker has made just one start, Francisco Liriano is off to his traditionally slow start, Kevin Slowey is still working out a few kinks in his mechanics, and Nick Blackburn is as he ever wasconsistent, if not consistently good.
Perkins has been nothing short of spectacular in his three starts, going eight innings in all three starts and never giving up more than two runs. Consider this: Perkins has given up four runs in three starts; Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang has yet to give up fewer than that per start.
His WHIP of .83 is the best of the Twins' starters and only a tic worse than Johan Santana's .81 mark, and his ERA is 10th best in baseball.
Granted, "Perk" has made only three starts so far, equal to the most of the rest of the starters in the league, but to get this kind of production out of a player pegged for the back-end of the rotation is very positive.
However, for as well as Perkins has pitched, heading into Sunday, he was still looking for his first win of the season.
By becoming the third Twins pitcher to shut down the Angels lineup, he got it.
Perkins went eight innings, gave up just one run on four hits with one walk. He struck out four and needed a paltry 84 pitches to set down eight innings worth of Angels. Perkins was on his game, and it was a good thing he was.
The Twins offense, which had scored 20 runs in the first two games of the series, was held mostly in check by Angels' pitcher Shane Loux.
The bottom of the order bore the load today; hitters five through nine went a combined 8-for-16, but the top four were just 2-for-12.
Carlos Gomez went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Jose Morales drove in his first run as a major leaguer as part of his 2-for-3 day behind the plate.
The Twins finally get their first day off of the 2009 season before heading to Boston for two games starting on Tuesday. Scott Baker will get the chance to make up for his poor debut by facing off against Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.