The Minnesota Twins handed the Kansas City Royals their first loss of the season last night in a tight contest that consisted of good pitching and plenty of small-ball.
Both starters had decent performances, neither were spectacular, but Scott Baker just pitched a little better than John Bale. Both bullpens were nearly spotless, not allowing any hit until Nathan's ninth with two outs.
Small-ball is the name of the game, and last nights game epitomizes this style of ball. With both teams lacking a lot of power, look for the rest of the series to be the same, low scoring and a lot of base running.
Today's afternoon game will feature the aces of either staff. Ironically neither pitcher has the makeup of a power pitcher ace, like most people expect. Neither has an overpowering fastball, but relies on changing speeds, keeping hitters off balance, and getting ahead in the count.
Both had similar performances on opening day running into trouble at times, and giving up seven and eight hits respectively. But one had more command of the plate, while the other was more wild walking four, but limiting the damage to only three earned runs.
Livan Hernandez allowed only two runs on opening day and looks to continue his dominance as he faces Kansas City's Gil Meche.
Again, this game will all come down to pitching, and how well the defenses hold up as they will be tested against bunts and base running.
Both Hernandez and Meche give up a lot of hits but depend on groundballs for outs and to turn double-plays.
If Meche is wild once again, look for Hernandez to come out on top if the control he possesses does not elude him.
It will be another close game, but again, I have to pick the Twins for game two.