Some notes from Game 1:
-According to WPA (here is the graph from B-R), three of the five most important plays were Delmon Young plate appearances. The two-run home run was at the top of the list, and the major positive play for the Twins. Almost canceling that out, however, were his GIDP to end the 8th inning and the flyout with the bases loaded in the 6th. It is fair to say that in this game, the Twins lived and died with Delmon Young.
-The loss ends the Twins’ five-game regular season winning streak that dates back to the loss on September 30th, 2009 to the Tigers, and includes last year’s tiebreaker win.
-If one were prone to worry about the individual statlines from a single game, one might draw the conclusion that the Twins were a bit premature in letting Carlos Gomez go (especially considering the 0-for-5 with 3 strikeout performance of the current occupant of centerfield). Still, it is good to see Gomez having success with his new team.
-Billy Crystal’s SNL character Fernando used to say that it’s “better to look good then to feel good” and I would say that is a positive from this game because the Twins’ new road unis look “mahvelous.”
-Among the other bright spots from a tough night for the Twins were the performances of Jesse Crain and Pat Neshek – both of whom are even more important in a Nathan-less environment, but particularly Neshek who made his first major league appearance in close to two years.
-For what it’s worth, here is the AL Central Standings after one game(W-L, R-RA, GB):
Chi 1-0, 6-0, –
Det 1-0, 8-4, –
Min 0-1, 3-6, 1
KC 0-1, 4-8, 1
Cle 0-1, 0-6, 1