Sunday, April 16, 2006

Crain struggles

There's been a lot of angst about Crain, which I think is overblown at this point. He's had three good outings and three poor ones. In two of the poor ones, he gave up his runs on one swing, a two-run homer. One HR was to Eric Chavez, an All-Star who has been tearing it up, and the other was an opposite-field HR to a talented young hitter in Alex Rios.

His other poor outing he came in with runners at 2nd and 3rd and one out in a 4-2 game and gave up consecutive singles to All-Stars Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez. Jeter's hit was a looping liner to center and A-Rod's was a hard-hit ground ball that if it was hit one foot to the right would have been an inning-ending double play.

I don't think Crain has been pitching as well as he can, but I'm not overly concerned. I'm guessing he's overthrowing, mainly because his velocity and location have both been up. This is probably because he started the season as the main setup man due to Rincon's lack of work this spring. Now that Rincon is back in his setup role, hopefully Crain can settle into his sevent-inning role he was more comfortable with.

I have heard some fans are concerned that Crain doesn't strike out a lot of batters and think he was just lucky to start his career. That is total BS. In over 111 innings in his career, Crain has a batting average against of .219. That's not luck, that's effective pitching.

The funny thing is if the Twins have had a complaint about Crain is that he walks more than he strikes out. However, this year in six outings Crain has no walks and five strikeouts. If he can relax and get his pitches down and with better movement, he could be better than ever.


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12:05 PM  

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