The Twins won last night 3-2. PJ Walters was the starting pitcher and he pitched like he wants to remain with the Twins. PJ which stands for Phillip DeWayne by the way. That's his name "Phillip DeWayne Walters" yet he goes by PJ and I don't know why and it doesn't really matter.
PJ tossed 7 and a third innings last night. He gave up 6 hits and walked 1 while holding the Phillies to 1 earned run. PJ basically matched or slightly out dueled Cole Hamels who has been one of the elite pitchers in the game for quite some time.
The Phillies scored an unearned run in the third inning when SS Pedro Florimon commited a throwing error to start the inning. PJ retired the next two before the runner was knocked in on a single.
That wasn't really a falter on PJ's part and he didn't falter until the 8th. When he gave up a single... Struck out the next batter and gave up another single before being removed. Brian Duensing came in to finish the 8th... He struck out the next batter before giving up an RBI single to Ryan Howard to tie the game.
This Twins starting rotation doesn't have anybody like Justin Verlander or Clayton Kershaw on it. We have guys like PJ Walters on it so expectations need to be adjusted but regardless of our lack of a Verlander on this staff. The Twins can still win baseball games. They just need the starting staff to keep us in games. Just don't get shelled and let's see if the offense can do something at a key moment like Justin Morneau did last night in the 8th inning. Justin broke up the tie game with a two out single in the bottom of the 8th. That's what it all about and hats off to PJ Walters.
PJ is 28 years old and he has never had an extended shot at staying in a major league rotation and his stuff would be considered average at best. He has thrown 138 innings total in the major leagues over the past 4 years. About half of those innings were last year with the Twins. His career ERA is 5.67 and that ain't good. However, that was yesterday and players can and do get better. If they keep chucking it up there, they can learn some things and get better.
You can get by on average stuff if you mix it up and keep the ball down. PJ seems to be learning that and since being called up from AAA this year... PJ has made 4 starts and his ERA currently sits at 2.49 and that is very good.
Mike Pelfrey goes tonight against the Phillies. Pelfrey still hasn't announced himself as a steady starting pitcher and needs to have a decent start again. Kyle Gibson is pitching well in Rochester and knocking on the door and he won't be held down much longer. PJ Walters was the obvious candidate to leave the rotation for Kyle but PJ is pitching great and Pelfrey hasn't been. Pelfrey has a million dollar contract with some rope that goes with it but if Pelfrey gets lit up again. That rope could reach it's limit. It's reality TV at it's best. Mike Pelfrey pitching for a job once again tonight and he knows it... That's pressure.
Speaking of Rochester... Opening Day Starter Vance Worley is in Rochester right now because of his struggles at the major league level. He Pitched yesterday afternoon against the Toledo Mudhens. He gave up 7 runs before being pulled in the 6th. Worley it seems hasn't fixed what is ailing him yet.