Thursday (Good start from Gibson, but more needed) edition: Wha' Happened?

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 11:01
Quality starts, as a baseball statistic, is flawed. Most people agree on this, yet most reasonable people also recognize that the reasoning behind it is at least somewhat useful. If a pitcher throws at least six innings while allowing three or fewer earned runs, it is deemed a “quality start.” Doing the bare minimum would result in a 4.50 ERA, which would not be a quality season. But within the context of a single game, the idea of a starter going 6 and giving up 3, with the way modern bullpens are constructed, reasonably gives way to the idea that the starting pitcher at least gave his team a chance to win. In 2014, the Twins received just 66 such starts out of 162. It’s another way of saying their starting pitching was awful, since that quality start number ranked 29th of 30 MLB teams, but it is still useful. As a percentage, that works out to 40.7 percent of starts were quality for the Twins last year — two of every five, a handy number since there are five pitchers in a rotation. A full 22 teams had at least 81 quality starts — half their games or more. So far this year, the Twins have received exactly three quality starts: one very good one from Tommy Milone, one pretty good one from Kyle Gibson last night and one of the 6/3 minimums from Phil Hughes. That’s 3 of 8, or 37.5 percent — an exceedingly small sample size, but the best explanation for why this team is 2-6. The Twins’ only wins came in the starts by Milone and Gibson, proving once again that baseball becomes so much easier with good starting pitching. Last year’s Twins, plagued by bad pitching for most of the year, were also plagued by inconsistency — the inability to string together even a handful of decent starts to get on any kind of sustained roll. Gibson — one of many noted RandBall lookalikes —  was a chief culprit in that; he had a 1.42 ERA in his 13 wins and an 11.04 ERA in his 12 losses, an astounding split. This year, of course, he was bombed in his first outing and solid last night. Long story short: last night was a good sign — a good start. But nobody can be excited about pitching (or Gibson) until we see a lot more of it.
Categories: Local

Hopeless Wolves season ends on a (yes) hopeful note

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 23:47
Ugly as the Wolves have been, they are in an enviable position moving forward.
Categories: Local

Wolves season ends with loss to Oklahoma City, NBA's worst record

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 22:11
Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook won the league’s scoring title with a 37-point performance during which he scored 34 of those by halftime against the Wolves, who fijnish the season 16-66.
Categories: Local

Arcia's home run helps Twins knock off Royals 3-1

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 21:52
Thanks to Oswaldo Arcia’s two run home run, the Twins won 3-1 and vanquished baseball’s lone undefeated team in the Kansas City Royals.
Categories: Local

Dubnyk's persistence to play in goal is the Wild's gain

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 21:06
Devan Dubnyk used to emulate WWF moves with friends. His best move was insisting on playing goalie.
Categories: Local

Yeo seeks forward for fourth line

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 21:02
Coach is weighing several options going into Game 1.
Categories: Local

Wild's evolution comes with expectations

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 20:57
The team has faced challenges, but it is seasoned, and playoffs are no longer a novelty.
Categories: Local

Lynx not expecting immediate help from WNBA draft

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 20:42
The WNBA power doesn’t expect to draft a starter selecting so low.
Categories: Local

Wild-Blues series should be a tussle

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 20:20
The matchup is a tough one for the Wild, but the team’s depth could be a problem for St. Louis.
Categories: Local

Masters foretells Ryder Cup intrigue

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 20:09
Upcoming ’16 showdown at Hazeltine is looking good for the U.S.
Categories: Local

Minneapolis mayor rejects tax break plan for soccer stadium

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 19:12
Mayor Hodges renewed her criticism of tax breaks, putting her at odds with powerful council bloc.
Categories: Local

Playoff spot and best lotto chance at stake tonight in Wolves-OKC finale

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 19:03
Oklahoma City is playing for its playoff life and a Wolves' loss would give home team NBA's worst record and best lottery chances
Categories: Local

Ex-Viking Stu Voigt charged with fraud, accused of swindling millions

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 18:54
Former Vikings tight end was charged Wednesday with using a real estate scheme to swindle millions from investors by diverting funds into new accounts.
Categories: Local

Gophers hockey adds to incoming talent on spring national signing day

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 18:12
The Gophers expected four National Letters of Intent to be signed on Wednesday.
Categories: Local

Twins-Royals: Rios frustrated about being hit by Graham

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 17:55
Only the 1994 Twins have started a season 1-7. The 2015 Twins could join them tonight against the undefeated Royals
Categories: Local

Winners, losers among the new foods at Target Field

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 16:09
Target Field's new-foods lineup runs from the ridiculous to the sublime. Throw in overpriced, too. Here are food critic Rick Nelson's takes on the winner and losers that are new to the plate this season.
Categories: Local

My take: If Williams is option 1A at tailback for Gophers, Smith is 1B

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 15:00
Redshirt freshman running back Rodney Smith made it clear this spring that he'll be in the mix for carries this fall.
Categories: Local

Kelm-Helgen under fire by House Republicans

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 14:37
A House finance committee revealed a budget proposal that would eliminate the salary of Kelm-Helgen, who oversees the construction of the new Vikings’ stadium. Some politicians have expressed concern that her role overlaps with Ted Mondale’s duties.
Categories: Local


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