Saturday, May 19, 2007

Welcome back, Baker

Worrying about the two home runs Scott Baker surrendered in Minnesota's 5-2 win over Milwaukee on Saturday night would be picking nits.

As a whole, Baker was exactly what the Twins needed and the performance was exactly what Baker needed.

After an up-and-down 2006 season, Baker struggled statistically in spring training and was optioned to Triple-A Rochester. One of the biggest bug-a-boos Baker dealt with a season ago was the long ball. He didn't quite erase that Saturday night, but he did what good pitchers do. He limited the damage done by the home runs he allowed.

J.J. Hardy and Bill Hall touched Baker for solo home runs in the former Captain Shreve star's 2007 MLB debut, but that was all the NL Central leaders scored off Baker and former Shreveport Captain Joe Nathan.

Minnesota's starting pitching has been uneven this season, even Johan Santana hasn't been his normal dominant self. Baker's performance in a hitter's haven like Milwaukee's Miller Park bodes well for the rest of his season and the Twins' chances at repeating last year's magical run to October.


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