(Photo by Keith Allison)
With the Twins in the midst of a scientific experiment that researches the effects that not scoring runs have on losing, Bruce Chen had no problem shutting them out while giving up two hits over 8 innings of work, improving to 11-7 on the season. It was the seventh time in the last nine games that the Twins were held to less than four runs and they are 1-8 in that time, proving Ron Gardenhire’s hypothesis correct.
After Chen’s outing, his best since his 2 hit shutout against the Rays to end his 2010 season, Mike Moustakas said words that had never once been uttered about Chen:
"He goes out and dominates. He does what he does. Each pitch was exactly where he wanted.”
Though I don’t have access to the scouting reports that were available when Chen was signed by the Braves in 1993, I doubt any of them said he “dominated.” I’m sure they said he was successful, and crafty, and would probably be a Major Leaguer. RJ Anderson confirms this by writing that Chen’s ”top tools were deception and brains.” Which is great news for me since I’m going to be writing a Raymond Chandler-esque novel about a baseball playing detective named Bryce Chun who gets himself into and out of messes with great cunning and I needed a player to base him on.
While last year was the year of the pitcher, this season is the year of the reclamation project. Ryan Vogelsong, Jerome Williams, and Jeff Karstens may have received more attention, it’s important to note that Chen has now repeated his act of serviceable rotation cog, the first time he can claim that after 13 years.
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