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Clayton Richard’s complete and utter flop on Thursday might just be a blessing in disguise for a couple reasons.
Richard has been on the verge of finding himself outside of the rotation for a couple weeks now, but although he hadn’t completed five innings in four of his prevous five starts, he hadn’t allowed more than four earned runs in any of them. Abbreviated outings, sure, but none that left the game an unsalvageable mess.
Thursday, he did just that. If Bartolo Colon is indeed ready to go, they may as well toss him back in the fifth spot to see if he’s learned how to throw another pitch for strikes.
(I wouldn’t count on that. He threw five innings of one-run ball on Thursday against Norfolk, but he threw 40 of 65 pitches for strikes while only striking out one batter. That doesn’t lead to me to believe awesome off-speed stuff is on the way.)
Beyond Richard, though, Thursday’s events illustrate why it’s not a good idea to willingly concede a game, which Guillen basically did by starting Richard on short rest.
I mean, I kind of get it. Guillen obviously wanted Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd ready to go in the Metrodome, in an effort to take a game.
On the other hand… the New York Yankees have been wiping the floor with the Twins this season. In fact, they finished a season sweep on Thursday, going 7-for-7 against Minnesota.
Had the Sox put a regular starter on the mound against Cleveland they would’ve gained the game they thought they might’ve gained by avoiding a Richard start in the Metrodome.
*And speaking of the Metrodome… Joe Cowley re-hashes an event from 2007, for some reason, to explain how the Twins are different from the Sox.
I used to like this rivalry.