It's always nice to see a young pitcher have a great game, to get his first shutout, to show that he's really got the goods to be a big-leaguer. You get a warm, fuzzy feeling when a 23-year-old kid like Baltimore's Daniel Cabrera, a pitcher who hadn't shown much more than potential up until now, throw an endless stream of nasty fastballs and curveballs to strike out 11 while giving up only three hits and two walks over eight innings. That's a pretty nice line for any pitcher, but for a guy still looking to prove himself and make his mark, it combines with an excellent start last week (in a loss against Toronto) to add up to a breakout performance.
There's just one problem with this picture. The team at the losing end of this show-stopper of an outing was the Twins, who lost 3-0 to the Orioles. After scoring 24 runs in a sweep of Tampa Bay over the weekend, the Twins looked like a team that makes winning look easy. Except that winning is easy against the Rays, but is not so easy against the AL East-leading Orioles — especially when some punk kid is making you guess at an 89 mile-an-hour breaking pitch. Even "Patience" Jones went 0-for-3, which these days is a pretty good sign that a pitcher is fully in control, as Cabrera was today. Here's hoping that the next time the Twins face a rising young pitcher, they crush his hopes and dreams in a flurry of hard-hit balls.