Entries by Bob Marshall

The “Quality” Save

According to Wikipedia, a sportswriter in 1985 coined the term “quality start” and defined it as a pitcher’s completing six innings while surrendering three or fewer runs. Whether this is an “official” statistic – whatever that might mean – I have no idea. I have also been unable to learn whether such a quality start […]

The Shift

The trend toward analytics in baseball has led teams to employ infield shifts with a regularity new to the game, and I can’t say I approve. It is not so much the hits I see taken away from my favorite Twins, such as Max Kepler, as the hits I see a shift giving to the […]

Warriors Tumble

As much as like the Golden State Warriors – their personality, their style of play, their dominance – and Stephen Curry in particular, I wasn’t heartbroken by their loss in the NBA finals to the Toronto Raptors. For starters, they had every excuse for losing: injuries to Kevin Durant and, especially, Klay Thompson, meant it […]

Twins at 50

Fifty games is less than a third of a baseball season, yet it seems a milestone that the record-keepers are noting; so it presents a good opportunity to assess, nay gloat, in the Twins’ remarkable start to 2019. They have the best record in the majors, albeit only a half-game ahead of the Yankees, and […]

Twins Update

Two losses in a row, and I’m already resigned to the mediocrity of recent years. Berrios gave up 12 hits and didn’t look like the ace I don’t consider him to be. (I’m more impressed with Odorizzi.) The Twins got two two-run homers, but that was it. You wonder if they’ve become over-reliant on home […]

Twins Today

An update after the Twins disappointingly split a four-game series with the lowly Detroit Tigers: Both losses, by identical 5-3 scores, were the result of Trevor Hildenberger‘s giving up two runs in the inning he pitched. Instead of the lock-down reliever he was in the season’s first month – the dependable bridge to Taylor Rogers […]

Twins Win

The Twins’ first win at Yankee Stadium in three years is worth remarking, as is their overall record one-fifth through the season, the best in the Major Leagues. Every Minnesota fan has a deep reservoir of pessimism, but there are plenty of hopeful signs for the remainder of the 2019 season. First is the fact […]

Hope Springs Eternal

One game does not a season make, any more than spring training should be used to judge a team’s prospects. That said, the Twins’Opening Day 2-0 win over Cleveland gave me a lot to be hopeful about for the 2019 season. Six things in particular. 1. Jose Berrios pitched like the ace the Twins claim […]

Birds of Australia

I didn’t go to Australia to go birding – tennis, beach resort, Sydney sights and hiking were on the agenda – but I did take my binox and had some good moments. On Lord Howe Island I counted 24 of the species pictured in that island’s field guide, missing only four. Most were found feeding […]

Sands Beach Birds

As often as I go to Sands Beach at UCSB for Western Snowy Plover docent duty, I still get surprises. This Thanksgiving Matt Hall joined me for my 11-1 shift and we had a memorable outing. For one thing, the wind was fierce, making a 73-degree day bone-chillingly cold. Nothing could be seen floating, but […]