Found May 09, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Go ahead. Cue the punny headlines.You could go with "A Diamond in the rough." Or perhaps "A Diamond is forever." Maybe "Nothing sparkles like a Diamond" is more your speed.Whatever you choose to call Scott Diamond's 2012 debut with the Twins, make sure you call it one thing: impressive. For a team so desperately needing a strong outing from a starting pitcher, Minnesota got one Tuesday from Diamond. The 25-year-old left-hander twirled a dandy at Target Field, holding the visiting Los Angeles Angels scoreless through seven innings in the Twins' 5-0 victory. He allowed just four hits three singles and a double while striking out six and walking just one.It marked the first time all season that a Twins pitcher had started a game with six scoreless innings. It was also the first time all season that Minnesota held an opponent scoreless.The Twins can thank Diamond for that."I guess if you draw a baseball game up, that's pretty much the way you do it," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "You score early, you give your starter a little breathing room and he takes it and was pretty much strike one all night long. He was in command of the baseball game."Given how Diamond had pitched this season at Triple-A Rochester before his promotion, Tuesday's impressive start shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. Diamond was 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six starts with the Red Wings. That included 26 strikeouts and just seven walks in 34 23 innings."He did the exact same thing that he was doing down there, pumping first-pitch strikes and working ahead and using that breaking ball as an out pitch," said Twins catcher Drew Butera, who was behind the plate Tuesday and caught Diamond twice this year in Rochester.Diamond did have one outlier in his six Triple-A starts this season he gave up seven runs on 11 hits in 6 13 innings on April 29 against Buffalo. Prior to that outing he had allowed just three earned runs in his first four starts combined."I think I was just up in the zone a little bit. I honestly don't think I had the best pitch sequences, I guess, to some of the hitters," Diamond said Monday of his lone shaky outing. "I think it was the first time I'd faced them all year. I knew a lot of those hitters from last year, or at least they knew me. I didn't perform the best."Diamond put that start behind him, and it eventually led to a trip back to the majors. Now, the question is whether he can stick with the Twins. Tuesday's outing made a strong case for Minnesota to keep Diamond around for a while. Right-hander Liam Hendriks was optioned to Rochester and Diamond was called up in his place for a chance to help a Twins rotation that had a Major League-worst ERA of 6.75 prior to Tuesday. Maybe Diamond will prove to be the shot in the arm this staff needed."We have to go day by day with it. It's a nice start. A big pick-us-up," Gardenhire said. "Mr. Diamond threw the heck out of the baseball. Tomorrow we've got to get somebody else to step up and get us deep into the game again."Diamond might not have been in this situation if Scott Baker wasn't out for the season with a right elbow injury. The Twins originally pegged Hendriks to start in Baker's place, but Hendriks struggled in four starts 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA. So down went Hendriks and up came Diamond, who made seven starts last year with the Twins. He was 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA with Minnesota in 2011 and gave up 51 hits and 17 walks in 39 innings for a WHIP of 1.744. His minor league numbers weren't any better last season he finished 2011 with a 4-14 record and an ERA of 5.56.But something has changed for Diamond since last year. He was reassigned to Triple-A in the middle of spring training to get more innings in camp. So far, the results have translated into a fast start to the 2012 season.On Tuesday, Diamond was consistently getting ahead of batters. He finished with 11 ground ball outs, six strikeouts and zero fly ball outs. The key seemed to be his fastball."Honestly for me, his curveball was just as good last year. I just think his fastball sets that up much better this year," Butera said. "He's throwing a little harder and he's throwing more strikes with it."Diamond said he learned quite a bit from his brief stint in the majors last year. He talked quite a bit with veteran starter Carl Pavano about working deep into games and using that mentality every start.Diamond did so Tuesday, accomplishing something few Minnesota starters have been able to do so far. It resulted in a Twins win and a positive note in an otherwise frustrating start to the season for Minnesota."I think all around, the way we played that game was the best we can," Diamond said. "That was a lot of fun."Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Betting - Ride the Winning Streak!

Angels at Twins - Scott Diamond has been called up to face Haren. Good luck with that as Diamond is nothing spectular, but more of a filler. The trend is 81% of the betting public is taking the Angels money line. TV's Take: Angels -175/ Bet $350 for an easy $200. Braves at Cubs - I love Dempster in this game. He has been solid all year despite getting the lowest run production...

Dozier off to good start in major league debut

MINNEAPOLIS Twins shortstop Brian Dozier played well enough in spring training to perhaps warrant a shot at the majors out of camp. Still, he said before spring was over that he expected to start the year in the minor leagues. That's exactly how it played out. But when Dozier was assigned to Triple-A Rochester to start the season, he used that as motivation instead of getting...

Willingham out sick for Twins

Minnesota Twins slugger Josh Willingham was scratched from the lineup on Monday night because of an illness. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Willingham likely would be available later in the game if needed to pinch hit, but he wanted to give his outfielder a chance to recover. Willingham leads the Twins with five home runs. Second baseman Alexi Casilla also missed the game with a sore...

Twins move Liriano to bullpen, demote Valencia

The struggling Minnesota Twins are shaking things up, moving Francisco Liriano to the bullpen and optioning third baseman Danny Valencia to Triple-A Rochester. The Twins announced the moves on Wednesday night after a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels that dropped them to an MLB-worst 8-22. Liriano is 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA in six starts this season. Manager Ron Gardenhire says they...

Sansevere: Call-ups offer hope for Twins

Here's the headline from the other night: Diamond pitched a gem. Yeah, it's corny. It's also true. Scott Diamond, in his first start of the season, pitched seven scoreless innings and gave the Twins the lift they needed in a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Diamond sparkled. I know. I can't help myself. On Wednesday night, the 25-year-old from up north...

Twins designate Matt Maloney for assignment- promote Darin Mastroianni

The Minnesota Twins designated Matt Maloney for assignment, optioned Danny Valencia to Triple-A and called up Darin Mastroianni according to the team's official Twitter account. Maloney went 1-0 with a 8.18 ERA, 1.6 HR/9, 0.8 BB/9 and 4.1 SO/9 in 11.0 with the Twins this season. Mastroianni was hitting .346/.393/.423 with 11 RBI's and a .816 OPS with the Twins' Triple...

Haren, Angels, shut out by struggling Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Scott Diamond pitched a career-best seven scoreless innings in his season debut and Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer, giving the Minnesota Twins a much-needed jolt in a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. Diamond (1-0) struck out six, the most in any of his eight major league starts, and allowed only four hits. He's the first Twins starter...

Twins try for second series win against Angels

The Minnesota Twins recorded their only set of back-to-back victories last month at Target Field against the Los Angeles Angels. After their best performance at the plate in May, the Twins will try again to post two straight wins over the visiting Angels on Wednesday night while adding to right-hander Ervin Santana's losing streak. Minnesota had produced a combined eight runs...

Liriano moved to bullpen, Valencia demoted

MINNEAPOLIS Sitting fourteen games under .500, the Minnesota Twins needed to do something, anything, to possibly light a fire under the team. After Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Angels, they did just that. Minnesota made a slew of roster moves Wednesday night with the hope of jumpstarting a struggling club. Perhaps the most notable move was third baseman Danny Valencia, who...

Liriano to bullpen; Valencia demoted

Marooned at the bottom of the AL Central division with an MLB-worst 8-22 record, the Minnesota Twins couldn't wait any longer for Francisco Liriano and Danny Valencia to get going. The Twins moved Liriano from the rotation to the bullpen and sent Valencia, once a promising third base prospect, to Triple-A Rochester as part of a major shakeup to try and instill some energy and...

Wake Up Joe!!!

It's a familiar site for the Twins.  Span is on first with one out and up to the plate is Twins' number three hitter Joe Mauer.  The first pitch is a cheese ball right down the middle of the plate.  Mauer aptly takes the pitch and proceeds to lightly brush the dirt around in the batters box.  He's behind in the count right away at 0-1, no big deal. The next pitch...

Game Preview 5/8/12 -- They See Me Rollin' - Angels @ Twins

@ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (13-17) @ Minnesota Twins (7-21) Pitching Probables: LAA – Dan Haren (1-2, 3.43 ERA)  MIN – Scott Diamond (0-0, -.-- ERA) Game Info: 5:10 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 It seems like the Angels haven't been able to get on this good of a roll in forever, they've won the last 7 out of 9 games while giving up no more than...

Game Preview 5/9: - Shift in momentum Angels @ Twins

@ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (13-18) @ Minnesota Twins (8-21) Pitching Probables: LAA – Ervin Santana (0-6, 5.59 ERA)  MIN – Carl Pavano (2-2, 4.62 ERA) Game Info: 5:10 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 When this series began, it seemed to be set up more perfectly than you could imagine. The Minnesota Twins just allowed the Angels to gain not only three wins...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.