Despite giving up more baserunners than last year, Carl Pavano has been stingier with base-stealers. Last year, he gave up 31 stolen bases in 33 games, while he's given up just 10 in his fourteen starts.
That difference is due, in part, to a change the Twins made last year in response to teams running crazy against Pavano - Drew Butera became his personal catcher. That will undoubtedly NOT be the case tonight. with the Twins playing in a National League park, the only way Joe Mauer makes his way into the starting lineup is as the starting catcher.
So I'll be paying special attention to how Pavano and the Twins react to any Giants that make their way to first base. It could be that Pavano has made some adjustments to better hold runners. It could be that Mauer has recovered enough over the last couple of months to close the defensive gap between he and Butera. And it bodes well that the Giants don't have a single player in double-digits with steals.
You can bet the coaching staff and front office will be paying special attention to that, too. Injured players are getting healthier. One of the healthy players left with options is Butera. It would make that decision a lot easier if Pavano and Mauer can work together to control the opposition's running game.