Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday Night Notes
First, be sure to listen to me and Fanatic Jack air things out on Saturday morning’s DW The Great podcast at 10:00.
Twins 10, Royals 3
People mocked and ridiculed when I dared to predict that Scott Baker could finish third in AL Cy Young voting. Last night, he took on the 2009 AL Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke, and he was clearly the better pitcher. Obviously that is the smallest of sample size (one game), and no one expects Baker to be as dominant as Greinke. Dominant in terms of strikeouts, at least. But I will stand by my thoughts that I think Scott Baker will pitch himself into the upper echelon of pitchers in the American League.
The Twins scored ten runs and yet had so many opportunities for so many more runs. They had 11 hits and nine walks in the game. Denard Span was 2-3 with a walk. Orlando Hudson was 2-3 with two walks and a double. Michael Cuddyer was 2-5 with a double and three RBI. JJ Hardy was 2-5 with two RBI. Brendan Harris was 2-3 with a walk. Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel each had two walks.
This Royals team has the look that it should be better. I mean, they have four starters that are decent. Greinke is great. Gil Meche is solid when healthy. Brian Bannister is decent most of the time. Luke Hochevar still has good upside. Joakim Soria is the best closer in the division. Of course, the bridge from starter to Soria. Do you remember last year when Robinson Tejeda had a good month?
The Royals offense has a couple of weapons. Billy Butler is a great hitter. Jose Guillen is off to a good start. Scott Podsednik is off to a good start (and what a game he had with the glove!). David DeJesus has had potential for a long time. Rick Ankiel? Well, there is a reason he let go by the Cardinals and signed cheap with the Royals. Alberto Callaspo can hit. Jason Kendall is horrible. Willie Bloomquist is bad. Hey, Alex Gordon was activated from the Disabled List today! But they are all big league players which means they are capable of having good games from time to time. The evidence of that is three hits from Yunieski Betancourt last night, one of the game’s worst hitters.
But, that is why they play the game. And, today, they will play that game at noon today. Nick Blackburn will start for the Twins. Gil Meche will take the mound of the Twins.
Please feel free to leave your comments here.
SethSpeaks Friday Minor League Hitter of the Day – Steve Singleton – New Britain Rockcats
SethSpeaks Friday Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Brad Stillings – Beloit Snappers
· Hot off the Presses - Be sure to read Roger’s Weekly Minor League report.
· Paul Kelly has missed the last three or four games. That can make Twins fans nervous, but I am told that it is just a sprained ankle.
Red Wings Report
Friday – Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 0 – Before the start of the bottom of the 2nd inning, the rains came and this game was suspended. Not much to write about. Glen Perkins struck out two in the one inning that he pitched. Brian Dinkelman led off the game with a double. Danny Valencia had a walk. The game will continue right where it left off, later in the season. The Red Wings will be playing their home opener today against Pawtucket.
New Britain Notes
Friday – New Britain 2, Harrisburg 1 – The story of this game was supposed to be the Rockcats opportunity to face phenom Stephen Strasburg. Unfortunately, rain became the story for most of the night, but in the end, the most important story was that the Rockcats picked up their first win of the season after seven unsuccessful attempts. Against Strasburg, the Rockcats got two hits. In the second frame, Joe Benson reached on an infield single and a throwing error moved him to second. Juan Portes followed with a double to tie the game at one. Tyler Robertson started for New Britain. He gave up a first inning run and pitched a scoreless second inning as well. And then the rains came. Henry Arias was a surprise addition to the Rockcats roster, and after struggling with the Miracle, he provided three shutout innings, allowing just two hits. Spencer Steedley came in and struck out four in 3.1 innings of relief for the win. Chris Province picked up his first save of the year by getting the final two outs. How did the Rockcats pick up the winning run? In the top of the 8th, Steve Singleton doubled, and Rene Tosoni hit a triple to drive him in. Benson went 2-4 in the game. Singleton was 2-4 with the double and a triple.
Friday – Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 4 – Two Australian pitchers impressed for the Miracle on this night, but all did not end well for Ft. Myers on this night. Brad Tippett made his first start of the season. He gave up one run on four hits in 4.1 innings. As you would expect, he walked none. Matt Williams came off of the Disabled List and in his first outing, he threw 3.1 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, one walk and struck out three. Billy Bullock came in and got the final out of the 8th inning. With a one run lead going into the ninth frame, Bullock gave up the game-tying run on a single. Fortunately, Evan Bigley threw out a second base runner at home plate to send the game to extra innings. Bullock stayed in for the 10th and after getting the first two hitters out, he gave up a single and a two-run homer and the game was done. Chris Herrmann went 2-4 in the game. Michael Harrington went 2-4 with two doubles.
Friday – Beloit 6, Kane Country 0 – Although the score makes it look like a blowout, it was actually a 1-0 lead until the Snappers scored five in the top of the 9th inning. But pitching was the story in this game. Brad Stillings went the first 4.2 innings and struck out four. Kane Holbrooks gets the win with three innings in relief. He notched four strikeouts as well. Steve Blevins gets the save because he got the final out of the 8th inning, protecting a one-run lead. He pitched the bottom of the 9th as well. The Snappers got on the board first in the 7th inning. An Angel Morales double was followed by a Wang-Wei Lin RBI single. In the ninth, Danny Rams led off with a double and scored on Michael Gonzales’s third home run of the young season. Hits by Morales and Lin set the table for a big three run homer from Josmil Pinto that gave the Snappers their 6-0 lead. Aside from Morales and Lin, Rams had two hits. Brian Dozier went 3-5. The early season struggles of two of the Snappers top prospects continue. James Beresford went 0-4 and is now 2-26 (.077) and Aaron Hicks went 0-5 to fall to .033 (1-30).
Any thoughts on the Twins or their minor league system? Leave your comments here.