Monday Night, May 12, 2008
Monday Game Notes
I do have a Q&A with a Twins minor leaguer which I will post a little bit later. But I wanted to get some thoughts on the Twins game as well as their minor league affiliates posted separately and ahead of time. So, be sure to check back later this evening.
TWINS/RED SOX SERIES
Going into the series, I have to think that most Twins fans would have been thrilled if the Twins would have split the four game series, won two games. So when they won last night and won three out of four, it was a great series win for the Twins. In my mind, the Red Sox are the best team in baseball, so this was a good barometer for where the Twins are right now. And, hopefully it is a good barometer of how good this Twins team can be. Maybe this team is entirely better than we gave them credit for... I have to believe that, as will all teams, the Twins will go through a rough patch at some point. The true test of how good this team is will be at that time. How quickly can they turn things around? How will they handle the struggles? How will the young guys handle it? I personally think they will handle it fine, but it is worth watching. Here are a couple of thoughts on Monday night's game:
Livan Hernandez is what he is. I don't know what it would take for me to believe in him being a quality pitcher. However, to this point in the season, he has been a good pitcher. Believe me, when he gave up three first inning runs, my thoughts was that he may be able to get mediocre hitters and teams out and have some success. However, good teams and good lineups will get to him. Well, Hernandez then went five more innings without giving up a run. He is now 6-1 and really deserves a lot of credit. Whether you believe in him or not. Whether you think he can maintain his good pitching. I think we can all admit that to this point, he has been better than expected and given the Twins probably more than even they thought he would.
It was again good to see Juan Rincon pitch well. he threw two shutout innings. With Pat Neshek out and the fact that the Twins are going to pay Rincon's salary either way, he might as well pitch well!
I may be wrong. Many may disagree with me. But I am a total believer in Jesse Crain. Seriously, anyone who throws 95-96 mph is worth watching. Anyone who can throw a slider at 89 mph is worth paying attention to. Then adding a slow curveball at 76-78 mph means he should be great. And, I think he will be. It's impressive to know that he is probably still not quite at 100%
How about the middle of the Twins lineup in tonight's game:
Joe Mauer - 1-2 with two walks and three runs.
Justin Morneau - 2-4 with an RBI. After going 0-4 on Friday night, he went 7-11 in the final three games.
Michael Cuddyer went 2-4 with an RBI. And, he made a great catch off of his cap. I'm sure you're seen it on highlights shows, and maybe we can find it on YouTube soon!
Craig Monroe was at DH again, and he went 1-2 with two walks and his sixth double, a two run double that helped put the game out of reach.
Delmon Young went 2-4 with two RBI. He did leave the game after rolling his ankle in the bottom of the 8th inning. He seemed to be alright, so hopefully he won't have to miss much time. He is five for his last 15.
I guess I was wrong when I predicted a no-hitter for Clay Buchholz, huh? Eight hits, five walks and seven earned runs in 4.1 innings isn't too good. I can't believe how few fastballs he throws, you know, since his fastball touches 95-96 mph. He's got great secondary pitches too. But if he's throwing less than 40% fastballs, he's just asking for trouble. Ask Francisco Liriano about throwing so many breaking balls.
I'm sure you've seen it by now, but Cleveland called up Jason Tyner over the weekend to be a backup OF.
Any other thoughts on the Twins, the Red Sox or other baseball paraphernalia? Leave Comments, or feel free to e-mail me.
Twins Minor League Updates
Monday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Denard Span, Rochester Red Wings
Monday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Danny Graves, Rochester Red Wings
Monday - Red Wings 5, Buffalo 1 – Danny Graves was promoted to Rochester after spending time in both Ft. Myers and New Britain already. The Twins wanted a better feel for what they have in the 34 year old, so they decided to give him a start. Based on this start, there is a good chance the we will see Graves in a Twins uniform later this year. The righty went four innings and gave up just two hits. He walked none and struck out two. Mariano Gomez came in and gave up a run on three hits in just one inning. Julio DePaula, after winning ten a year ago out of the Red Wings bullpen, picked up his first of the 2008 season with two shutout innings. Tim Lahey recorded his fourth save with five strikeouts in two shutout innings. Denard Span led the offense with a big day. He went 3-5 with his fourth doubles and his first home run, a two run homer in the 8th inning. Jose Morales went 3-4 with a triple. Darnell McDonald went 2-5 with his third triple. Brian Buscher and Howie Clark each went 2-4. Chris Basak hit his 3rd homer.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Monday - Rockcats 2, New Hampshire 11 – Anthony Swarzak threw too many pitches in this game, but it was not horrible. In four innings, he gave up three runs (1 earned) on five hits and four walks. He struck out three. Jay Sawatski came in and did his best to make room on the New Britain roster. He gave up six earned runs on six hits and four walks in just 1.1 innings. Armando Gabino came in and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. Erik Lis hit his 7th and 8th doubles in four at bats. Felix Molina went 3-4. Dustin Martin went 2-4. Trevor Plouffe returned to the lineup after missing a couple of games with a tight hamstring.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Monday - Miracle 2, Sarasota 7 – Jeff Manship had his first rough start of the season. The righty gave up six earned runs on ten hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out eight. Frank Mata made his first appearance of the season after experiencing visa issues. He spent last year in New Britain, so it is likely that he will make a few appearances and then move up to the Rockcats. This outing was a scoreless inning. Matt Fox gave up a run on three hits and a walk in three innings. The Miracle managed just five hits. Brian Dinkelman hit his 12th double. Danny Valencia hit his first triple. By the way, former Twins farmhand and top ten Twins prospect according to this site, Alexander Smit was the winning pitcher in this game. The Dutch lefty gave up just one run on three hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out eight. He is now 3-3 on the season with a 4.58 ERA.
Monday - Snappers 4, Clinton 6 – Santos Arias took his first loss. In five innings, he gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out six. Charles Nolte then gave up three runs on five hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Loek Van Mil went 2.2 shutout innings. Joe Benson went 2-4 with his eighth double. Ben Revere walked twice and stole his seventh base. Ramon Santana hit his third homer.
Again, be sure to check back later for the Q&A.|
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