Tuesday Night, May 15, 2007
Manship, Slowey and More
Hey everyone! I didn't have a lot to write last night, but tonight could be full. I mean, the Top 3 American Idol contestants are on again tonight. (Click here for American Idol Thoughts... or scroll down) And, you are likely here because I mentioned that Kevin Slowey and Jeff Manship were starting tonight. That is the case, but I neglected to tell you that Brian Duensing is taking the mound for New Britain, and Oswaldo Sosa is on the hill for the Ft. Myers Miracle. So, four of the Twins top pitching prospects are on the mound tonight. The Twins are about to get started with game one of their three game series in Cleveland. Garrett Jones is in the lineup to make his big league debut. He will be batting 8th and DHing. I will be checking in throughout the night. If you have updates, please leave them in the comments. I will be posting occasional updates and answering any questions you may have. So, ask away!
I plan to listen to much of the Rochester game, at least while Kevin Slowey is pitching. You can listen here to Josh Whetzel, the Red Wings voice on radio. Click here and go to the appropriate league for the box scores.
UPDATE - 6:48 central - Well, Ramon Ortiz started the game for the Twins, and it appears that he is back in traditional Ramon Ortiz form. He gave up six runs in the first inning. That pretty much nullified Michael Cuddyer's two run homer in the top of the first. Glen Perkins is entering the game in the Top of the 2nd. Here is an opportunity for him to stretch or extend himself in an attempt to eventually make some starts. Garrett Jones made his big league debut. In his first at bat, he flew out to CF on a 2-0 pitch. Kevin Slowey has given up two hits in three shutout innings. He just got a diving play from Matt Moses to end the third. Had it been a hit, the Red Wings would be behind by a run. Brian Duensing had a rough start. In just 2.1 innings, he gave up 6 runs (4 earned) on seven hits and a walk. Trevor Plouffe has the lone hit for the Rockcats through two innings. Ft. Myers scored a first inning run. Erik Lis doubled in Luis Ugueto. Oswaldo Sosa has thrown two shutout innings. Jeff Manship is not pitching for Beloit tonight. Adam Hawes is. I apologize for getting your hopes up!
UPDATE - 7:08 central - Glen Perkins gave up three runs in the 2nd. This is an ugly game for the Twins. The defense is not helping at all, with the exception of another outfield assist by Michael Cuddyer. Kevin Slowey has now thrown four shutout innings. He has been helped by his catcher Jose Morales who has already thrown out two runners trying to steal 2B. Unfortunately, the Red Wings offense has also not scored through four innings. Luis Ugueto, the 28 year old player-coach, is 2-2. New Britain is down 6-0 to Harrisburg and they have just four hits. JP Martinez is now pitching for the Rockcats. No score in the Beloit game.
UPDATE - 7:25 central - Kevin Slowey gave up a run in the bottom of the 5th inning. Jon Schuerholz blooped a two out single into CF that scored Doug Clark from 2B. Clark led off the inning with a bunt single. So, through five innings, the Red Wings are down 1-0. Matt Guerrier is now in the game for the Twins, so Glen Perkins could only give two innings. New Britain is still down 6-0 in the 5th inning. David Winfree and Trevor Plouffe each have an error. In the fifth inning, the Miracle still have a 1-0 lead over Clearwater. Oswaldo Sosa has given up just three hits, walked one and struck out two. Danny Santiesteban just hit his fifth homer of the year, a solo shot, to give the Beloit Snappers a 1-0 lead over Peoria.
UPDATE - 7:55 central - Kevin Slowey got some run support immediately following the run he gave up. With two on, Matt Moses blooped a double to score Denard Span from second to tie the game. After a Matthew Lecroy groundout and a Glenn Williams walk, Jose Morales gave the Red Wings a lead with a single. Tommy Watkins then hit a pinch hit sacrifice fly and the Red Wings have a 3-1 lead. Then in the bottom of the 6th inning, Slowey gave up a one-out triple, but he got a strikeout of Graham Koonce and a pop up from TJ Bohn to end the inning. Luis Ugueto has three of the Ft. Myers' five hits, but they still lead 1-0. Peoria scored two unearned runs in the third frame due to a Steve Singleton error. Matt Guerrier threw two shutout innings for the Twins. They are down 9-3 going into the bottom of the 6th inning, and Jesse Crain is in the game. For all those Nick Punto fans out there who talk about his defense, he has been booting balls left and right in this game. The Twins scored their third run on a homer by Justin Morneau, his 10th. Note - Jesse Crain just drilled Victor Martinez in the back. That was pretty clearly intentional, but Crain did a nice just of looking as though he didn't mean it.
AMERICAN IDOL UPDATE - 8:01 central - Well, I have also been watching American Idol because, well, that's what I do. Tonight, each of the three remaining performers had to sing three songs. As they do every year, the judges pick one song, the producers choose one song and then the contestant gets to choose a song. The highlight may have been watching Blake Lewis beat-box with Sir Mix-A-Lot of Baby Got Back fame! Anyway, here are my rankings (#9-#1), followed by my thoughts on what will happen tomorrow night's elimination episode.
#9 - Jordin Sparks - Wishing on a Star - good, not that exciting.
#8 - Blake Lewis - Roxanne - Strange song choice, but actually good for his vocals.
#7 - Jordin Sparks - She Works Hard for the Money - Not bad. Not really for her though.
#6 - Blake Lewis - This Love - I actually thought that this was an excellent performance.
#5 - Blake Lewis - When I Get You Alone - definitely an unknown song. But he was very good.
#4 - Melinda Doolittle - I'm a Woman - She's so good. She was great, and yet I thought it was her third best.
#3 - Melinda Doolittle - I Believe in You and Me - A Whitney Houston. I thought other Whitney songs would have been better, but she did well.
#2 - Melinda Doolittle - Not Bush City Limits - Tina Turner. That is so her! Very impressive.
#1 - Jordin Sparks - I Who Have Nothing - She has sung it before, and she was incredible. I thought it was the best performance of the night.
Summary - Well, if you were to average their rankings, it would be Melinda Doolittle (3.0), Jordin Sparks (5.7) and Blake Lewis (6.3). I think we all just assume that Melinda will be in the finals, and she should be. Unless all voters just make that assumption, she should be around in the final week. The question is which of the other two will move into the finals. That is a tough choice. Like Paula Abdul said at the end of the show, they are all so different. I can see all three of them being marketable. I think that it will be the end of the line for Blake Lewis, just because I thought his songs were not as known. But then again, neither were Jordin's. But will voters remember her first two songs, or the last song? OK, I don't know. I'll guess that Blake is done. What do you think?
UPDATE - 8:23 central - Jesse Crain gave up six runs in 2/3 of the sixth inning. Juan Rincon came in and got the last out, but it is now 15-3. Paul Byrd hit Mike Redmond with the first pitch of the top of the 7th. That is the retaliation. Redmond went to 1st base and it was over. Garrett Jones then singled to right field for his first big league hit. Congratulations! The Twins scored two runs in the inning to cut the Cleveland lead to 15-5! Kevin Slowey pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and the Red Wings remain on top 3-1. The New Britain Rockcats are now down 9-3 to Harrisburg. JP Martinez went 2.1 shutout innings in relief, but Danny Powers has given up three runs in his two innings. The Rockcats bats are going though. Trevor Plouffe is now 3-4 with two doubles. Brock Peterson is 2-3 with a solo homer, his 2nd of the year. Matt Allegra and Brandon Roberts are both 2-3 with a double. Clearwater scored a run in the top of the 7th to tie Ft. Myers at one run a piece. Luis Ugueto is 3-4. Whit Robbins is now 2-4. Erik Lis had the RBI double early. That is all the hits. Oswaldo Sosa went the first six innings and did not allow a run. Frank Mata came in for the seventh and gave up two singles. Then he struck out the next two hitters. But then the next batter, Greg Golson, singled in the tying run. Mata pitched a shutout 8th inning. Adam Hawes gave up an earned run in the 5th to Peoria, so the Snappers are now down 3-1. Hawes has pitched well through six innings. Beloit has just three hits.
UPDATE - 8:38 central - Justin Morneau just hit his 11th home run, a deep fly ball to right field. They're only down by 9 now. Kevin Slowey went 7.2 innings. He seemed to just get stronger as the game went along. But he hit the 100 pitch count and gave up a single to Martin Prado, so Julio DePaula entered the game in relief. He got a blooper that Matt Tolbert made a great play on to end the inning. So, on the night, Kevin Slowey went 7.2 inning. He gave up one run on seven hits. He walked one and struck out six. He just continues to amaze! Note - Jason Kubel just hit his first home run of the year. You may think these are all meaningless runs and home runs, but they aren't. I told someone a couple of days ago that Kubel just needs to hit one, and when he does, I think he will hit about three or four in the next week.
UPDATE - 8:48 central - Bobby Korecky just got the third out and preserved a 3-1 win for the Rochester Red Wings. Kevin Slowey improves to 4-2 with a International League leading 1.46 ERA.
UPDATE - 8:58 central - David Winfree hit his second home run of the season tonight. Jay Sawatski pitched a shutout inning for New Britain. Jose Mijares pitched the top of the 9th and gave up two runs on another home run ball. Ft. Myers and Clearwater are now in the 10th inning. As you could guess, the Miracle still have six hits. Eddie Morlan struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning. He struck out three in the 10th inning. Unfortunately, he gave up two hits and two runs in that inning as well. So, unless the Miracle can score two or three in the bottom half of the 10th, they will not win. Justin Morneau just struck out to end the Twins loss. 15-7. That is a tough one. It was hard enough to watch the Twins big win over Detroit on Sunday night. It's even harder to watch a blowout when your team is on the losing side! The Beloit Snappers are still down 3-1 in the 8th inning. Danny Valencia has added a single, so the team now has four hits. After Adam Hawes went six innings, Armando Gabino has throw two shutout innings in relief, lowering his ERA to 0.86.
SLOWEY ON SUNDAY?? By the way, I have to give some major props to the Commenters over at LaVelle's Blog tonight. Due to Ramon Ortiz's short start, maybe he could come back on short rest and start on Saturday night against Milwaukee. If that is the case, Kevin Slowey is next due to start for the Red Wings on Sunday. Maybe he would be able to start for the Twins instead? Certainly a great idea!!
UPDATE - 9:26 central - The New Britain Rockcats put together a big rally in the bottom of the ninth, but it just wasn't enough and the team lost 11-8. David Winfree doubled in a run. Matt Allegra's ground rule double scored two more. Brandon Roberts singled in a run, but it was still a loss. HOLY SHOCKING! Surprise Surprise! The Ft. Myers Miracle scored three runs in the Bottom of the 10th to beat Clearwater 4-3, making Eddie Morlan the winning pitcher! Javi Sanchez walked. Steven Tolleson pinch hit for Toby Gardenhire and singled. Luis Ugueto walked. Dwayne White singled in a run. Then Erik Lis singled in two runs with a single to right to win the game. Good for the Miracle! The Beloit Snappers fell 3-1 to Peoria. Johnny Woodard had two of the team's five hits. By the way, LaVelle did ask Gardy after the game if he would consider moving Ramon Ortiz up to Saturday. Gardy kind of stopped him and just said No. That he might have to be used out of the bullpen for the next few games if need be. But, I still think that if they take a step back and think it through, moving up Slowey to start Sunday may make some sense. That said, how the Twins pitch the next two days may very well dictate exactly what the team needs to do.
Tuesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Erik Lis, Ft. Myers Miracle
Tuesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Kevin Slowey, Rochester Red Wings
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