Wednesday Night, May 14, 2008
Wednesday Game Notes
Quick notes on the Twins loss to the Blue Jays and all of the Twins minor league games. I will be back later with a Q&A with another Twins minor leaguer, so you'll want to check that out as well.
And, I know you'll read about it in the minor league section, but how about we all give a little bit of credit where credit is due! Denard Span has really taken off of late, really since he went back down to Rochester after his couple of weeks in April with the Twins. This afternoon, he hit his third home run of the season. It was his third game in a row with a home run. If he hits another homer tomorrow, he will be the first player in Red Wings history to homer in four straight games. In 21 games (so admittedly just 81 at bats) with the Red Wings, Span is now hitting .358/.458/.531 with five doubles and three homers. He also has 13 stolen bases in just 15 attempts. In other words, he has done everything for the team, and more importantly, he has done everything that the Twins could have hoped for. After all of the bashing he has had to endure (And read!), you can't help but feel good for him!
Also, I would be remiss to not mention that the Phillies Chris Coste went 4-4 yesterday against the Braves to help his batting average jump from .291 to .339. He gets to play with arguably the most pure hitter in baseball, Chase Utley, and arguably the least pure hitter in baseball, Ryan Howard.
Twins 5, Blue Jays 6
Nothing like putting your team in a hole right away... Five batters into the game, Boof Bonser gave up a grand slam to Matt Stairs and the Twins were down 4-0. Now the Twins were able to get three runs in the bottom of the first inning against Roy Halladay, but giving up that many in the first inning, consistently, is just not a good thing. Brad Radke used to give up one or two runs every first inning, it seemed. Greg Maddux and a lot of good pitchers have done the same thing. However, Boof has given up big runs in the first inning too many times. Even though he gave up just one more run over the next five innings. It is commendable that he came back well, but something needs to be done about that first inning. I don't think weight loss has much to do with that.
Justin Morneau's tear has continued, and in this game, he finally hit his seventh home run of the year, a two run homer in the first inning to cut the Jays lead in half.
Jason Kubel was back in the lineup and he crushed two doubles, both to the opposite field. It was good to see him just sit back and drive the ball the way he did, rather than lunging so much. Speaking of Kubel, Aaron Gleeman wrote a great article called Imprison Kubel? that is worth the read.
It was good to see Alexi Casilla back in the Twins lineup. And, after seeing a couple of the throws he made to first base, his arm is reminiscent of former Cubs SS Shawon Dunston. He has an absolute rocket for an arm. As for Casilla's struggles, it is hard for people to remember that he is just 23 years old. He will make mistakes. I feel partially responsible for people being disappointed in Casilla. Two years ago, he started the year in Ft. Myers (Hi-A). At the All-Star break, he moved up to AA. He moved up to the Twins on August 31st of that year to essentially be a pinch runner. Many, myself included, made the assumption that he was ready for the big leagues. The fact was the he had about six weeks of time above A ball when he came up to the Twins. So, when he began 2007 in Rochester, we were disappointed, and yet, he probably should have started the season back in New Britain. It was truly a case where our expectations were simply too high for a guy with so little experience. I still believe that Casilla can become a solid top of the order type of hitter and a good defensive player at the big league level. But if it takes a year or two, that is alright.
Am I the only one who is happy about how demonstratively upset Carlos Gomez was after he got out in the bottom of the 9th. He was clearly upset about the second strike called by the umpire, on a pitch the was clearly low, and maybe outside too. I absolutely love the fire he has and that he isn't afraid to show it. So many in baseball are just robots, so it's nice to see his energy.
Any other thoughts on the Twins? Again, I will be in attendance this afternoon when Glen Perkins takes on Dustin McGowan and the Blue Jays in the final game of the series. If you happen to see me, say hi!
Twins Minor League Updates
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Denard Span, Rochester Red Wings
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Michael Tarsi, Beloit Snappers
Wednesday - Red Wings 10, Columbus 7 – As mentioned above, the story for the Red Wings has been Denard Span. In this game, he went 3-4 with his fifth double, third homer, a walk, four runs scored and two RBI. He has been incredible! Howie Clark went 3-4 with two doubles. Garrett Jones was also 2-4, with two doubles, and a walk. Jason Pridie was 2-4. Brian Duensing was solid to start, but the sky fell on his day in a hurry. The lefty went 4.2 innings and gave up five runs (2 earned) on nine hits and two walks. Carmen Cali improved to 3-0 despite allowing a run on two hits in 1.1 innings. Julio DePaula got a hold when he gave up just one run on one hit and one walk in 1.1 innings. Tim Lahey then picked up his fifth save. He struck out three in 1.2 perfect innings.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats 2, Binghamtom 5 – In case you've missed it, Erik Lis has been on fire of late too. In this game, he went 3-3 with three doubles and now has 11 on the season. He is up to .272 after a horrific start to his season. David Winfree hit his ninth homer and drove in the two Rockcat runs. Oswaldo Sosa falls to 1-3 with this loss. He gave up five runs on nine hits and four walks in 5.2 innings. Jason Miller came in and struck out four in 2.1 scoreless innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 5, Sarasota 3 – Alex Burnett has really thrown well so far this season for the Miracle and today was no exception. He gave up three runs on nine hits in six innings. He struck out only two, but he walked none. Jose Lugo struck out three in 1.2 shutout innings. Robert Delaney recorded his ninth save with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Rene Tosoni led the offense. He went 2-2 with two walks and his third triple. Whit Robbins went 2-4 with his third double. Edward Ovalle was also 2-4. Danny Valencia knocked a three-run homer, his fifth homer of the season.
Wednesday - Snappers 11, Clinton 3 – Michael Tarsi pitched well and picked up his first in of the year after starting out 0-6. He gave up three earned runs on nine hits in six innings. He walked two batters, but he struck out seven. Blair Erickson struck out three in two perfect innings. Matt Williams struck out two in a scoreless ninth frame. Jair Fernandez went 4-5 with two doubles. He already has seven on the season in limited time. Steve Singleton also went 4-5, with his fourth double. Ben Revere is now hitting .397 after going 3-5 with his third triple. Chris Parmelee had been 2-24 in his previous eight games, but in this game, he went 2-4 with a walk and his seventh home run.
Have a great Thursday!|
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