Friday, May 15, 2009
Sweep Complete! Bring on the Yankees
It’s Friday, which means I am in charge of the Morning Doinks on the Twins Page at BaseballDigest.com, so here are a series of Twins topics for you to read and enjoy.
· The Twins completed a three game sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a dramatic come-from-behind 6-5 win on Thursday afternoon. Through five innings, both Scott Baker and Justin Verlander were throwing shutouts and cruising. However, in the sixth inning, Baker gave up five runs. Down 5-0, the Twins were able to work Verlander over 120 pitches and he left the game after a walk and a single in the bottom of the 7th. At that point, the Twins bats came alive. Then with the Twins down 5-4 with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Joe Crede blooped a two-run single to centerfield that gave the Twins a 6-5 lead. The bullpen got the job done the rest of the way to hold the lead. Jason Kubel went 3-4 with two doubles. Denard Span went 2-4. Craig Breslow went 1.2 innings of shutout relief, and Matt Guerrier got the final out of the 8th inning. Joe Nathan struck out two in a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save.
· How good was Justin Verlander on this day. 6+ innings pitched. 13 strikeouts. According to Denard Span, “"I knew he was nasty today when I saw Joe Mauer offering at pitches he normally doesn't swing at. That's how you know someone is going good."”
· Speaking of Joe Crede playing hero. He came to the plate with the bases loaded and the scored tied at ten on Wednesday night. On a 1-2 pitch, he hit a grand slam to help the Twins win that game in the 13th inning. If we go back to an old statistic that has not been used over the last several years, in the series, Joe Crede would have had all three Game-Winning RBI. He was 4-15 in the series. Jason Kubel raised his batting average from .308 to .333 by going 6-10 in the three games. Kubel came in to pinch hit with a runner on, down by two, in the bottom of the 8th, against Joel Zumaya, and on the first pitch hit a home run to tie the game. Joe Mauer went 4-11 with four walks and a home run in the series as well.
· Next up for the Twins? A four game series in New York against the Yankees. The Twins will face Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins to the mound against Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte.
· If you had May 14th on the Gardy’s First Ejection pool, congratulations!
· Delmon Young will be away from the team for a little while with Jose Morales being called up to take his place. Young has been placed on the Family Medical Emergency list as a family member of his is very ill, according to LaVelle E. Neal. Jim Mandelaro discusses the Morales promotion, and says that it is Delmon Young’s mother that is very ill. Obviously we wish Young and his family the best.
· In the same article, Mandelaro also commented that Mike Radcliff, Twins Director of Player Personnel, was in Rochester to watch Sean Henn and Bobby Keppel.
· Ed Thoma of the Mankato Free Press find the selection of Jose Morales as intriguing, particularly with the Twins going to New York. You see, the Yankees top two catchers are Jorge Posada and Jose Molina. Both of them are injured. So, is it possible that the Twins are trying to showcase Morales? Thoma admits that is a stretch. In reality, Morales becomes a DH option with Jason Kubel likely to see more time in LF in the short-term.
· Matt Guerrier has been very good much of this season. Nick Nelson points out that the team’s (meaning the other bullpen arms) need to protect his arm so that he doesn’t tire in the second half of the season.
· According to Phil Mackey, Jason Kubel thinks he can be a .300 hitter. The Twins could really use that!
· On Wednesday, Justin Murphy posted his Upstate Update, a look at the Rochester Red Wings play of late. He e-mailed me something that is certainly worth mentioning, “David Winfree's batting line, with an OBP under .300 and slugging (almost) .500. I poked around a little bit and found that, on the major league level, only two players EVER have done that over a full season- Dave Kingman in 1976, Mike Jacobs in 2008.”
· Phil Miller tells us what kind of music bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek is not a fan of!
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Thursday - SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Mark Dolenc, Ft. Myers Miracle
Thursday - SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Robertson, Ft. Myers Miracle
Thursday –Rochester 5, Indianapolis 4 – David Winfree has made a career out of coming up with big hits in big situations. Late in this game, Winfree came up with two on and two outs, and drilled a long, three run homer to give the Red Wings the lead. It was his fifth homer of the season. Luke Hughes went 2-3 with a walk and his sixth home run. Justin Huber was 3-4 with his second triple. Jason Jones started and gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks in just 4.1 innings. Bobby Keppel then worked 2.2 scoreless innings in relief. Sean Henn recorded his fifth save. He struck out four in two innings and allowed only an unearned run.
Thursday - New Britain, Portland – This game was suspended by rain in the top of the 4th inning. Portland was leading the Rockcats 8-1 already. Jay Rainville started and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on five hits and two walks in just 2.2 innings.
Thursday –Ft. Myers 19, Sarasota 4 – Mark Dolenc led the potent offensive attack in this game by going 5-6 with three doubles. Evan Bigley is still unfazed by the Florida State League. He went 4-5 with a walk. Ben Revere was 3-5 with a double. Danny Berg was 3-6 with a double. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with two walks. Jair Fernandez and Chris Cates each had a single and a double. Cates drove in three runs. Tyler Robertson was the beneficiary of the offensive support. The lefty gave up just two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings. He walked two and struck out three. Alex Burnett got the next four outs, three of them on strikeouts. Santos Arias then gave up two runs on four hits in the final two innings.
Thursday – Beloit 6, Clinton 7 (13 innings) – Danny Rondon had pitched two scoreless innings before coming back out for the 13th inning. It was in that inning that he gave up the winning run. Brad Tippett started and gave up three runs (2 earned) on eight hits and no walks. Henry Reyes gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits and a walk in two innings. Steve Blevins struck out five in three innings of one run ball. The Snappers managed just five hits in this game. They did walk seven times. James Beresford was 2-6. Jonathan Waltenbury and Angel Morales each hit their three-run homer.