Monday, June 9, 2003
Ah, sleep is a beautiful thing!!! This West Coast-Games start at 9-Games finish after midnight thing makes getting to work AND BEING ALERT a lot more difficult. Itíll be nice seeing those 7:05 game times again.
Friday Night - Twins 7, Padres 5 -
Saturday Night - Twins 6, Padres 2 -
Sunday Afternoon - Twins 4, Padres 9 -
Friday night, Kenny Rogers was great and looking for his 150th career win. He went 7 innings, 1 run. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning. Then, in the 9th, ďUneasyĒ Eddie came in and finally actually blew a save. As I mentioned last week, Iím never comfortable with Eddie in the game because he always puts a runner or 2 on. Friday night was the first time in 24 save opportunities that the discomfort was actually warranted. Eddie gave up 3 runs and the game was tied at 4. Jacque Jones hit a bad-hop single to score a run in the 9th. JC Romero was brought in to finish the game. If Eddie makes me uneasy, I donít know what Romero makes me! He got the bases loaded, and ended up throwing a 50 foot pitch that bounced off AJís mask, allowing the tying run to score. The next pitch, he struck out the batter (Matthewís Jr.). With runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs, Chris Gomez lined a double down the left field line to score 2 runs, giving the Twins the 7-5 lead. JC made it interesting again in the 11th, but got the win!
Saturday night was a different story. Johan Santana was on the mound and he was fairly dominant for 6 innings. Jacque Jones led off the game with a home run, and hit a second a couple innings later. Tony Fiore pitched a scoreless 7th before letting a couple guys on and giving up a run-scoring single to former Twin Brian Buchanan. With a Ďsave situationí, Gardy brought in Michael Nakamura for his major league debut. He proceeded to strike out pinch-hitter Dave Hansen on a back-door hook. He also pitched a scoreless 9th inning to complete the save.
Sunday afternoon, the Twins played a close game. Doug Mientkiewicz hit a 2 run homer to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. LaTroy Hawkins again came into a tough situation in the 7th and got the Twins out of it still tied at 3. In the top of the 8th, Torii Hunter hit a line drive that, at its peak, was maybe 15 feet off the ground, yet somehow went over the left field fence, giving the Twins the 4-3 lead. Gardy made the decision to keep Hawkins in the game and well, he had his worst ďinningĒ (actually, he got just 1 out in the 8th), giving up 4 runs, including a 2 run homer to Ryan Klesko. Michael Nakamura gave up 2 more runs, but got the last 2 outs. Hawkins got the loss to drop to 4-1 on the season. It was his first loss since 2001!
Chris Gomez game-winning double on Friday night is even more impressive when we found out Saturday that he has some torn ligaments in his knee. He had an MRI done Saturday, and will be put on the Disabled List. So, the question is, who do they call up? Well, my thought is that the player that would make the most sense in replacing Gomez would be Michael Cuddyer. However, heís now on the AAA Disabled list with a bad hamstring. So, I think they will recall Todd Sears. Denny Hocking will have to back up all three infield positions. Sears can back up Mientkiewicz at 1B, DH, or just be a solid left-handed bat off the bench. Other options:
Justin Morneau (I donít think that would fit the Twins philosophy, although it has to be tough to keep him down)
Michael Restovich (they donít need another outfielder)
Jason Bartlett (a shortstop they acquired from the Padres for Buck Buchanan. Heís doing well at AA, but heís not on the 40 man roster, so theyíd have to drop someone from the 40 man roster)
Luis Rodriguez (2B at AAA, not doing poorly, not considered a prospect so they wouldnít have to play him much, but also not on the 40 man roster)
Carlos Pulido (LHP. Heís been starting at AAA, but would be another LH arm in the bullpen as long as Santana is in the rotation. Not on the 40 man roster.)
Doug Mientkiewicz had a great series. After struggling so much, and his ankle injury, there was much talk about Todd Sears and even about maybe bringing up Justin Morneau sooner, rather than later. But, Mientkiewicz now has his batting average over .300 again (.301/.363/.520). And, the defense is incredible!
Tom Prince caught the last 2 innings today, his first appearance in the 6 game NL road trip. Matthew Lecroy was behind the plate the first 7 innings. I have to admit, I donít understand this at all. First, I donít think Lecroy is very good defensively, at least not compared to Prince. Sure, he hit pretty well for a few weeks about a month ago, so I can see trying to get his bat in the lineup. But, if they actually think he can catch, why is Tom Prince even on the roster?
Minnesota 35-26 -
Kansas City 30-30 4.5
Chicago 28-34 7.5
Cleveland 24-37 11.0
Detroit - I wonít put their record on here! That would be too mean!
Colorado comes to town on Tuesday. Should be a good series! They come in with the power hitters Todd Helton (.325/.430/.558, 18 doubles, 12 HR, 52 RBI), Larry Walker (.275/.431/.484 and Preston Wilson (.305/.368/.576, 22 doubles, 14 HR, 54 RBI). They just finished a series where they lost 2 of 3 to the Royals in Colorado. At 32-32, they are 8 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
Tuesday night, itís Brad Radke (5-5, 5.53) vs. 2002 NL Rookie of the Year, Jason Jennings (4-5, 5.38)
The New Jersey Nets took back home court advantage on Friday night by winning game 2 in San Antonio.
The San Antonio Spurs took back home court advantage on Sunday night by winning game 3 in New Jersey.
Game 4 is also in New Jersey, on Wednesday night.
I got my copy of Moneyball back this weekend and now have about 50 pages left in that.
Iíve been reading bits from Rob Neyerís Big Book of Baseball Lineups. Great book! Fun reading!
While I didnít have Moneyball, I started reading Jim Kaatís autobiography, Still Pitching. It looks like itíll be an easy read, and I always loved listening to Jim Kaat on TV, so Iím looking forward to diving into that book more. Iíll write more about these books when I finish them.
Have a great week!
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