Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Good morning everyone! I've been in Scott Baker's corner since he made his Ft. Myers to Rochester rise in 2004. He has the stuff. He has the fastball that touches 94, but he also has terrific control. He's got a very good change and a decent curveball. He does mix his pitches well, but to date, consistency has been very difficult for him to achieve. Well, last night was another one of those nights when Baker performed as I believe the team had hopes he would all along. Seven innings. Four hits. One walk. One run. Nine strikeouts. And really, through seven innings, he had allowed just three hits and walked no one. He lived up to the hype. He was very good in his start against the Mets, and he was even better tonight. Now, the key for Baker is to string together a few really good starts.
Here are some other thoughts on last night's game and more Twins stories and links:
So many people seem to want Kevin Slowey to develop a new pitch, a pitch that will somewhat deceive the hitters and be an out pitch. Maybe this is the pitch that he should work on.
Did you see that former Twins reliever Willie Eyre got to make his first big league start last night. With one out in the fifth inning, Placido Polanco hit a line drive right back at Eyre. It hit him in the arm/chest and knocked him out of the game. However, he did make the catch. The 4.2 innings was his career high.
Baseball is such a game of inches. The difference between popping a ball up in the infield and hitting a ball 400 feet is probably 1/4" on the bat. And when Jeff Cirillo blooped a single to center with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning, Vernon Wells missed it by no more than an inch.
Michael Cuddyer scored both of the Twins runs in the game, and he played very well over at 1st base in place of Justin Morneau. It was pointed out that he hasn't played 1B since the infamous Seattle series last June. I remember that at the time, the Twins were basically playing Cuddyer at 1B against lefties, giving Morneau the days off. Cuddyer didn't have a regular position or spot in the lineup yet. He hadn't won the RF job yet. He was still batting 7th or 8th when he did play. Think about that again. He wasn't a regular for the first two months of the season last year and still ended up with over 100 runs and 100 RBI.
By the way, I've already been asked a few times how long it will be until Justin Morneau gets back in the lineup. My response is, "Whenever he is ready!" I'm sure it is just a matter of days before Torii Hunter will question Morneau's toughness, but seriously, we're talking about a lung here. We aren't talking about a pulled muscle or a small sprain. We're talking about a bruised lung! Last Friday night, he was coughing up blood. He'll play when he is ready!
It seems like we talk about the bullpen all the time. And it is so deserved. Scott Baker left the game with runners on 1st and 2nd. Dennys Reyes came in and threw a strike that got an out on a sacrifice bunt. With the go-ahead runner on second base, Pat Neshek came in and got two outs with only the tying run scoring. Neshek stayed in and struck out the side in the 9th inning. Joe Nathan struck out three over the 10th and 11th innings. And Juan Rincon had a much-needed quality outing.
Hey Torii... Keep your hands off of the umpire. Seriously, if Hunter doesn't get a suspension, then something is wrong. I don't care if he did it "nicely." He disagreed with the call. He put his hands on the umpire. Should have been automatic. Most players are tossed right there. That was a situation where Ron Gardenhire got tossed to save his player.
In the postgame "Meeting of the Mics" Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris were in the booth together. That is a lot of career wins, and very little incite!
Saw WAY too much - I always wonder about cameras in the locker room. Marney Gellner was interviewing Juan Rincon and in the background, one of the Twins players was in a towel... and then removed the towel. The camera quickly turned!
During the game, I kinda got into it regarding the topic of the useless "Win" stat for a starting pitcher, over at LaVelle's site, so be sure to check that out.
Did you see Justin Morneau on The Best Ummm Sports Show Period after the game last night?
Any thoughts on the series, please let me know! Send me an e-mail, or leave Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Juan Portes, Ft. Myers Miracle
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Liam Hendriks, GCL Twins
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Tuesday - Red Wings 5, Durham 7 – Matt Garza needs to work on his consistency. After his best outing his last time out, Garza's line wasn't as impressive. In five innings, he gave up four runs on ten hits. The positive is that he walked none and struck out six. Julio DePaula then gave up two runs in two innings. Bobby Korecky gave up a run in his inning. Matt Tolbert went 2-4. Tommy Watkins went 1-4 with a two-run double. Darnell McDonald made his first Red Wings start, played right field and hit third.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Rockcats – No Game Scheduled.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 5, Palm Beach 3 - Juan Portes had a great game. He went 4-5 with his 13th double, fourth homer and two RBI. Edward Ovalle went 2-4 with his fourth double. Danny Valencia was 2-4 with an RBI. Brian Dinkelman went 2-5. Jay Rainville improved to 4-7. In 7.1 innings, he gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out four. Angel Garcia got the final five outs, three of them on strikeouts.
Tuesday - Snappers 4, Cedar Rapids 8 – The Snappers managed just three hits in this game. Yancarlos Ortiz had a double and two RBI. Tyler Robertson started and gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He walked four and struck out six. Aaron Craig gave up some inherited runners, but his line says 1.2 innings with one hit, two walks and no runs. Jesus Carnevales gave up three runs on two hits (both homers) and a walk in an inning.
Tuesday - E-Twins 14, Princeton 3 – A night after scoring 20, the E-Twins were held to just 14 runs in this game. Mark Dolenc went 3-4 with a walk and a double. Rene Leveret went 2-5 with his third homer and six RBI. Rene Tosoni went 2-6 with two doubles and three RBI. Ben Petsch went 2-5 with a stolen base. Chris Cates went 2-5. Ozzie Lewis hit his first pro homer. Steve Hirschfeld went the first three innings. He didn't allow a run or a walk. He gave up two hits and struck out two. Loek Van Mil is credited with the Win. He went two perfect innings. Matt Williams went the next two innings and gave up three runs (just one earned) on three hits and a walk. Curtis Leavitt went two perfect innings with three strikeouts.
GCL TWINS UPDATE
Tuesday - GCL Twins 1, GCL Reds 0 – The GCL Twins got some good pitching in this game. Liam Hendricks went the first five innings without allowing a run. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out one. Jarrad Eacott went the next three innings, allowing just two hits. Danny Rondon got the save with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth. Andy Schmiesing went 2-3 with a stolen base. Ken Harvey was 1-4, but he drove in the game's lone run with a first inning double.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? I would love any input, or ideas to make it better. Thanks! E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
Let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here. That is it for today!
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