Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday Game Notes
One more game before the All-Star break and I really think that the Twins bullpen can use the time off! So many got down on the Twins after they were swept in Boston, but again the key point in that series, in my mind, was that they could (or should?) have won two of the three games. That just told me that the Twins are legit, regardless of the outcome. I think winning the first three on the road in Detroit against a team that had the best record in baseball over the past month, and a team that was directly behind the Twins in the standings, was huge... And if they can get the sweep today, they can thoroughly enjoy a few days off. Well, except for those three stars!
Check out LaVelle's weekly minor league report in the Star-Tribune. He highlights the excellence of Cole DeVries' past two months.
Roger posted his weekend minor league report yesterday morning and there are plenty of great comments already. The thing that I noticed foremost was that Tyler Robertson was going to be getting an MRI yesterday. Hopefully the news is all good. Maybe that delivery concern that so many people seemed to have with him is proving true.
UPDATE - It has just been announced that Justin Morneau will participate in the Home Run Derby.
Luke Hughes is representing the Twins for the World Team at the Futures Game as part of All-Star festivities in New York. The game begins on ESPN 2 on Sunday afternoon. Denard Span was going to be part of the Team USA squad, but he is obviously busy with the Twins right now. Eduardo Morlan is on the World Team. The former Twins prospect missed time earlier in the year with injury, but has come back. It's interesting that he is on the World squad in that, although he was born in Cuba, he defected early and played high school ball in south Florida.
TWINS 6, TIGERS 5
The White Sox won last night over the Rangers so the Twins remain 1.5 games behind them. Here are some thoughts:
Hey Brendan Harris... Have a Day!!! The infielder was set to start at 3B, but with Nick Punto scratched because of a finger injury, Harris slid over to SS with Brian Buscher playing 3B. Harris singled in a run in each of his first two at bats. He then hit a long, opposite field home run, a solo shot in the Twins three run seventh inning. Finally, in the 8th inning, his sacrifice fly proved to be a big run. Four RBIs and a 3-3 day out of the 8th hole is always appreciated!
Joe Mauer hit his fifth home run of the year. Seems most of his home runs have been big, but this one gave the Twins a 5-2 lead in the seventh inning. It was an opposite field shot, and it was again against a left-hander. Four of the five homers have come against lefty pitchers. He went 2-5 leaving his average at .324, one point ahead of Justin Morneau who went 1-4 with an intentional walk.
Delmon Young had another two hit game. He was 2-5 and is hitting .286. He did have a really bat at bat in the game. After Joel Zumaya intentionally walked Morneau and Jason Kubel worked a great walk, Young came to the plate and flailed at three straight pitches. He fouled off a fastball just off the outside corner. He swung at a pitch in his eyes. He then struck out on a 60 foot curveball. I've said it before and will say it again, Young can be incredibly frustrating when he has at bats like that where his aggressiveness gets to him. But when he does connect with the first pitch and gets a hit or a double, it's not a big deal. He is looking more and more like Torii Hunter with the bat. Hopefully it won't take Young as long to take better at bats as it took Hunter.
Alexi Casilla went 2-5 and sits at .316. He did make a bit of a boneheaded play in the bottom of the 8th. On a single to left, Delmon Young's throw in to the infield was high. Casilla had to leap to make the catch. Then awkwardly, he threw toward 1B (even though the runner was basically standing on the base). The ball got by Justin Morneau and went into the dugout, allowing the runner to go to 3B. It was really the first time in Casilla's two months that he has been back up that he has made one of "those" plays. You know, the plays that got him into Gardy's doghouse frequently. In other words, it was dumb, but it happens. Not a big deal. We just don't want to see it repeated.
Scott Baker was excellent. His pitching line may not look it because of the two run homer he gave up to Curtis Granderson in the 8th. But through seven innings, he have up just two runs on four hits. He walked none and struck out four. (his full line was 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K because of the 8th inning runs) The bullpen held on and Baker improved to 6-2. He is clearly the Twins ace.
It took three relief pitchers to get through that eighth inning after Baker left. Jesse Crain came in again and got one out but gave up a run on a hit and a walk. Dennys Reyes and Brian Bass were used to finish the inning, each getting one more out.
Then Joe Nathan came in for the third straight game to get the save, his 27th of the year. It is always a little scary when they put up a graphic on the screen saying "Nathan has 25 saves in 25 opportunities" against the Tigers in his career, when the game tying run is on base and guys that could homer and end the game are at the plate. But Nathan struck out three in the inning.
Gardy continues to insist that Carlos Gomez bat leadoff through his increasingly frustrating slump. It is frustrating for fans because it is clear that Denard Span is a far better leadoff option because of his approach at the plate. I get that Gardy is concerned about Gomez's psyche, and that is fair. However, because of his defense, I don't think anyone is saying that Gomez shouldn't play. He can still play and hit, just put him in the 9-hole instead of at the top of the order. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard. Maybe this is what is really going on though.
By the way, for those of you who were able to watch the Twins on Fox yesterday... how great was it to listen to Dick Stockton? I really thought it was enjoyable to listen to him call the game. Well, except when Denard Span was batting and he kept talking as if he thought Carlos Gomez was up. Someone corrected him within a couple of batters though, so it's ok.
Saturday GAME NOTES
Twins Minor League Updates
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Jason Pridie, Rochester Red Wings
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Bruce Pugh, GCL Twins
Saturday – Rochester 9, Durham 8 (13 Innings) – Jason Pridie took it to his old teammates in this one. The former Rays prospect went 4-7 with two home runs (he now has seven on the year) and two stolen bases (he now has 18 on the season). But it was the timing of the home runs that were big. He hit a grand slam in the Red Wings six run ninth. He then hit a solo home run in the top of the 11th inning. He drove in five of the team's runs. Randy Ruiz went 2-4 with a walk and his 25th double. Howie Clark went 2-5. Sergio Santos doubled in Clark with the 13th inning run that proved to be the game-winner. Danny Graves started and gave up six runs (4 earned) on nine hits and two walks. He struck out five. Carmen Cali struck out two in his scoreless inning. Philip Humber struck out one in 1.1 perfect innings in relief. Bobby Korecky gave up two runs on three hits in his 2.2 innings. He struck out four. Ricky Barrett got the final out of the 11th inning, but after a hit drove in the game-tying run. Tim Lahey improves to 5-5 with two shutout innings.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Saturday - Game 1 – New Britain 6, Portland 8 – Zach Ward was the starter in game one and took the loss to fall to 2-6 on the year. In 4.1 innings, he gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits and a walk. He struck out four. Jason Miller gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in his 1.2 innings. Frank Mata gave up two hits in a scoreless inning. Dustin Martin hit his sixth homer, and Drew Butera hit his fourth. Erik Lis and Danny Valencia were each 2-4. Matt Moses went 1-2 with two walks. David Winfree went 0-1 but had three walks.
Saturday - Game 2 – New Britain 1, Portland 2 – Toby Gardenhire hit his first home run of the season, but it was all the scoring that the Rockcats would put up in this game. Kyle Aselton started and gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out five. Rob Delaney struck out three in the game's final two innings. Danny Valencia had his sixth double.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Saturday – Miracle/Jupiter – Game postponed by rain. Adam Everett was set to leadoff and play SS.
Saturday – Beloit 6, Ft. Wayne 5 – This game was suspended in the 7th inning, so they will finish it up on Sunday. But to this point in the game, Greg Yersich was 3-4 with two RBI. Mark Dolenc was 2-3 with three runs scored and his 19th stolen base. Henry Reyes started and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out five. Chris Anderson gave up three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings. Michael Allen struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings.
Saturday - E-Twins 3, Johnson City 16 – This is an unusual result for the E-Twins. Dan Osterbrook started and gave up eight runs (6 earned) on eight hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. He struck out six. Steve Blevins came in and gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in one inning. Nathan Fritz allowed two unearned runs to score on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He struck out three. Kyle Carr then gave up a run on two hits in his inning. Jon Waltenbury went 2-5. Angel Morales hit his sixth homer.
GCL TWINS TALK
Saturday – GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 2 – Martire Garcia picked up his first win of the year. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on four hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Joe Testa struck out three in the next 1.2 innings. Bruce Pugh struck out two in two hitless innings. Michael Gonzalez and Javier Brown each went 2-4. Aaron Hicks had a single, a walk and his first stolen base.
Have a good Sunday!