Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
MEET THE SMITHS
Good morning everyone! Well, last night I thought I'd try something a little different. I have watched all the the Twins games that have been televised since the All-Star break. And, I had not seen the Twins win. Just a bunch of one-run losses. The only game they won, the game did not air on TV. So, I thought I'd try a new strategy. Instead of staying home and watching the game, I went to the movies. So yes, you can thank me! A change in my routine likely helped the Twins to their 4-3 win last night against the Orioles.
A few friends and I made the trek to the nearest theatre. Most of you reading this can probably get to your local theatre in no time. However, living north of nowhere, the nearest movie theatre is about 40 miles away. So, we made it a big trip that included a stop b at McDonald's. See, that is the nearest McDonald too. So, it was a big night!
Anyway, we went to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It is the movie that stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The movie probably gained more free publicity because of their relationship and the end of Pitt's marriage to Jennifer Aniston than it could have ever hoped for. What is really going on on with that? Who knows? But, I have to admit, like so many more, I wanted to see the movie, in part, to see the on-film look at Jolie and Pitt together. And I have to admit, it worked. Those two had just a great camaraderie whether it was getting along, pretending to get along or completely not getting along.
You may or may not know much about the movie, but a quick here is a quick run-down of the plot. These two characters met, five or six years ago, in Colombia and shortly thereafter got married. They had their struggles, the biggest of which was being honest with each other. See, both were leading double lives that the other obviously didn't know about. They went to extreme lengths to keep their true identities hidden from each other. However, there secret lives came together in a big way. Both figured out what the other was doing. And that's when the fun begins.
Now, normally, I am not a fan of action movies. As a matter of fact, I simply won't rent one or watch one on TV. I know, I'm weird, but I just don't get into that. However, this movie has a lot of big action sequences and I really enjoyed it. Why? Because within the action scenes, there are some incredibly funny one-liners. Of course, I don't want to give away too much plot, but the storyline makes for some hilarious situations.
I have never been a huge Brad Pitt fan. I mean, he can be a good actor, but I don't think that he has ever done anything Oscar-worthy. Jolie, on the other hand, is incredible. Her role as Gia opened people's eyes to her, in multiple ways, but her performance in Girl, Interupted really showed the type of actress she can be. Together, these two just totally worked. So much of what Jolie is about is shown in her facial expressions. She can carry a scene without talking. Pitt seems to be best with short, quick lines and he has a number in this movie.
Oh, just another bit. Minneapolis native, Vince Vaughn appears in one of the larger supporting roles. The irony in that is that he has now been linked to Jennifer Aniston. Those two are filming a movie ironically called The Break Up which will be out in 2006.
I went to this movie really expecting to be disappointed, and when we left the theatre, we raved about how good it was. Most of the 45 minute drive home. I would certainly recommend it to anyone (over the age of 13, of course!).
So again, please feel free to send me your thank you's for not watching the Twins game last night so that they could win! Ha! I obviously didn't watch it, but from the box score and other things, here are some thoughts:
Jesse Crain got yet another win to improve to 9-1. He pitched the top of the 9th and gave up an unearned run and yet still gets the win.
Jacque Jones beat out an infield single that scored Michael Ryan to win the game in the 9th. Miguel Tejada made a nice play but Rafael Palmiero was unable to make the scoop at 1B. Jones was 2-4 with a walk and a double in the game.
Matthew LeCroy appears to be given a shot as the team's DH again. He has done well putting up very solid power numbers. He leads the team, by far, in pitches seen per plate appearance. Last night, he was 0-2, but he took three walks including one in the ninth.
Joe Mauer continues to be amazing. He went 2-3 yesterday. However, both hits were doubles. He added two walks. And he even stole two bases.
Torii Hunter went 2-5 and stole his 20th and 21st bases on the year. Nick Punto went 2-4 as well and played SS.
Kyle Lohse had a quality start. He went six innings and despite allowing ten hits, he gave up just two runs.
JC Romero threw 1.2 scoreless innings. Maybe that will help him get traded!
Luis Rodriguez was leading off and playing 3B. He was 0-3, but he did walk twice. He has earned all of his playing time and should continue to play. I really don't see him as ever being a full-time starter, but when he's going well, you might as well play him.
The Justin Morneau slide continues. He was 0-3 to drop his average to .251 on the season. He still doesn't have a hit since the All-Star break and is really struggling. He was pinch hit for by Lew Ford, who walked.
Scott Baker will be coming up probably tomorrow, to pitch one of the two games on Saturday. The team is saying that it will likely send down an infielder, which makes sense. But which do they send down? Michael Cuddyer? Not likely because he is out of options and would certainly not clear waivers. Bret Boone could be released, but I don't see that happening yet. Nick Punto is basically a starter now, so he would appear to be safe. Juan Castro isn't going anywhere. So, it would appear to me that there are two options. First, is Justin Morneau. He is struggling and his confidence is way down. He could probably use a few weeks in the minor leagues to regain his confidence and get away from Scott Ullger and Ron Gardenhire so that he can have some success. If that was the case, the Twins would really be without a 1B, although Michael Cuddyer would likely become the every day 1B until Morneau came back. The other option is Luis Rodriguez. He would be sent down strictly as part of a numbers game because he deserves to be on the roster.
So which one will it be? My guess is that the Twins will make another trade in the next two days to answer this question. Will it be Mike Lowell, or Shea Hillenbrand, or will they be dumb and acquire Bill Mueller? I don't know, but I have to think that something will be happening before the weekend.
Here is the pitching matchups for the final game of the series against the Orioles:
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Angels, the Orioles or anything baseball. Feel free to e-mail me.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Tuesday - REDWINGS 3, Charlotte 2 - Francisco Liriano continues to impress. Last night, he went seven innings of shutout ball. He allowed three hits and two walks, and he struck out seven. Willie Eyre pitched a scoreless eighth. Travis Bowyer struggled in the ninth but held on for his 19th save. He gave up two runs on two hits and a walk. Rob Bowen went 2-3 with his fourth homer. Garrett Jones hit his 17th on the season. Augie Ojeda went 2-5.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Tuesday - ROCKCATS 8, Binghamton 5 - Errol Simonitsch picked up his second AA win. He somehow held Binghamton to three runs on five hits and a not-so-impressive five walks over five innings. Kevin Cameron came in and gave up two runs in his inning. But Pat Neshek came in and threw the final three innings for his 13th save. He gave up just a hit and a walk, and struck out two. Tommy Watkins and Matt Moses each had three hits, including a double. Alex Romero had two doubles in five at bats. Doug Deeds and Danny Matienzo were 2-5. Luis Jimenez was 2-4 with his 13th home run.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Tuesday - MIRACLE - No Game Scheduled.
Tuesday - SNAPPERS 3, SW Michigan 2 - A day after a rugged first Midwest League start, Eduardo Morlan picked up his first win. Kyle Aselton started and went five innings. He gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks. He also struck out six. Morlan came in and struck out four over the next two innings. JP Martinez got the save by throwing two more shutout innings. He also struck out four. Beloit had seven hits. Chris Brown hit his 8th home run.
Tuesday - E-Twins 5, Bristol 2 - Rained Out.
GULF COAST TWINS
Tuesday - GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 10 - Jeff Schoenbachler started and was lit up. In 4.1 innings, he gave up six earned runs on seven hits and three walks. Matt Williams went 1.2 scoreless innings. Jose Cordero too the loss. He gave up four runs (2 earned) on six hits in two innings. Joseph Abellera went 2-4.
Sundappled Wood's Frightwig has written a couple of great articles the past couple of days. One is on some Corner infield options, the other on Gardy and some of his decisions.
Matthew McGough was a batboy for the New York Yankees in the early 1980s. He wrote a book Bat Boy: My True-Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees. Today, our good friend, The Baseball Savant was able to do a Q&A with McGough that is very interesting!
John Sickels discusses Jay Rainville.
That's it for today! As always, please feel free to e-mail me your thoughts on the Twins, the minor leagues, or anything you would like to discuss.
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