Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Twins Minor League Report
Twins Win Game 1
Good morning everyone!
Today, you won't read a "main article" on this page. I did, however, write an article last night. It is called Four to Watch - Organizational Players. I am supposed to write shorter articles for scout.com, so that story isn't real long. But, I am hoping that you will take the two minutes over there to read the article. First, I happen to think it is fairly decent. Second, it is always fun to see my 'stuff' at other places. And three, let's send some people over there so that they will like me! OK, I'm kidding on that third one. However, if you find that article interesting, please feel free to comment here, but preferably, leave some Comments on the scout.com message board. There is really an excellent group of posters there, so I think that you would enjoy it.
On this site today, I will talk about the Twins great win over the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 of that series last night. I will also provide some summaries for the Twins minor league affiliate games from last night. There were quite a few quality performances. There were a couple of guys who likely really hurt there chances of ever playing for the Twins as well.
So again, check out the article over at scout.com (or you can find it on the Twins page at foxsports.com), then read the below, then send me an e-mail, leave some Comments or post some thoughts on anything over at the Message Boards. Or, any combination of the above.
BIG SERIES - Twins 7, White Sox 4
The Twins are now within two games of the White Sox in the AL Wild Card race. It wasn't too long ago that they were double-digits behind the Pale Hose. And now, the Twins are very much in contention. It is amazing how getting rid of two terrible infielders and replacing them with a quality shortstop and a career utility infielder can send a team to winning 32 of 40 games. It was also in that time that Shannon Stewart was out and Jason Kubel was getting more playing time. This second half streak came directly after the Stewart and Hunter injuries. The Replacements are simply getting the job done. Rondell White has been solid in his return. I don't think that the Twins could have asked for more from Jason Tyner. Nick Punto? I don't even know what to say about him because it is so unexpected. Can it last? Jason Bartlett has been as good as advertised here.
And yet, let's not forget the two major stories of the Twins turnaround. First, before the year started, we knew that even with any veterans that the Twins brought in, the keys to the offense were Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. And both have come through in a huge way. Along with Michael Cuddyer.
The other key was putting a 22 year old pitcher into the starting rotation. Francisco Liriano's insertion into the rotation may have given the Twins players the energy to go for it. Johan Santana has improved throughout the season. And Brad Radke has been wonderful in the last seven weeks.
Last night, all of those stories helped the Twins to a big win against the White Sox. I say 'big' and acknowledge that in the scheme of 162 games, it is just one game. But it was big from the sense that it was the first game of a series. It was Radke on the mound. It was on the road against a very good team. The Twins haven't been great on the road this year. So, it was a 'big' game in that sense.
The first big key was Brad Radke. Despite the pain in his shoulder, Radke gave six innings. He gave up just two runs, both on solo home runs. The first was by Paul Konerko; no shame in that. The second one was by Juan Uribe, the White Sox shortstop, and it was incredible. It was his 13th homer of the season. However, he broke his bat and the ball went out of the park. When he made contact with the ball, the bat broke and only the handle of the bat was in his hand. The rest of it went back behind him a long ways. The home run really illustrates another reason why home runs continue to rise. There is so much weight at the thick end of the bat. There is very little to the handles. That is why we see more broken bats, but that is also why we see more home runs.
Then the offensive heroes. Michael Cuddyer hit his 13th homer of the year, a two run blast that tied the game up in the sixth inning. The next batter, Justin Morneau, followed with his 26th home run. But then in the top of the 7th, the Twins had runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out when Nick Punto hit a grounder to the left of Juan Uribe. Jason Tyner took off from third and clearly slid into home safely. However, home plate umpire Laz Diaz, inexplicably called him out! An argument ensued but no one was ejected. Joe Mauer came up against lefty Neal Cotts and proceeded to make up for Diaz's call. He took a fastball and drilled it over the centerfield fence for a three run homer. It was his first career home run against a lefty and it couldn't have happened a better time!
It was Mauer's only hit of the day, although he did have a sacrifice fly later in the game to give him four RBI. Cuddyer and Morneau each had two hits on the game. But, if you want production from the bottom of the order, you have to be happen with Jason Tyner and Jason Bartlett each having three hits last night! Nick Punto got a hit to increase his hit streak to 16 games.
Really, it was a perfect game for the Twins. Jesse Crain and Dennys Reyes did a great job out of the bullpen for two innings. When Kyle Lohse gave up a two run homer to Brian Anderson in the 9th, they had enough cushion to eat it.
Tonight, we get to see another very good pitching matchup. Johan Santana (11-5, 3.00, 1.01, .222) will face off against the White Sox Jose Contreras (9-2, 3.43, 1.18, .238).
By the way, rumor has it that the White Sox and Nationals were very near a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano to the White Sox. It was to include Brandon McCarthy. However, Kenny Williams is now saying that McCarthy and Josh Fields are untouchable. So, who knows? The White Sox did acquire reliever Mike MacDougal from the Royals for two minor leaguers yesterday.
Do you have anything to add about Monday's game or the rest of this series in Chicago? Did something jump out to you in the game? Any thoughts on the game, please let me know! Send me an e-mail, or leave Comments below.
Check out SBG's newest 360 Degrees article.
Will Young discusses Listening to Hawk and DJ, the White Sox announcers.
The Top 3 Twins Prospects have been voted on, you can now Vote for who ranks #4.
Twins Without Spin post some memos regarding last night's Twins win.
Christenson says that Carlos Lee would be a better
fit for the Twins than Soriano. I don't disagree. The article also
talks about Pat Neshek. The key, or my favorite part, of the
article is this little note:
"Gardenhire planned to speak with General Manager Terry Ryan on Sunday, and two topics figured to emerge: Matt Garza and adding a third catcher."
I'd 100% support a decision to get Garza in the rotation. He pitches for Rochester tonight. We will see how it goes.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Kevin West, Rochester Red Wings
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Anthony Swarzak, Ft. Myers Miracle
On the negative side, two Twins minor league players were suspended 50 games each for violating the performance-enhancing drug rules. Jonathan Requena and Alfredo Martin the players and they are playing in the Venezuelan Summer League right now.
Here are last night's updates. If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Monday - Red Wings 7, Louisville 3 - Boof Bonser picked up his fifth AAA win with a quality start. In six innings, he gave up three runs (2 earned) on seven hits and two walks. He struck out eight. Beau Kemp gave up three hits over three shutout innings. Kevin West went 3-4 with his fifth double and three RBI. Erubiel Durazo was 1-3 with two walks.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Monday - Rockcats 5, Trenton 6 – Errol Simonitsch had another very nice start, a quality start, and he got a lot of offensive support. But on this night, it just wasn't enough. The lefty went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Julio DePaula then gave up one run on three hits in his two innings. But in the 9th, Levale Speigner gave up three runs on four hits and got just one out. Jay Sawatski got the final two outs. Matt Moses was 3-4. Trent Oeltjen went 3-5. Danny Matienzo was 2-4. Kyle Geiger went 2-3 with his first AA homer. Doug Deeds hit his seventh homer, and Alexi Casilla hit his first.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Monday - Miracle 6, Palm Beach 0 – Anthony Swarzak has really turned it on in the season's second half. He won his sixth game of the year last night by throwing a complete game, one hit shutout. The only hit was a fifth inning double. He walked two and struck out four. Trevor Plouffe was 2-3 with his 16th double. Brandon Roberts went 2-5. Deacon Burns was 1-2 with two walks, his second home run and his 16th stolen base.
Monday - Snappers 11, Burlington 0 – Oswaldo Sosa threw the first six innings of this shutout. He gave up two hits and a walk, and he struck out eight. JM Cline picked up his first save with three shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four. Paul Kelly led the offense going 3-4 with a walk and an RBI. Dwayne White was 2-4 with his fifth homer and three RBI. Erik Lis went 2-4. Juan Portes was 2-5. Eli Tintor was just 1-5, but his hit his sixth homer and drove in five runs.
Monday - E-Twins 2, Johnson City 4 – In this game, the E-Twins managed just two hits. William Luque had an RBI triple. Steve Singleton hit a double and drove in a run. Sean Land started and in 5.2 innings, he gave up three runs on two hits and four walks. He struck out five. Matt Williams went the next 1.1 innings. He gave up two hits, but no runs, and he struck out two. Aaron Craig gave up an unearned run in the ninth.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Monday - GCL Twins 2, GCL Red Sox 4 – Starling De Los Santos led the offense by going 2-3 with his first double. Deibinson Romero was 2-4 with two RBI. Joe Benson was 2-4 with a triple. Chris Parmalee hit his fifth home run. Curtis Leavitt fell to 0-1. He gave up four unearned runs on five hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. Robert Delaney went the final 1.2 innings, giving up just one hit.
Thanks again for stopping by this site. Please check out my article over at scout.com if you have a chance and enter their discussion room and let us know what you think. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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