Twins Minor League Weekly
Last night was supposed to be an episode of Twins Minor League Weekly. Normally that podcast is on Monday and Thursday night, but co-host Travis Aune will be starting his trek back to Texas in the morning so we could not have Twins Minor League Weekly on Monday night. We both prepared for last nightís show. However, as 10:00 approached, it became clear that BlogTalkRadio.com was having issues that would apparently not correct themselves by the scheduled show time of 10:00. We tried to make it work, but there was no way to take phone calls or really do anything. So, we cancelled the show. We sincerely apologize to those who wanted to listen. Travis will return for the next Twins Minor League Weekly on Thursday night. I will host the SethSpeask.net Sunday Night Twins Podcast at 10:00 on Monday night.
But, since I did a bunch of the research, here are the notes that would have made up Twins Minor League Weekly from me:
Rochester Red Wings
Rochester lost on Sunday 3-0 at Indianapolis. Scott Diamond returned to the mound for the Red Wings and gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks in 6.1 innings. He struck out four. Jeff Manship pitched in a game for the first time since he started the Red Wings combined no-hitter weeks ago and recorded the final two outs of the 7th. Cole DeVries then gave up a run on three hits in his inning. The Red Wings managed just three hits. Luke Hughes, Steve Holm and Brandon Roberts each hit a single.
The Red Wings are now at 38-63, 20.5 games back in their division.
As you know, Luke Hughes and Kevin Slowey were optioned to Rochester this week. Pitcher Thomas Diamond was released. Catcher Danny Lehmann, who should be playing more somewhere (!), was placed on the 7-Day Disabled list with an ankle injury.
New Britain Rock Cats
After losing to Altoona 7-2 on Saturday, the Rock Cats returned the favor with a 7-2 decision on Sunday. Steve Hirschfeld started and gave up two runs on eight hits. In six innings, he walked just one and struck out just two. Dakota Watts picked up the three inning save. He gave up no runs on three hits. He didnít walk anyone and struck out two. Yangervis Solarte wetn 3-3 on the day with a walk, his fourth home run and three RBI. Chris Parmelee went 3-5 with his 23rd double and fifth triple. Chris Herrmann went 2-4 with his third triple and two stolen bases. Brian Dozier hit his fifth AA triple.
The Rock Cats are currently 51-48. They are 3.5 games back of the division lead.
Ft. Myers Miracle
The Miracle lost 6-1 on Sunday to Clearwater. Tom Stuifbergen got the start and gave up just two runs through the first six innings of the game. He came out for the seventh and made quick work of the first two batters. He then gave up a double and back-to-back singles before being replaced by Bruce Pugh. Pugh threw a wild pitch and then served up a three-run homer before getting out of the 7th. He also pitched a scoreless 8th frame. Danny Rams went 3-4. James Beresford was 2-4 with his third stolen base.
The Miracle are now 14-16 in the second half. They are in 5th place in the FSLís south division but just 3.5 games out of first place. Jhonathan Goncalves was put on the Disabled List, and Matt Tone came off of it.
The Snappers lost 6-4 to Lansing. BJ Hermsen started and gave up five unearned runs in five innings. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out three. Michael Tonkin gave up one run on one hit and one walk (two strikeouts) in one inning. Bart Carter gave up a hit and hit a batter but pitched a scoreless inning. Jose Gonzalez gave up a hit, hit a batter and issued a walk but still didnít give up a run in his inning. The Snappers had just five hits. Wang-Wei Lin was 1-2 with two walks and his 20th double. Jairo Perez hit his ninth double and drove in three. Reggie Williams hit his first double.
The Snappersí second-half record is now 14-15 record places them 3.5 games back in their division, tied for third place. Andy Leer came off of the Disabled List. †
Elizabethton lost 4-3 to Burlington. Matt Bashore got the starting nod again. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out five. Cesar Ciurcina gave up two runs on three hits in his 2.1 innings. He also hit four batters. Derek Christensen went the next 2.2 innings and gave up no runs on one hit and two walks. Steve Evans worked the ninth but gave up a run on a walk and a hit and got only the first out before the game ended. The E-Twins were led on offense by JD Williams who went 3-4 with his third double. He also stole his second base. Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with a walk. Kennys Vargas hit his fifth home run.
The E-Twins are now 19-14 on their season. They are in second place, two games back of Johnson City. ††
The GCL Twins did not play on Sunday. They generally do not play at all on Sundays. They are now 16-14 which puts them in second place, one game back of the GCL Orioles. Wander Guillen was sent back to the Dominican Summer League.
A couple of the young GCL Twins pitchers are pitching really well. Angel Mata has an ERA of 0.90 in his 20 innings over six starts. In his last three starts, he has worked a combined ten innings and not allowed an earned run. Hung-yi Chen has pitched in 14 innings in his six games. He has three walks and 22 strikeouts in 19 innings. In his past four starts, he has thrown 12 innings and gave up just one earned run on two walks and 13 strikeouts. †
So, the Twins had 16 games in a row against their four AL Central opponents. They won three of four in Chicago. They won three of four against the Royals. They split with Cleveland, but they won just one game against the Tigers. The 9-16 record is not exactly awe-inspiring. I didnít expect them to win 13-14 of those games, but I was really hoping for 10+. Now the team is seven games back of the Tigers with about 60 games to go in the season.
A lot can be credited to Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. We know theyíre good. Scott Baker came back and was solid, and as much as Rick Porcello pitched well on Sunday, Francisco Liriano was fortunate to only give up the four runs that he was charged with. He was horrific. Lots are off the bandwagon again. I fight with that. Seven games is not too far back .Twins fans have both 2006 and 2010 to look at to prove that. However, we canít always continue to say that it will just happen. It doesnít just happen. Itís not that easy. And frankly, the Twins arenít playing well enough or consistent enough to believe they are capable of it. And yet, I believe. I usually believe for a long time, but I love when I finally give up an then they prove me wrong. Maybe this yearís team can do that again. That would be awesome! I hope so.
Now, some games in Texas, and then the trade deadline, or at least the July 31 portion of it. It will certainly be interesting. I think they should sell without giving up the 2011 season. In other words, I think that they can deal guys like Slowey, Liriano and maybe even Young and get some young pieces for the future.
And finally, a huge congratulations to Bert Blyleven, Finally a Hall of Famer officially. A tremendous, well deserved honor for him. Did you know that when he retired he was third on the all-time strikeouts list? However, he averaged just 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings for his career and was over 8.0 K/9 two times in his career.
Have a great week!