Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday Game Notes
(The Word Press page for this article can be found here)
Hey everyone! Good morning and welcome back to the work week! If you scroll down, you will see that I did post a Saturday Afternoon Notes posting and a Saturday Game Notes blog. There are quite a few notes in those postings and in their comments, so be sure to read those if you have a chance. For today, I primarily have some thoughts on the Twins beating the Mariners on Sunday, a game I attended, and the minor league game notes. For some deep analytical talk, please head to last night's Weekly Twins Roundtable Podcast with Marty Andrade. A few minutes before the show was to begin, Marty called me and said that he had lost his internet connection, so I had to log in as him and basically run the switchboard. Before last night, I would not have known what "run the switchboard" meant, but now I do. Basically, it means that I monitor the chat room, and incoming calls and allow people to talk on the show. These are all things that Marty does flawlessly, and I just tried to tread water throughout the show. But I tell you, it was a lot of fun and, combined with SBG and the WGOM going audio, I want to do that!! What do you think?
TWINS 11, MARINERS 8
I have been to quite a few games this year. I have been to wins and losses. I was at Monday's game that lasted about 2 1/2 hours. I have seen some high scoring games and some low scoring games. I enjoy being at the ball park. I don't know that I can say I enjoyed that game. I did enjoy being at the game, but the game itself, not so much. It made me come to the conclusion that when asked that question about if you prefer high-scoring games or those 1-0 games, I definitely prefer the low-scoring, close game.
The Twins jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Glen Perkins was owning the game. He had given up just three hits in five shutout innings. He had thrown just 67 pitches. And then came the 6th inning. Like Scott Baker a day earlier, the wall just fell down on Perkins in the 6th. He gave up a two-run homer to Adrian Beltre, then an out later, he gave up back-to-back home runs to Wladmier Balentien and Kenji Johjima that cut the lead to four. Perkins ended the inning with a strikeout on his 100th pitch. And then the bullpen took over. Boof Bonser gave up two runs in his inning. Matt Guerrier got the first batter he faced out in the 8th, but then gave up a double and two walks. Dennys Reyes gave up two hits and got an out, so Joe Nathan had to come in with the bases loaded in the 8th. He struck out Adrian Beltre to end that threat. But of course, he had to struggle in the 9th inning, loading the bases but he got Ichiro to ground out to first to end the game.
Wins come in all shapes and sizes, right? The only thing that really matters is that the team wins. I know. I know. It was just such a frustrating game. I want this team to develop that killer instinct that I wrote about yesterday. When they have a team on the ropes, they need to insure that the game is, in fact, over. That starts with the starting pitcher being able to get the job done for seven innings. It involves the bullpen simply stepping up when asked to perform. It involves the hitters not becoming so complacent. It means no leaving a billion runners on base. Not only did the Twins have 17 hits, but they also drew ten walks. That was part of the ugly game, that neither bullpen could throw strikes. Just a horrible baseball game, but again, all that matters is that the team won.
For what it is worth, Glen Perkins tied Livan Hernandez for the team lead in wins with ten. Nick Blackburn goes tonight against the A's, hoping to record his tenth win.
The offense did have a very nice day for the most part, and it was led by Jason Kubel. He went 4-5 with his 13th and 14th doubles, four runs scored and two RBI.
Denard Span went 3-5 with a walk and his 11th double.
Nick Punto batted second again and went 2-4 with two walks, his 11th and 12th doubles, and his seventh stolen base.
Justin Morneau went 2-3 with two walks, his 19th homer, two runs and two RBI.
Randy Ruiz went 2-4 with a walk, his first double and two RBI.
Brendan Harris went 2-4 with a walk and his 25th double.
Adam Everett went 1-2 with two walks and a sacrifice fly. Also, he played an incredible shortstop in this game. I continue to be incredibly impressed with his range and the soft hands. He has just enough arm, seemingly, to make all the plays.
Not to go too negative, but our left field bleacher seats did show a couple of things. We had a view between 3B and SS, facing in toward the plate. What it showed me was that Brendan Harris has absolutely no range. As mini_tb told me during the game, "he has the range of a grapefruit." I don't know what that really, fully means, but I have never heard of a grapefruit with great range.
By the way, to all of you fans of the wave. Some moron decided after the fifth inning that it was a good idea to start the wave. After a few attempts, it actually got going and went around the Dome a few times. I mention this primarily as an example that starting the wave is dumb. Seriously, the game was going great for the Twins until the wave started. The game was going on, and people around the Dome were doing the wave. Very frustrating.
Raul Ibanez went 5-5 in the game with a couple of doubles. Watching him walk around the field or between pitches in LF, he just looks old. Walking looked like it hurt. He was stretching all the time. And then he would just crush the ball when he hit. I know many people wanted him to come to the Twins, but that would have made no sense. He is a LF who could DH. The Twins are just fine in both positions, so they should look other places to improve this team. No... definitely not Jarrod Washburn!
Any other thoughts on the Twins/M's series, or thoughts heading into the series with the A's? It was noted in the Twins postgame show that A's Monday night starter Justin Duchscherer has not won since he went to the All Star game. I would just caution fans into thinking that means anything. On the season, he is 10-8 with an ERA of just 2.59. His WHIP is 0.99! Opponents are hitting just .208 against him. I don't think we should expect 11 runs in this one!
Twins Minor League Updates
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Steve Singleton, Ft. Myers Miracle
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Matt Fox, Ft. Myers Miracle
Sunday – Rochester 0, Syracuse 2 – Phil Humber actually had another very good start. The righty went all eight innings in the loss and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out three. However, the Red Wings offense managed just two hits in the game. Howie Clark had both of them. Bobby Kielty was 0-2 with the team's only walk.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Sunday – New Britain 8, Akron 2 – This was a great win for the Rockcats as many players contributed. Kyle Aselton got the win, his fifth of the year. In six innings, he gave up a run on just two hits. He walked four and struck out two. Zach Ward came in and gave up a run on a hit and a walk in 0.2 innings. Jose Mijares gave up a hit but no runs in one inning. Frank Mata got the final four outs for his first save. Steve Tolleson was the one Rockcat that had three hits, 3-5 with his 26th double. Dustin Martin went 2-4 with a walk, his seventh triple, ninth homer and two RBI. David Winfree went 2-5 with his 18th homer, a grand slam in the 9th to put this game out of reach. Danny Valencia went 2-5 with his 16th double and fifth home run.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Sunday – Miracle 15, Sarasota 2 – The Miracle scored four in the first inning, five in the second inning and three more in the third to take a 12-0 lead. It grew to 14-0 in the fifth. Matt Fox was the beneficiary of the run support. He threw seven shutout innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five. David Shinskie then gave up two runs on three hits in one inning. Carlos Gutierrez threw a scoreless inning. Steve Singleton led the offense by going 4-5 with his fifteenth and sixteenth doubles, four runs scored and two runs batted in. Johnny Woodard went 3-4 with a walk, his fifth homer and four runs scored and driven in. Danny Berg was 3-6 with his second triple, three runs and two RBI. Garrett Olson went 2-5 with his fifth double and four RBI. Danny Lehmann went 2-5 with his second double.
Sunday – Beloit 4, Cedar Rapids 5 (13 Innings) – This was a long game for the Snappers and if you're going to play 13 innings, you might as well win, otherwise it is a REALLY long game. Mike McCardell started and gave up four runs (2 earned) on seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out eight. Michael Allen provided two perfect innings of relief. Santos Arias then struck out four in three scoreless innings. Charles Nolte went two shutout innings. Dustin Martin then came in for the 13th. He struck out the first batter he faced, but he then gave up a solo home run to end the game. Greg Yersich went 3-5. Ben Revere went 2-6 with a walk and his tenth triple. Andrew Schmiesing was 2-4 with a walk. Chris Cates was 2-6. Ramon Santana had just one hit, but it was his seventh home run.
Sunday – E-Twins – No Game Scheduled.
GCL TWINS TALK
Sunday – GCL Twins – No Game Scheduled.
Have a great week! I will be at the game Monday night, then headed to Fargo on Tuesday night, then up to Warroad on Wednesday night for the weekend. I plan to post regularly, so be sure to check back here and at the WordPress site.