Wednesday September 15, 2004
Good morning everyone! I have to admit, I'm going to be lazy today. I just want to point out a few Twins thoughts from last night's game, and then link you to a couple of very good articles and postings. If you missed yesterday's Q&A with BaseballAmerica.com's Kevin Goldstein, be sure to check it out.
And also check out Mike's Baseball Rants, where he is retiring his bashing of Joe Morgan's chats. It's really, ummm... sweet! But well worth the read!
Twins 10, White Sox 2
FLOODGATES - Wow! I never really understood that saying, "The floodgates opened...", but now I do. Through five innings, White Sox starter Freddy Garcia did not allow a hit to the Twins. As a matter of fact, he had recorded nine straight outs going into the inning. The dam was working. No water was getting through. And then the bottom of the sixth inning happened.
I told someone before the inning that it would definitely not be the inning that the Twins would break Garcia's no-hitter, at least not with Augie Ojeda and Henry Blanco leading off the inning. Well, Garcia walked those two on eight pitches. Shannon Stewart then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. With two strikes Jacque Jones actually came through and slapped a single to left field to break up the no-no and more importantly, give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The gates were starting to leak. And then, they burst open! Torii Hunter singled in Blanco. After an intentional walk of Justin Morneau, Lew Ford singled in two more runs. Neal Cotts came in and got Cristian Guzman to bounce a ball toward second base, but Willie Harris let it get through. Then Guzman attempted to steal second and catcher Ben Davis bounced the throw into center field allowing another run and for Guzman to advance to third. It was 6-0, and things weren't over yet!
With the infield in, Michael Cuddyer singled up the middle to score Guzman for the seventh run. Later, Henry Blanco doubled down the left field line to score two runs and give the Twins a nine run inning.
Ah yes, those floodgates were W I D E O P E N !
JOHAN - Seriously... I don't care if Curt Schilling has one more win than Santana. Johan is absolutely the best, most dominant pitcher in the American League. Oh, and now Santana has more Wins than Mark Mulder, so Mulder shouldn't even be in the equation as of today.
Last night, Santana went seven innings without allowing a run. He only gave up two hits and walked one! With all that, his season numbers improve to 18-6 with a 2.76 ERA. His WHIP dropped to 0.92! His opponent's batting average dropped to .193. Let's compare his numbers to Curt Schilling's and Mark Mulder's because at this point, they are the only three who should be considered (well, an outside argument could be made for Pedro Martinez and Brad Radke too).
W-L ERA WHIP Opp BA K/9
Johan Santana 18-6 2.76 0.92 .193 10.33
Curt Schilling 19-6 3.35 1.09 .248 7.81
Mark Mulder 17-4 3.90 1.28 .250 5.61
Pedro Martinez 16-6 3.43 1.11 . 246 9.60
Brad Radke 11-7 3.43 1.14 .268 5.89
Yeah, there is no doubt who the best pitcher is. Will the writers who actually get a vote for the Cy Young figure this out?
TIFFEE - OK, in retrospect... what was he thinking? I realize he is a youngen and wants to show the team that he's all about the team and sacrificing his body, but did Tiffee try to do too much? Fact is, he was out by a mile and he wasn't going to budge Pudge, much less knock the ball out of his hand. Knowing the Corey Koskie's recovery is going slowly, I bet if he had to do it again, he just slides in and takes the out.
THE REAL DEAL - What a performance! Joe Beimel came in and did as well as he had all year at Rochester (which is to say really badly!). He left the game having given up two runs and leaving runners on first and third with one out in the 8th. That is when Ron Gardenhire summoned JD Durbin from the bullpen. One fastball later, he had a double play, getting the team out of that inning. He also pitched a perfect 9th inning. But how good does he look? Fastball at 96 with movement. And that curveball just drops off the table! If he can get a changeup figured out, he could be a special pitcher! I can't wait to see him in the starting rotation next season!
BARTLETT - Can anyone answer the question I have been asking for awhile; why didn't Jason Bartlett play in last night's game? Other call ups did. Guzman has not had an inning off for a long time. Was he really that bad? Couldn't he even pinch hit? I'm sorry, but the Twins have an 11.5 game lead in the division. Their Magic Number is down to 8, with 19 games to go. They have won 7 straight games. I have to find something to be negative about, right?
THE WHITE SOX - Seriously, how bad is this organization? They had so much talent and every year, the Twins end up running away with the division. Jim Souhan wrote a great article about this phenomena in the Star-Tribune yesterday. Check it out here.
Missing Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez gives them an excuse, but clearly their fall each year is more than just missing two players. I think Ken Williams should be taking a lot of heat. I'm not saying that the Freddy Garcia deal was bad. But it wasn't good. And, don't you think that White Sox fans would love to be seeing Jeremy Reed patrolling centerfield now? Then they acquired Carl Everett and Roberto Alomar, again, and they've had such a big impact that neither was even in the lineup last night.
OK, I am going to end the Twins thoughts for today. I said it would be short and sweet.
Here are the pitching matchups for the rest of the White Sox series :
Wednesday - 7:10 - Carlos Silva (11-8, 4.46, 1.46, .315) vs Mark Buehrle (14-8, 4.03, 1.30, .283)
Thursday - 7:10 - Kyle Lohse (7-11, 5.45, 1.65, .310) vs Jon Garland (10-10, 4.93, 1.38, .269)
Here are the current standings though the weekend's games in the AL Central:
Minnesota Twins 84-60
Chicago White Sox 72-71 11.5
Cleveland Indians 70-74 14.0
Detroit Tigers 65-78 18.0
Kansas City Royals 52-92 32.0
Any thoughts on the Twins? E-mail me.
Thanks to everyone who stops by this site! Have a wonderful day! If you have any questions or comments on anything, send me an e-mail.
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