July 5, 2007

Friday's Thoughts

Twins lose to the Yankees, again.

Kevin Slowey pitched a pretty bad game on Thursday afternoon against the high-powered offense of the New York Yankees. This was Slowey's shortest outing of the season going just 3 2/3 inning. He gave up 5 runs (all earned) on 8 hits. 2 of the hits were home runs to Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera.

The Twins came out and struck Kei Igawa early in the first with 4 straight hits including two back-to-back RBI single's from both Michael Cuddyer & Justin Morneau to put the Twins up 2-0. Nick Punto started at 2nd base so Luis Castillo could rest his legs and Luis Rodriguez started at 3rd. Punto snapped an 0-22 skid with a base hit in the 6th inning. Jason Bartlett was in leadoff for the 2nd straight game and he continued to improve his bat going 1-4 with 2 RBI's and 2 runs scored. He also had a leadoff walk to start the game. Joe Mauer started behind the plate and was the best Twin bat against the Yankees. He went 2-4 with 2 RBI's and a run. Justin Morneau & Michael Cuddyer both went 1-4 with RBI singles. Jeff Cirillo was the Designated Hitter and had 2 hits, one which was a hard hit ball that he hit for a double. Torii Hunter was hittless again and finished the series: 2-14, which lowered his average to .295.

Dennys Reyes looks like he's finally back to his 2006 form after pitching 1 2/3 innings and striking out 2. Matt Guerrier also pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief. Pat Neshek didn't help his "Pitch in for Pat" campaign with a 2-run Home Run to Hideki Matsui in the 8th inning, which proved to be the game winner. The Twins came back to score 1 run in the 9th off of Mariano Rivera, but couldn't get enough to get Pat off the hook. It was Pat's first loss of the season, and just his 8th ER in 41+ innings this season. He struck out the first two batters before walking the Yankee Captian, Derek Jeter and before letting up his 5th HR of the season.

Slowey Demoted

To nobody's surprise, Kevin Slowey was demoted to Rochester after his start on Thursday. The Twins won't need a 5th starter again until July 21st, so this is a very good move by the Twins. Kevin Slowey also wasn't really the same pitcher the Twins saw in Rochester. He has now given up 13 Home Runs and has also walked 9 in 37 innings. 9 walks isn't horrible by most pitchers standards, but his strong point is his control and so it's not something that he is proud of. The things that I've seen a lot from Kevin Slowey is that he usually gets ahead of the count quickly (0-2, 1-2) or he falls really quick behind the batter (2-0, 3-1). Another thing is that when he misses the zone, he doesn't miss with a ball, he misses with the ball going back over the plate which makes him susceptible to more hits. And he doesn't really have a great stike out pitch, which is why he gives up a lot of hits to guys who are behind in the count. Perhaps this is something he might work on the rest of the season and in the offseason. If he can become more confident in one of his pitches that he can make it his strike out pitch, he will be more effective and will likely avoid the hitting clinics that people seem to put on him.
Even on July 21st, it is not certain that Kevin Slowey will be promoted, Matt Garza will start on Friday against the White Sox, and he'll likely stay with the Twins (if all goes well) and may be the one to resume the 5th spot of the rotation.
Something interesting to note is according to La Velle E. Neal III, Rick Anderson said that "the club wasn't considering a move until Slowey was knocked out early on Thursday, which put more pressure on the relievers."

Carmen Cali was recalled from Rochester, he looked good the first time he was recalled going 5 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He will become the 2nd lefty out of the bullpen for the Twins. Hopefully the bullpen won't be needed a lot this weekend, but they play 4 games in 3 days.
Minor League Notes
Rochester Red Wings beat Ottawa Lynx, 4-2.
Winner: Dave Gassner (3-9, 4.75)
Loser: BubbaNelson (2-5, 4.31)
Save: Bobby Korecky (20)
Notes: Garrett Jones went 3-4 with 2 RBI's, Glenn Williams went 2-4 with an RBI and Darnell McDonald went 1-4 with a Triple to lead the Red Wing's offensively. Alexi Casilla played his first game after missing the last 3. Matt Tolbert went hitless in 4 AB's.
New Britain Rock Cats vs. Portland Sea Dogs.
Postponed due to rain.
Ft. Myers Miracle lost to Dunedin Blue Jays, 2-1.
Winner: Aaron Tressler (5-5, 3.39)
Loser: Armando Garbino (2-1, 1.90)
Save: Conner Falkenbach (15)
Notes: Zach Ward started and went 6 scoreless innings in the no decision. Steve Tolleson had 2 doubles. Jeff Christy drove in the lone run for the Miracle.
Beloit Snappers beat Burlington Bees, 8-4.
Winner: Cole Devries (7-3, 2.92)
Loser: Edward Cegarra (1-1, 4.03)
Save: Robert Delaney (27)
Notes: Devries didn't allow an earned run through 7 innings and struck out 6. Garrett Olson went 3-5 with 3 RBI's and his 4th HR of the year for Beloit. Wilson Ramos also went 3-5 and Chris Parmelee went 2-4 with a run scored.
GCL Twins beat GCL Pirates, 8-7.
Winner: Michael McCardell (1-0, 3.46)
Loser: Eddy Nunez (1-2, 5.40)
Save: Danny Rondon (3)
Notes: Rondell White played despite injury his calf sliding into 2nd base on a double on Tuesday. He went 2-4 with a double. Ben Revere also had 2 hits and had 3 RBI's to bring his season total to 9.
Elizabethton Twins beat Bluefield Orioles, 6-1.
Winner: Dave Bromberg (3-0, 2.16)
Loser: Bryan Lee (0-2, 16.88)
Save: Spencer Steedley (1)
Notes: Mark Dolenc had two RBI's. Ozzie Lewis had two runs scored. Starling De Los Santos stole his 4th & 5th bases of the year and Rene Tosoni stole his 6th base of the season.