July 23, 2007

Monday's Thoughts

Twins Notes

Twins lose to Angels, 7-2

The Minnesota Twins couldn't complete the sweep of the Los Angeles of Anaheim of California of the West Coast etc. on Sunday. It what looked like might be a good day for the batters after scoring 5 and 7 runs in the first two previous games, but that didn't happen. The bats were quiet and Matt Garza didn't help by starting out the game on a bad note, he loaded up the bases (in the first) and then walking Orlando Cabrera home which turned out to be his first earned run of the season. The young righty never got into a groove until the 4th and 5th innings, but at that point, his pitch count was already at 100 pitches. He came out in the 6th and struck out Garrett Anderson, but a base hit by Casey Kotchman who later scored, ended the day of Matt Garza. Garza finished the game by going 5 1/3 innings pitched while giving up 4 runs (1 unearned) and 3 walks while striking out 3.

The relievers, who have been a big part to the success for the Twins, couldn't stop the bleeding. Juan Rincon continued his woos by giving up 1 run in 1 inning of relief, he also walked the first batter he faced which was charged to Garza. Dennys Reyes gave up an inherited run (which was the run charged to Rincon) and walked a batter in 1/3 of an inning of work. Matt Guerrier pitched 1.1 innings and gave up his first earned run in nearly a month. Ramon Ortiz who hasn't pitched since July 6th pitched the ninth inning and gave up another run.

The offense just couldn't get anything going. Joe Mauer came up with 2 runners on in the 3rd, it what looked like we might be able to close the 3-1 game, he instead grounded into an inning ending double play. He finished the game with a hit and 3 men left on base.

Jason Kubel had a great start to the series, and it looked like he was going to finally start turning it around at the plate, but that too didn't happen. The young left fielder had a terrible game at the plate by going 0-4, but did make a "web-gem" in left field by making a late cut to the ball and diving to his left to catch it. Darnell McDonald also went 0-4 at the plate and has yet to get a hit in first 9 AB's.

Jason Bartlett picked up error number 19 on the year with a bad throw that went over Justin Morneau's head. The ball was then touched by a fan which allowed the runner (Nathan Haynes) to advance to 2nd.

Jeff Cirillo hit a sac fly (right before Mauer ended the 3rd with the double play) and Justin Morneau had an RBI single. Those were the only runs the Twins would score in the game.

Nick Punto started at 2nd with Luis Castillo having a day off to sort out his visa problems and to rest his sore legs. Castillo may not be with the Twins in their first game against Toronto on Monday, because he forgot his visa at his home in Miami. The Twins are hopefully he will make the flight to Toronto, but they expect he'll be there (if not by Monday's game) then by Tuesday's game. With Nick Punto starting at 2nd, Luis Rodriguez got the start at 3rd. the switch hitter had an alright day both offensively and defensively. He finished the game going 1-2 with a walk and a run scored.

The Twins hope to re-spark the offense in time for Monday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rondell White activated from the DL, Garrett Jones sent down.

The Twins announced after the game on Sunday that they have activated Rondell White from the DL and have sent Garrett Jones back to Rochester.

Rondell White has missed all but the first three games of the season because of a right calf muscle tear. White has only played in two minor league games since July 8th due to a strained right hamstring. He went 3-4 on Sunday with a double for the GCL Twins. He has also told the team that he isn't comfortable yet playing the outfield (thank god), so the Twins will use him (at first) as a designated hitter.

Garrett Jones just never really got a good chance to show what he has. The 6-4, 227 pound first baseman/outfielder had just had 17 AB's this time around and only had 3 hits. Jones looked clueless sometimes at the plate, especially when it came to offspeed pitches (the curveball in particlular). He will likely be up later this year when the Twins expand their rosters in September. But still then, I don't think he'll have enough chances. This guy may never be given the right time to prove that he has what it takes at the next level. The Red Wings will love to have him back and hopefully he can focus on hitting better against anything that is not a fastball.

I can't believe this, but I'm actually happy that Rondell White is coming back and that I am optimistic that he'll help out offense out. But I have to keep remembering that he's crushed those feelings before.

The real deal finally shows up

Former Twins J.D. Durbin pitched a 9-inning complete game shutout against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. The former Twin top prospect has been great in his last two starts with the Phillies, and hopefully he can continue to pitch well. The 25 year old has been with the Diamonbacks, Red Sox, and now the Phillies since the Twins placed him on Waivers in April.

Minor League Notes

Rochester Red Wings lost to the Ottawa Lynx 3-2.
Kevin Slowey pitched a gem, even though he only lasted 6 innings. The young righty gave up 1 run and struck out 6 while walking 1 with 4 hits. He left the game with a 1-1 tie and was apart of the no decision. Carmen Cali pitched 3 solid innings in relief by giving up just 1 run. Brad Baker received the loss as he gave up a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th. Slowey didn't pick up the win in part to the Red Wings not being able to capitalize off the hits. The team had 10 hits, but only scored twice. Alexi Casilla & Matt Tolbert (#1-2 in the lineup and both very important to the team's offense) combined for 0-9. The Twins need these two guys to get on and run the bases. Denard Span, Trent Oeltjen, Doug Deeds and Tommy Watkins all had 2 hits. Denard Span scored on a wild pitch in the 6th and Trent Oeltjen picked up RBI #18 with a single in the 7th.

New Britain Rock Cats lost to the Trenton Thunder, 7-2.
Oswaldo Sosa pitched his first game for New Britain (this season) on Sunday. The 21-year old righty gave up 2 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings of work. He also struck out 3 and walked one in the no-decision. J.P. Martinez, Jose Mijares, and Tim Lahey pitched 4 scoreless without giving up an earned run. But bonehead mistakes by Felix Molina, David Winfree, and even a few bad plays by Tim Lahey in the top of the ninth allowed 5 to score which broke up the 2-2 tie and put the game out of reach. The loss was Lahey's 3rd. The top of the order did their jobs on Sunday. Brandon Roberts went 2-3 with a stolen base. Trevor Plouffe went 1-3 with a run scored. Garrett Guzman went 2-3 and Matt Moses went 1-4 with his 25 RBI. The rest of the lineup went 1-18. Ouch.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Sarasota Reds, 13-4.
Errol Simonitsch pitched his first game of the season for Ft. Myers on Sunday. The 24 year old southpaw went 3 2/3 innings and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 4. Adam Hawes relieved him and 4 1/3 innings and gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on way to pick up his 1st win in a Miracle uniform. Rob Delaney pitched a scoreless ninth inning in relief. Everyone contributed on offense, even if it was by walking and later scoring. Steven Tolleson, Jeff Christy, Brian Dinkelman, and Ed Ovalle all had 2 hits and combined for 7 runs and 3 RBI's. Dwayne White and Danny Valencia both had 2 RBI's to go along with a base hit. Erik Lis had 3 RBI's and 3 hits to go along with his 23rd RBI.

Beloit Snappers lost to the Great Lakes Loons, 6-4.
Matt Fox started for the Snappers and gave up 3 runs (all unearned) in 6 innings of work. The bullpen just couldn't get the job done though. Danny Leatherman gave up 1 run and Jesus Carnevales gave up 2 more. Danny Vais came in to stop the bleeding, but it was too late. The damage had already been done. Former Miracle players, Matt Betsill and Eli Tintor had 3 hits each and combined for 3 doubles. Ben Petsch had 2 hits in just his 2nd game in the Midwest League and also hit his 1st tripple.

GCL Twins lost to the GCL Red Sox, 5-3.
Santos Arias got roughed up early, and the Twins could not overcome it. The 20-year old righty went 4 2/3 innings and gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits. Jarrad Eacott & Dominique Rodgers pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Rondell White had 3 hits including a double and an RBI single. Danny Rams picked up RBI #7 with a single that scored Rondell White in 2nd.

Elizabethton Twins lost to the Bluefied Orioles, 8-4.
Starter Steven Hirschfeld pitched just two innings and gave up 2 runs. Spencer Steadley gave up 2 unearned runs in 3 innings but picked up his 1st loss of the season. Ludovicus Van Mil also gave up an unearned run in 2 innings of relief. After struggling at the plate for Ft. Myers this season, catcher/ (now) pitcher Caleb Moore pitched one inning of scoreless relief and struck out 1 in the process. Curtis Leavitt gave up 3 runs in 1 inning to put the icing on the cake for the Orioles. Danny Lehman and Rene Leveret both had 2 hits. Estarlin De Los Santos and Rene Tosoni both had 1 hit and two runs scored. D.J. Romero supplied most of the offense by going 3-5 with 3 RBI's.


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