July 14, 2007

Sunday's Thoughts

Twins beat A's, 4-3.

Carlos, Carlos, Carlos. Silva had a great game from the mound on Saturday Night. He kept the ball low in the zone for most of the night. He set down 15 in a row before giving up a leadoff walk to Jack Cust in the 7th. Dan Johnson later doubled to right and Cust was held at 3rd. Dennys Reyes then came in to relieve Silva and threw one pitch to Mark Kotsay who drove in both Cust & Johnson on a 2-run double (both runs charged to Silva). Matt Guerrier threw 2 pitches to get out of the inning. Pat Neshek set down the A's 1-2-3 in the 8th and Joe Nathan picked up his 18th save while striking out Cust and getting Eric Chavez and Johnson to ground out in the 9th.

The strikeout to Jack Cust from Joe Nathan in the 9th, came on a curveball. Normally this isn't very significant, but to Joe, it's not something he does very often. Generally, Joe Nathan will start the batter off with a fastball, then he'll go curveball, then slider away for his strikeout pitch. This time, Joe Nathan used his knee-buckling curveball to do the trick. There's a reason why Joe Nathan & Johan Santana made a
commercial. It even has Johan Santana telling Joe Nathan (in reference to changing speeds) "Joe, that's how you win Cy Young's Baby."

The bats were hot again. This time, their victim was Joe Blanton. Incase you don't remember, Joe Blanton held the Twins to 3 hits in a complete game shutout on June 2nd. This time, it wasn't nearly as good. Blanton was pegged for 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings while allowing 4 runs. Luis Castillo had another great game going 2-4 with triple and his 8th stolen base of the season (he was also thrown out for the 4th time of the season, later in the contest). Joe Mauer got his 1st hit of the series, and also his 2nd hit of the series. He doubled in Luis Castillo from 3rd in the 5th inning. Justin Morneau & Torii Hunter both went 1-4. Justin, also stole a base, his first of the season. The hero's for the Twins offense were Jason Tyner & Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer went 1-3 with 2 RBI's (a sac fly and an RBI single) and Tyny went 2-3 with an RBI. The RBI was a two-out single between the 3rd baseman and shortstop in the bottom of the 2nd. It tied the game at that point, and the Twins took control after that.

Boof Bonser takes the mound against the American League starter in the All-Star Game, Dan Haren. Bonser is 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in one career start against Oakland. Haren is 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 5 career starts against the Twins. Boof needs to pick up where Scott Baker, Johan Santan, and Carlos Silva have all left off. The Twins really need some good, consistant pitching from Boof Bonser down the stretch.

Rehab Updates: Don't forget about us!

Francisco Liriano:
Before the Saturday Night game against the Oakland Athletics, Bert Blylevin said that Francisco Liriano is throwing about 90 feet on flat surface, and soon hope to have him throwing from a mound. He said that Liriano is in great shape due to his exercise program (lots of running) and that his arm has no irritation from his Tommy John surgery that he had last fall. The Twins are hoping to have him joing the Instructional League team in September, and pitch a few innings in the Dominican Winter League.

Things look very promising so far, and I'm starting to build some optimism.

Rondell White:
Rondell White missed his 5th game in a row for the Miracle. He's still battling a sore left hamstring. The Twins aren't sure when Rondell White will be able to resume play.

Glen Perkins:
Perk pitched 1 inning and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits for the Ft. Myers Miracle on Saturday. He definitely wasn't the same pitcher the GCL Twins saw on Wednesday. In that game he went 2 innings of 1 hit ball while striking out 2. Hopefully he can get off to a better start in his next appearance.

Minor Leauge Notes

Rochester Red Wings beat the Indianapolis Indians, 8-4 .
Nick Blackburn started and pitched 6 innings and let in 4 runs before leaving with a strained right forearm. No news on how serious the injury is or how long he'll be out. Brian Bass pitched 3 scoreless innings to get his 3rd win of the season. Denard Span went 2-4 with his 5th triple of the season and he also drove in 2 runs (32). Brian Buscher continued his hot bat going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Buscher tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th and Trent Oeltjen hit the go-ahead double, driving in pinch-runner, Tommy Watkins from 3rd.

New Britain Rock Cats lost to the Portland Sea Dogs, 3-1.
Anthony Swarzak was the victim to no run support on Saturday. He left the game after pitching 6 innings and allowing just 1 run. He also walked 2 and struck out 6. Matt Moses went 2-4 with 2 Doubles and a run scored. Brock Peterson knocked Moses in from 2nd in the 9th for his 43rd RBI.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Jupiter Hammerheads, 11-8.
The Miracle bats scored 8+ runs for the 2nd game in a row. And for the 2nd straight game, Erik Lis and Brian Dinkleman both made big contributions. This time, Dinkleman went 3-4 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI's. Lis went 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI's. Jeff Christy went 3-5 with his 8th run batted in. Yohan Pino pitched 4 innings in relief, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 5. It was his 4th win. Armando Gabino pitched 2 innings to pick up his 3rd save.

Beloit Snappers lost to the West Michigan White Caps, 2-1.
The Snappers and White Caps went into extra innings for the 3rd straight game/day. This time the White Caps won in the 11th inning. Tyler Robertson wasn't given enough run support after a great game on the mound. The 19-year old southpaw went 7 shoutout innings, striking out 5 and walking 3. The only run came from a sac fly from the bat of Danny Santiesteban. Yancarlos Ortiz hit the only extra base hit for the snappers (double). Chris Parmelee went 1-5.

GCL Twins.
No Games Scheduled.

Elizabethton Twins lost to the Burlington Royals, 8-4.
Michael Tarsi was hit hard on Saturday. The 20 year old lefty allowed 5 runs on 7 hits in 4 innings of work. It was his first loss of the season. Starling De Los Santos continued to have the hot bat, going 2-4 with a double. Rene Tosoni reached base four times (a single, double, and two walks), and he also drove in his 10th RBI of the season. Rene Leveret hit his 6th HR of the season and also drove in his 33rd RBI. Leveret has been amazing so far in 21 games. He's currently batting .322 with 6 dingers, and 33 ribbies. He also has 4 doubles, 8 walks with 10 K's. He's having a good first year in Elizabethton and should be in Beloit when a spot opens up (so should Santos).