July 18, 2007

Thursday's Thoughts

Twins lose game/series to Tigers

Johan Santana pitched 118 pitches in the game. He was even allowed to pitch the 8th inning even though he was already over the 100 pitch count that Ron Gardenhire is very stern about. The Venezualen, couldn't get enough run support to get the win (which is probably why he wanted to stay out there so long). He was great though. He went 8 innings and gave up just 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 7. Magglio Ordonez continued to kill the Twins. Last night he drove in all 3 Tiger runs and finished going 2-4 with his 15th home run and 36th double. Pat Neshek relieved Santana in the 9th and struck out the side on 13 pitches.

The Twins finally scored a run (or two) against the Tigers in the series. They got the first run in bizaare fashion. With the bases loaded, Andrew Miller hit Justin Morneau with a pitch which allowed Nick Punto to score from 3rd.

The Twins offensively weren't that bad as a whole. Of course the 7-9 hitters weren't going to be big contributors (they very rarely are) but they (Jeff Cirillo/Garret Jones, Lew Ford, Nick Punto) went a combined 2-10 which is actually not that bad for them, so that means the top of the order and the "meat of the order" needs to step up. Well Luis Castillo and Jason Bartlett did their parts. Both got on base twice and neither were driven home. Bartlett even stole 2 bases in the contest to try and advance into scoring positon.

The good: Michael Cuddyer went 4-4 to raise his average from .281-289.
The Bad: Torii Hunter had to leave the game after coming up lame while running through 1st base.
The Ugly: The "M&M Boys", Justin Morneau & Joe Mauer, went a combined 1-9 with 4 K's and 11 men left on base. OUCH! They'll never be able to live up to the M&M boys of the 60's (Roger Marris-Mickey Mantle), especially when they play like this. Lew Ford left 7 on base, but I don't/haven't expect much from him.

This is another disappointing loss on behalf of the Twins offense. Terry Ryan needs to make a move by the deadline if the Twins want to remain at all in this thing. This is/was a very important series and with the Tigers already beating the Twins in the series by at least 1 game (if not 2), the Twins aren't going to make up any games while the offense puts up 3 runs in two games against 2 pitchers who are either average at best or inexperienced.

Scotty Baker will try to do what the rest of the Twins starters have all done since the All-Star break, pitch well. He goes against the 10-1 Jeremy Bonderman in an Thursday afternoon game at the Dome. The game (which starts at 12 o'clock) will be televised on FSN. Should be a good game (for the Tigers). Ughh.

The Birthday Boy's Injury Update

Torii Hunter, who celebrated his 32nd birthday by going 0-2 at the plate and left the game injured in the 4th inning. He was running through 1st base on a fielders choice, when he hit the baggie he immediately reached for his left hammstring and was taken out of the game. He was replaced by Jason Kubel. As of right now, he's listed as day-to-day with a "mild left hamstring strain." I think he's listed as doubtful right now for today's game, but they'll probably make a decision when he arrives at the ballpark in the morning.

With no off day until next Thursday, I think the Twins should rest him against in the Tiger finale and at least 1 game vs the Angels. He's likely going to be the Twins everyday DH on the days he does play until his hamstring is well enough for him to run.

Minor League Notes

Rochester Red Wings lost to the Syracuse Chiefs, 5-4.
Brian Duensing pitched 6 strong innings in what looked like might be his 7th win of the season, wrong. He was relieved by Julio DePaula who gave up a game-tying home run in the 7th. Bobby Korecky lost the game in the 10th inning on a throwing error on a throw which allowed the Chiefs to score and win the game. Denard Span went 3-4 with a run scored. Alexi Casilla went 2-4 with his 19th RBI. And Matt Tolbert went 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI's.

New Britain Rock Cats beat the Connecticut Defenders, 13-6.
Brandon Roberts has been on fire since May, especially in July. So far this month he is hitting .390. And Wednesday he kept adding to it, he went 4-5 with a triple and an RBI. Felix Molina had 3 hits and an RBI. Brock Peterson had an RBI, as did Trevor Plouffe and Rashad Eldridge. Matt Allegra had 4 RBI's and his first triple of the season. Korey Feiner went 3-4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI's. Great day at the plate for the Rock Cats. Jose Mijares picked up his 4th win of the season in relief for Kyle Walrdop and Danny Powers.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Vero Beach Devil Rays, 10-2.
Jeff Manship has been impressive, and Wednesday wasn't anything different. The 22 year old Righty went 8 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking just 1 and striking out 8. Adam Hawes pitched an inning of scoreless relief. Danny Valencia, Brian Dinkleman, Steven Tolleson, and Eddie Ovalle all hit HR's in the contest. Valencia finished with 2 RBI's, as did Ovalle. Dinkleman had just the one RBI and Tolleson had 3. Erik Lis also chipped in with 2 runs batted in.

Beloit Snappers vs. the Wisconsin Rattlers.
Postponed due to rain.

GCL Twins beat the GCL Orioles, 4-3.
Danny Berlind let in 2 runs in 5 innings while striking out 8. Significance? Because Berlind went the previous 20 innings without giving up a run. 2 runs in 25 innings is very impressive for any rookie. James Beresford had 2 hits which lead the Twins. But the story of the game was that both Yangervis Solarte & Alexander Soto both stole home plate in the top of the 8th to lead the Twins to victory. Danny Rams went 0-3 with two K's. Ben Revere got the night off.

Elizabethton Twins beat the Bristol White Sox, 3-1. (Game 1)
David Bromberg went 4.1 innings of 1 run ball, he also recorded 7 strikeouts in the no-decision. He was relieved by Bradley Tippert who picked up the win while pitching 1 2/3 innings with 2 K's. Blair Erickson picked up his 2nd save of the season. Greg Yersich had two hits and a run scored. The only RBI was by Matthew Lawman. The other runs were from errors.

Elizabethton Twins beat the Bristol White Sox, 11-3. (Game 2)
Michael McCardell made the trip to E-Town (from the Twins GCL team) to start game 2 of the doubleheader. He was impressive in his first start for the Appy League Twins. He went 5 innings and gave up just 1 run on 3 hits, he also had 9 whiffs. Ozzie Lewis was the hero at the plate, the left fielder went 2-3 with 5 RBI's and his 3rd HR of the season. Rene Tosoni went deep for his first HR of the season. Rookie Danny Lehmann went 1-4 with an RBI in his season debute. Wesley Connor and fellow dutchman to Ludovicus Van Mil, went 2-2 with 2 walks, a double, his 2nd home run of the season and 8th & 9th RBI's of the season. D.J. Romero went 3-4 with 2 runs scored.


Matt said...

Hey i just wanted to leave a comment saying I really enjoy your blog! I was really hoping the Twins could've kept rolling and won the series, but now all we can hope for is to not get swept..

Just wanted you let you know people are readin' :)

Kavanj said...

Why do we pinch hit for Kubel in his second at bat(granted he watched 3 fastballs go down the middle his first at bat), and not for lew ford....he left 11 men on base!!! I know that guy was good against lefties, but I'm fairly certain that Kubel bats better against lefties than righties. Let the kid play, guaranteed he puts up a better line (if he swings his bat) than Tyner or Ford, and it will save me the ulcer thats I'm developing having to watch Ford and Tyner constantly pass up RBI. That was a really frustrating game to watch!

Also...I have posted a couple times now..but have yet to say that I think your blog is great

Josh's Thoughts said...

Thanks Matt.
Thanks Kavanj.

I really appreciate the kind words.

As for Kubel, I think it's pretty obvious that he's in Gardy's doghouse for the way he bats. He tends to over swing and hit for the upper deck in every at bat, even when a base hit would do the trick almost every time. I think that batting Mike Redmond wasn't a bad decision at all. He's definitely a better hitter at this point and time and would've given us a better chance of knocking in some runs.

Lew Ford was going to be pinched hit for by Luis Rodriguez if Garrett Jones would've been able to come through. I think the main reason why they didn't earlier is because they value Lew's speed in center field too much. The question is, had Rodriguez pinched hit for Ford, who takes his spot in center field? I'm betting Nick Punto because he's played there a few times, and in my opinion, he's a pretty good center fielder.

Thanks for the comments!