July 17, 2007

Wednesday's Thoughts

Twins lost to Tigers, 1-0.

Matt Garza couldn't get a single run of support on Tuesday. He lost a great pitchers dual against Nate Robertson on an unearned run. Matt Garza was pitching great. He was mixing in a great curveball and slider and later worked in a very good changeup. After giving up a leadoff double to Curtis Granderson, he was in cruise control until the 6th inning. The inning started off with an error to Jason Bartlett who bobbled a ground ball off the bat of Brandon Inge. Curtis Granderson had a 2-2 count and Garza delivered a changeup (at least) 3 inches above his knee, but it was called a ball. With first base open after a wild pitch, Garza ends up walking Granderson to get to Placido Polanco. On the 2nd pitch, he poped a bunt up left of home plate and it was caught by Joe Mauer. With out one, Gary Sheffield came up to bat and the first pitch was a curveball about 3 inches below the knee, but it was called a strike (if you haven't noticed yet or if you didn't get to see it, the umpire was very inconsistant with his calls. he didn't know where the strike zone was). Garza then gets Sheffield to fly out to Jason Tyner at the warning track. Next Magglio Ordonez came up and delivered on an 0-2 pitch with a single under the diving Nick Punto at 3rd. The run was not charged to Garza (because the runner that scored reached on the error at the begining of the inning). He then got Carlos Guillen to fly out to end the inning.

That's it, just one pitch, just one slider that he left over the plate decided this game. Just one run. I'm not really surprised that we were shutout, because Robertson and the Tigers are always very hard to beat and he always pitches well against us. I guess I'm just disappointed in our lineup for not getting a sinlge run.

Many probably want to blame Jason Bartlett for the loss, which I guess is understandable, I mean he did give up the error. But if you blame Bart, you also need to blame the umpire who missed that 3rd strike to Curtis Granderson (which would've ended the inning with Gary Sheffield's fly out), and you also need to blame the "meat of the order" (Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau & Torii Hunter) that went a combined 1-13 with a walk, 5 K's and 5 men left on base.

I'm very disappointed in the Twins offense right now. Matt Garza, Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek all pitched great for the Twins. And we couldn't get just 1 run to force at least OT, not one, zero, zilch, nada. Pathetic.

The Twins will send Johan Santana (who beat the Tigers last time he saw them) to the mound against Andrew Miller (who we beat up pretty good in his last go around with the Twins). I'm not so sure about this one. Yeah we beat him up and yeah Johan pitched well against them last time; but Andrew Miller is a lefty and we seem to be using chop sticks against lefties this season, so I'm not sure what to expect tonight against the Tigers.
Other News
  • Former Twins prospect/pitcher J.D. Durbin aka "The Real Deal" finally had a good start. He went 6 innings and gave up 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 3 and walking 2 in his first win for t he Philadelphia Phillies. He did it against a good offense of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Another former Twin is making news too. The Brewers announced that Grant Balfour has been recalled from AAA with Ben Sheets likely to miss 4-6 weeks with a finger injury. Balfour was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA with 5 saves for the Nashville Sounds (Brewers AAA affilitate). He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He later had surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum. He signed with the Reds in January 2006 (after the Twins non-tendered him) and then he was claimed off waivers by the Brewers in Octoboer 2006. He looks to be 100% recovered from his surgeries and he should be able to help the Brewers retain their 1st place status in the NL Central.
  • ESPN writer, Keith Law, said that the Twins will be "Strategic buyers" at the deadline and a name he said is a possibility is Scott Hatteberg (1B/DH) of the Reds.
  • Make sure to check out Seth Stoh's site as he answered many questions about the Minnesota Twins organization (inluding mine). He gave great, thoughtout answers. I appreciate that he took the time to do that.

Minor League Notes

Rochester Red Wings beat the Syracus Chiefs, 1-0.
Kevin Slowey pitched a complete game shutout in just his 2nd game back with the Red Wings since he was demoted on July 5th. He threw 103 pitches (72 strikes) with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts. He lowered his ERA from 1.79-1.59. The only run of the game came off the bat of Alexi Casilla who hit a leadoff HR to start the game. It was his 2nd HR of the season and his 18th RBI. Jose Morales had 2 hits. Besides them, the rest of the batters went 0-22.

New Britain Rock Cats beat the Connecticut Defenders, 11-3.
The Aussie, Josh Hill has really struggled as of late, on Tuesday, he pitched 5 scoreless innings to pick up his first win with the Rock Cats this season. He struck out 6 batters while walking just 2. He won the game in part of the Rock Cats ability to give him plenty of run support. David Winfree was the only starter to not get a hit. 5 different players had 2 or more hits. Matt Moses had 2 hits a run scored and a run driven in. Luke Hughes had two hits and 2 RBI's. Kyle Geiger had 2 hits and a run. Garrett Guzman went 2-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI's which came off of his 10th HR of the season. Trevor Plouffe had a great day at the plate, he went 3-4 with 3 runs scored, his 25th double and his 36th RBI.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Vero Beach Devil Rays, 6-4.
Starter Oswaldo Sosa got enough run support for the 2nd straight start and held the Rays to just 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1. Reliever Armando Gabino went 1.1 innings and gave up 1 run. Eddie Morlan gave up a HR in the top of the 9th but still got his 13th save of the season. Danny Valencia & Chris Woodward both hit their 3rd HR of the season for the Miracle. Woodward finished with 1 2 RBI's and Valencia finished with 2 hits and 3 RBI's. Luis Ugueto hit 2 doubles. Erik Lis had 2 hits including his 2nd double and 50th RBI. Juan Portes had 3 runs with 2 hits. And Brian Dinkleman had a double, a single, and a run scored.

Beloit Snappers beat the Wisconsin Rattlers, 4-3.
Starter Matthew Fox went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs and struck out 4 batters. Jose Lugo continues his struggles and walked 3 batters without getting an out. Matt Williams went 2 scoreless innings and got out of the 6th with only giving up 1 inherited run (charged to Lugo). Jesus Carnevales went 1 inning. And Rochester (MN) native, Aaron Craig went 1 innings and picked up his 3rd win of the season. The win came on a bases loaded walk to Chris Parmelee which scored Yancarlos Ortiz from 3rd. The first run came from Dan Berg who hit his 3rd home run to center field. The next run came from Matt Betsill who homered for his 1st time of the season to right field. The next run was made possible by Joe Benson. He walked to lead off the inning and then stole 2nd base to only be later batted in on a Wilson Ramos single.

GCL Twins beat the GCL Red Sox, 15-4.
Talk about late inning run support. In just his second game of the season, Errol Simonitsch pitched 3 scoreless innnings and struck out 5 with no outs. He still hasn't allowed a run or a walk in both games and has only given up 2 combined hits. Jose Acosta pitched 3 innings to pick up his 2nd win of the season. The first 6 batters in the order all had 2 hits each. Jeanfred Brito had two hits and scored twice. Ben Revere had 2 hits and hit his 6th triple and scored 3 times. Yangervis Solarte had two hits, 2 runs, a triple and 3 RBI's. Danny Rams hit his first triple of the season, he too had 2 hits. Angel Morales and Alexander Soto also had 2 hits apiece. Morales had a double and an RBI; Soto had a HR, a double, and 2 RBI's.

Elizabethton Twins vs. Bristol White Sox
Game postponed due to rain.