August 9, 2007

Now, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

The Minnesota Twins have been silent as of late with the bat. After scoring just 10 runs in the club's first 6 games of August, the Twins unloaded with 19 hits and 11 runs against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter both hit home runs for the Twins lineup who have had a "power outage" since Torii Hunter's home run on July 31st which also came against the Royals.

Every batter reached base safely. Jason Tyner, Alexi Casilla and Nick Punto were the only batters with just 1 hit. Jason Bartlett had a good game from the leadoff position with 2 hits and 3 runs scored. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau also did well with 2 hits each while Mauer drove in 2 RBI's. Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter both had 3 hits and 3 RBI's apiece. Mike Redmond had 4 hits to go along with his 25th RBI of the season.

The Twins were lead by a strong start for starter Johan Santana. The venezuelan southpaw hasn't had a win since he beat the Oakland Athletics on July 13th. Although he has had an abnormally high 4.85 ERA in the last 4 games after that. This go around, was different. The reigning AL Cy Young award winner pitched 6 innings and gave up just 2 runs while striking out 6. He usually would've pitched the 7th inning, despite his pitch count reaching 100, but the Twins were at that point up 9-2 and the two runs came in that final inning for Johan Santana. No need to overstress your best pitcher in a blowout.

Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless 7th inning for the Twins with his 45 strikeout of the season. Ramon Ortiz's two innings of relief look a lot worse if you didn't see the appearance. The wind was blowing hard to right field and there was even bags and garbage blowing around the field while he was pitching. Every ball that normally would've been a flyout to Michael Cuddyer were hit over his head and it made things troublesome for the 34-year-old reliever.

The Twins will send Matt Garza to the mound in the series finale against the Royal's (recently acquired) Kyle Davies. Garza was pulled after just 4 innings in his last start while he gave up 2 runs to the Indians last Saturday. Acquired in the trade with Atlanta for reliver Octovio Dotel, Davies was hit hard in his first game for the Royals while giving up 5 runs in 3 innings to the New York Yankees.

Hopefully the Twins can continue with their latest offensive surge and finish off the series on a good note with 2 straight wins. But I won't get my hopes up because I've seen the offense score what seems like 100 one game to almost nothing (or maybe nothing) the next.

The Game ball
Last night is hard to pick just one player to give the game ball to, but I will it to Torii Hunter for making us forget the bad call on Justin Morneaus "double." By the way, if you can't tell, I too thought he should've been awarded 3rd base. I'm still not sure why he had to go back to 2nd.

Game Ball
Profile: Torii Hunter, 48, Center Field
Game: 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Brian Buscher goes on DL, Watkins called up
La Velle reported that the Minnesota Twins have placed 3rd baseman Brian Buscher on the 15-day Disabled List with an infection in his leg. The infection was thought to be a bruise after he initially fouled a ball off of his left shin against the Indians. Here is what La Velle had to say about Buscher's situation:

Brian Buscher’s right leg infection worsened on Wednesday, so he’s been sent to
the Twin Cities to be hospitalized. He’ll be hooked up to an i.v. so he can get
medicine in him to attack the infection.

The move on the 25-man roster opened a spot for a guy who's been with the Twins organization since he was 18 years old, and now 27 year old Tommy Watkins will make his ML debut for the club that drafted him in the 38th round, 9 years ago.

This season, Tommy Watkins has been a solid bat for the Red Wings this season, providing the wings with a .271 average, and 8 HR's with 49 RBI's in 110 games.

He's played almost every position for the Twins, besides catcher. Yes, he even pitched in 2.1 innings between the 2002-2003 season for the Ft. Myers Miracle. The Twins will likely try him out at 3rd base with the struggling Nick Punto now the starter again with Buscher out.

I'm just happy the Twins gave T-Dub the shot. He's deserved it!

Rochester Red Wings lost to the Syracuse Chiefs, 4-2.
In just his 2nd game since being activated from the DL, Nick Blackburn had a good start giving up just 2 runs while striking out 4 in 5 innings. After 5 innings, he was just 64 pitches, but the Red Wings want to be careful with him so he can ease into the longer innings again. Julio DePaula and Bobby Korecky both combined to pitch 5 innings of fantastic relief. Together they allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 7. Unfortunately, the same luck didn't go with Jason Miller. He gave up a 2 run walk-off HR in the bottom of the 12th inning. It was his 5th loss of the season. In his 2nd game since being demoted, Lew Ford drove in 1 of the runs for the Wings with a game-tying RBI single in the 6th inning. Gil Velazquez drove in the other run. Garrett Jones had 4 hits for the Wings. The "mentally unprepared" Matt Tolbert had 2 hits.

New Britain Rock Cats beat the Erie Sea Wolves, 5-2.
In his first game since being demoted back to New Britain, southpaw Ryan Mullins gave up just 2 runs in 6 frames while striking out 5. Jose Mijares pitched the next two innings and didn't allow any runs and with the late surge by the Rock Cats, he was victorious for the 5th time this season. Tim Lahey picked up his 10th save. David Winfree recorded 3 hits and his 31st RBI. Garrett Guzman had 3 hits. Trevor Plouffe had 2 doubles and his 43rd RBI of the season. Matt Moses and Brock Peterson also drove in runs.
Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Daytona Cubs, 9-8.
Errol Simonitsch gave up 6 runs between the 2nd and 3rd innings and left during the 3rd. J.P. Martinez and David Shinskie both gave up 1 run in 2.2 innings each. Rob Delaney picked up win number 2 with a scoreless 9th inning. Erik Lis, Johnny Woodward and Dustin Martin all had 2 hits and 2 RBI's each. Dwayne White and Jeff Christy also drove in runs. Danny Valencia had 2 hits and 2 walks for the Miracle.
Beloit Snappers lost to the Wisconsin Rattlers, 5-4.
Matt Fox gave up 4 runs in his 5 innings. 2 of the runs came off of a HR he gave up in the 1st inning. Jesus Carnevales pitched 2 good innings of relief with 2 hits and 2 strikeouts. Danny Vais couldn't keep the tie when he gave up a 9th inning run. It was his 4th loss of the season. Wilson Ramos had another solid game for the Snappers. He went 3-4 with 2 doubles and his 38th RBI. Eli Tintor and Steven Singleton both had 2 hits. Joe Benson, Dan Berg, and Matt Betsill also had RBI's for the Snappers. Chris Parmelee went 0-4 with 2 K's.

GCL Twins
No Games Scheduled.
Elizabethton Twins beat the Johnson City Cardinals, 5-2.
Michael McCardell pitched 6 solid frames of 1 run baseball. He also struck out 8 batters while picking up his 3rd win with the E-Town Twins. Curtis Leavitt gave up 1 run in the 7th inning, but Caleb Moore picked up his 2nd save while pitching to just 1 batter. Ozzie Lewis went 2-4 with his 8th HR of the season and drove in 4 RBI's. Estarlin De Los Santos also drove in a run and stole 2 bases. Eric Santiago went 2-3 with his 3rd stolen base of the season.