May 1, 2008

Blackburn & Gomez Shine

First and foremost, I want to just apologize for my inconsistent updates over the last week or so. To my disliking, it will likely continue over the span of the next few weeks as finals are approaching quickly and I just don't seem to be able to make room for posting and studying at the same time. I'm also going to be out of town for the weekend, so tomorrow's post will be the last until late Sunday/early Monday. And now, onto the Twins.

The Twins swept the White Sox in a two-game series, outscoring the division leaders 7-4 in the 18 innings played. On Tuesday, Boof Bonser was spot on the entire night. Jason Kubel provided a two-run home run to start a 3-run 4th inning. Nick Nelson has more analysis on Bonser's performance.

Game Ball
Boof Bonser - Starting Pitcher
Line: 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 8 K's (win)

Then yesterday, Nick Blackburn gave the Twins another strong performance. The 26-year-old rookie went 7 strong innings giving up just 3 runs on 8 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. He could have pitched the 8th inning, as he threw only 88 pitches, but the Twins turned it over the the bullpen and it worked out well. This start for Blackburn comes 5 days after his last start against the Texas Rangers when he gave up 5 runs on 11 hits in just 6 innings of work. This start was one of his best on the season, and he now sits at 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA.

Blackburn owes all of his success to his great control. Although he's given up a team high 47 hits in his (also team leading) 38 1/3 innings, he has only walked 6 hitters. For comparison, Matt Guerrier and Brian Bass have also walked 6 hitters apiece, but neither have pitched over 17 1/3 innings. His control has been great, and despite his opposition hitting .309 against him, he gave up his first home run of the season yesterday. Again, for comparison, Juan Rincon and Jesse Crain have both given up 2 and neither have cracked 10 innings pitched. I know that comparing him to mediocre (at least so far) relievers isn't the best way to get the point across, I'm just trying to stress that he's been great this season besides being very hittable.

The offense came alive enough yesterday to score 4 runs. Carlos Gomez lead the way with a great game all around. He went 3-4 at the plate with an RBI double and scored twice. He also stole his 11th base of the season and threw out Jim Thome at third base in the first inning. Justin Morneau also had an RBI double while going 2-4 at the plate. Michael Cuddyer got the Twins on the board in the first inning with an RBI single. Brendan Harris was credited with the other RBI.

Those guys were great, but Jason Kubel, Delmon Young and Mike Lamb all had games they wished they could forget. The 3 combined for 7 strikeouts and 7 men left on base (albeit 7 of the men LOB were from Kubel.) Hopefully they can all get hot for this weekends series against the Detroit Tigers.

Game Ball
Carlos Gomez - Center Field
Line: 3-4, 2 runs scored, RBI double, stolen base, outfield assist

Down on the Farm

For details on Tuesday's (and Monday's for that matter) Minor League recaps, Check out Seth Stohs' "Minor League Update."

Hitter of the Day
Steven Tolleson - Rock Cats - 2nd Base
Note: Really, it came down to Tolleson and Luke Hughes. Hughes drove in one more run than Tolleson, but Tolleson collected 2 more hits than Hughes. Tolleson had a great day at the plate. The 24-year-old second baseman went 4-5 with 2 runs scored with an RBI double and an RBI walk. Tolleson drew a bases loaded walk in the 5th inning and his RBI double came in the 9th inning, directly after Hughes' 3-run triple. Tolleson also stole his 2nd base of the season.

Pitcher of the Day
Santos Arias - Snappers - Starting Pitcher
Note: In just his first game since joining the Snappers earlier this week, Arias had a great game for the Snappers. The 21-year-old right-hander out of the Dominican Republic threw 6 innings of two hit ball while he struck out 5. He didn't allow a run or a walk in his masterpiece.

Touch 'Em All!
  • Rochester Red Wings: None
  • New Britain Rock Cats: None
  • Ft. Myers Miracle: None
  • Beloit Snappers: Ramon Santana (2)
Minor League Box Scores