May 16, 2008

Get Out The Broom

The Twins were swept by the Blue Jays yesterday. Again, the base-running blunders killed the teams chances of getting ahead and the Blue Jays held the Twins to just 7 hits en route to a 3-2 win that had to be settled in extra innings. Glen Perkins pitched a good game. In just his second career start in the majors the Minnesota native went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6. The bullpen pitched well until Jesse Crain came in in the 11th inning and loaded up the bases while giving up the go-ahead run. Matt Guerreir, Dennys Reyes and Joe Nathan combined for 4 innings of shutout relief while allowing just 3 hits and striking out 5. Crain took the loss, his second of the season and it raised his ERA up to 4.61 through 13 appearances.

Offensively, Justin Morneau carried the way again going 2-4 with an RBI double. It was his second 2-4 game in a row, and he's now officially on fire. Over the last 6 games, he's 12-23 (.522) with a double, triple, home run and has 6 RBI's. He and Mauer are the only twins hitters currently hitting over .300. Jason Kubel had his second straight 2-4 performance as well, and finished the series 5-9 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 RBI's. Craig Monroe was the only other hitter worth noting as he went 1-3 with a double and a walk. Joe Mauer, Mike Lamb and Carlos Gomez all sat until being used as pinch hitters and defensive replacements late in the game.

Kubel and Brendan Harris both ran through stop signs at third base (unless if they're actually that slow) and were both gunned down at home plate. I'm assuming they ran through (although Dan Gladden and Jon Gordon never really said so on the Harris blunder), because both were out by a "mile." It's the second game in a row that base running potentially cost us the game.

Game Ball
Glen Perkins - Starting Pitcher

6 innings pitched, 2 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Tonight, the Twins make their first (ever) trip to Coors Field to face the Colorado Rockies in the clubs first series of inter-league play. Nick Blackburn will try to continue his solid pitching against Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies who has struggled mightily this season. Hopefully the Twins can hit a few home runs in the National League's version of the "Home Dome."

Down on the Farm!

Hitter of the Day
Erik Lis - Left Field - New Britain Rock Cats

After hitting a measly .202 in April, Erik Lis has caught fire in May hitting .457/.500/.761 with 11 doubles in 12 games. Yesterday, he went 4-5 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Between Wednesday and Thursday, he had a span of 5 at bats and all 5 resulted in 5 doubles. He's been a hitting machine and after having a great season in the Florida State League in '07, he should start gaining more support on prospect rankings if he keeps this up.

Pitcher of the Day
Francisco Liriano - Starting Pitcher -Rochester Red Wings

It feels really good to type Francisco Liriano's name in here. After struggling in the majors, Liriano has steadily improved in each of his starts. Yesterday, he lasted 8 innings and gave up just 3 runs on 7 hits while walking just one and fanning four. The one walk was his lowest this season and probably the most encouraging stat is this: 93 pitches, 61 strikes. His command still isn't what it was, but he's definitely improving and to get to 8 innings on 93 pitches means he was pretty effective. Twins fans must all feel very good after seeing him do so well in this start, but he still has a long way to go.

Touch 'Em All!

Rochester Red Wings: None
New Britain Rock Cats: Luke Hughes (10)
Ft. Myers Miracle: None
Beloit Snappers: None

Box Scores

Red Wings lost to the Clippers, 3-1.
Rock Cats lost to the Mets, 7-6 in 11 innings.
Miracle beat the Yankees 6-5 in 10 innings.
Snappers lost to the LumberKings, 4-2.