Friday (Night), March 2, 2007
Having XM Radio is excellent! I am listening to the Twins/Reds game right now. Ramon Ortiz had a nice six pitch first inning. Kyle Lohse is pitching for the Reds. He has two walks and now Torii Hunter was just hit in the head with a pitch. Lohse clearly does not have much control. Ron Gardenhire is talking to Lohse, patting him on the back. Lohse is now out of the game, he's thrown a bunch of pitches. Hunter was on the ground for probably three minutes. He is walking off the field, but not by himself. Jason Tyner is coming in to pinch run for him. Brian Meadows came in with the bases loaded and on the first pitch, Rondell White hit a long... foul ball. The exciting thing about that? His bat was a little slow last year... maybe it is quicker now? Two pitches later, White flew out to the warning track in the right field corner. Why is that good? Because White said that he has been working on hitting the ball the other way and he did so there. Nothing came of a bases loaded, two out at bat, but it was a quality spring training at bat! Score after 1 inning... Twins 1, Reds 0. (Castillo and Cuddyer walked. Joe Mauer had an infield single.)
I will be writing some updates throughout the night and throughout the weekend, so check back and feel free to comment on the game notes, former Twins or anything. If you would like to ask me specific questions on the Twins, the minor leagues or anything else, please feel free to do so.
In the top of the 2nd, Mark Bellhorn singled in Scott Hatteberg for the Reds first run. Dan Gladden keeps talking about how Terry Ryan picked up Ramon Ortiz because he makes his starts and eats innings, and that they believe he will do better with the better Twins defense. Valid points. However, according to John Gordon, it was about a 30 hopper past 2B on the RBI single. In the first inning, Josh Hamilton grounded out to 2B and almost beat it out. Is anyone else already getting tired of Luis Castillo's complete lack of effort? The other day, I read that Gardy said that running out groundouts hard was not really 'part of Castillo's game.' It gets old. He's not that great in the first place anymore. I say deal him and play Alexi Casilla! At least you'll get the effort without much fall off in performance. And no, it's not too early in training camp to hustle.
Glen Perkins came into the game in the 3rd inning. Three batters faced, three outs... thanks to a Luis Castillo unassisted double play (4-3 DP).
In his second inning, Perkins started with a strikeout of Josh Hamilton. On the first pitch to Edwin Encarnacion, he hit a solo homer over the right field fence. No further trouble.
Let's take a look at the former Twins that played in spring training games today:
Joe Nathan gets the 5th inning for the Twins and the first batter he faces is the GREAT Juan Castro! Nathan strikes him out! Chris Denorfia flew out to Josh Rabe, now in LF. Then Jerry Gil grounded out to Tommy Watkins at 2B. Watkins is back in the infield tonight after getting some time in LF yesterday against the Yankees.
Chris Coste came in today to replace Ryan Howard at 1B. He went 0-1. Howard hit a home run and signed a one year, $900,000 contract.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Jeff Cirillo led off by getting hit by a pitch. Jason Bartlett singled. Tommy Watkins then hit a bloop single to load the bases. Everybody's (or not) favorite, Nick Punto, hit into a 6-3 double play, but Cirillo did score the game-tying run. Mike Redmond, who came in for Mauer an inning ago, grounded out to end the inning.
If you go to the Minnesota Twins Fan Network, Jeff Straub's new podcast which includes interviews with yours truly, our friend Nick Nelson and Jeff Gage, is now up and ready to be heard.
Jesse Crain is making his first appearance of the spring and will pitch the sixth inning. Norris Hopper grounded out. Crain then gave up a broken bat infield single to Josh Hamilton (who could be the story of the spring!) Edwin Encarnacion hit a hard single that Alexi Casilla dove for and couldn't get. Dan Gladden keeps putting an "S" noise after Casilla's name. Very annoying, and it's not like Casilla is a new name this spring. Crain then got a grounder to himself which he turned into a double play, with the help of Casilla and 1B Garrett Jones.
Not sure if anyone saw it, but on Thursday, the Marlins released Travis Bowyer and then the same day, they signed him to a minor league contract.
In the top of the 7th inning, the Twins are sending Matt Guerrier to the mound. Former Twin Javy Valentin grounded out to Casilla (at SS) on the first pitch. But then the next three batters reached base. Guerrier then struck out Jerry Gil for the second out. Former Yankee Bubba Crosby hit a pop up between SS and LF that dropped and two runs scored. Josh Hamilton then popped up to Casilla down the left field line.
Check out the Baseball Savant's Q&A. He answers a bunch of baseball questions and several of them are Twins-related.
In the bottom of the 7th, Alexi Casilla reached base with an infield single off of Matt Belisle. But then Tommy Watkins grounded into a double play.
The 8th inning brought Pat Neshek to the mound. Left-handed hitting Anderson Machado (swing and miss, bunt foul, ball outside, ball outside, ball outside, foul down right field line, slider down and in swing and miss) struck out. Paul Janich (strike looking, Ball outside, strike swinging, strike looking) struck out as well. Lefty Dwayne Wise (ball low, strike) hit a one-hopper to 2B for the third out. A very good first-outing for Neshek!
Australian Tristan Crawford gets the 9th inning for the Twins. He gave up a run.
Final Score - Twins 2, Reds 5.
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