Sunday, March 4, 2007
SunDAY Game Notes
Good morning! As I did yesterday, I will be trying to do a little play-by-play of the Twins/Red Sox Spring Training game this afternoon (Game Time - 12:05). As always, please feel free to Comment below and/or e-mail me. And again, the Demographic Survey will only be up through the rest of the day, so please e-mail me your responses if you haven't done so already.
It looks like there will be more regulars in the lineup today. (Starting Lineups, thanks to La Velle.) Jason Bartlett, Nick Punto, Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Rondell White, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Luis Rodriguez. Luis Castillo with the day off again. Torii Hunter with another game off. I'm not sure how long they will keep him out. I also think it is a good thing to get Denard Span into the lineup with the regulars. Alejandro Machado's injury is only helping Luis Rodriguez's chance to make the team out of spring. Oh, and did I mention that Johan Santana is starting for the Twins?
This lineup will face Curt Schilling to start the game. Santana will face Julio Lugo, Kevin Youklis, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp, Wily Mo Pena, Eric Hinske, Alex Cora, and David Murphy.
In my Saturday Night Notes, I mentioned Joe Christensen's article on what Joe Mauer can expect from his 2007 season. If you check out his blog today, you will see exactly what a blog can do even for a newspaper writer. Joe Vavra was interviewed for the article, but he was not mentioned as they went with thoughts of guys like Tony Oliva, Tony Gwynn and Rod Carew instead. In Christensen's blog this morning, he uses some of the Vavra quotes as well.
I see that today's game is available on mlb.tv, but for some reason, I can not see it. I will post some play-by-play and other thoughts, but if any of you are able to see the game and have anything to point out, please do so in the Comments below... Thanks!
1st Inning - After falling behind 3-0 to Julio Lugo, Johan Santana came back 3-2 before walking him. Santana then fell behind Kevin Youklis 2-0 and 3-1 before walking him. On the first pitch to Jason Varitek, Lugo took off for third base and Mauer threw him out easily for the first out. On the next pitch, Varitek singled to right centerfield. Would have been a run. Manny Ramirez then walked on six pitches. Rick Anderson to the mound. (and I suppose there are some Twins fans who are concerned. Ha!) Coco Crisp lined out to Santana for the 2nd out. Wily Mo Pena struck out on Santana's 31st pitch of the inning. No runs! Maybe this inning will put proper perspective on the first inning performances of Carlos Silva and Boof Bonser.
Jason Bartlett led off for the Twins with a solid single to left off of Curt Schilling. Nick Punto laid down a bunt to 3B to advance Bartlett to second. Joe Mauer grounded out to second to advance Bartlett to third. Michael Cuddyer grounded out to 2B to end the inning. Score - Twins 0, Red Sox 0.
2nd Inning - Eric Hinske leads off against Johan Santana. Hinske grounds to Morneau at 1B for the first out. Alex Cora bloops a single to right centerfield. David Murphy worked the count to 3-2 before he struck out swinging. Cora stole second on the pitch. Julio Lugo singled to CF to score Cora, but Lugo was thrown out back at 1B after rounding 1B to far. That was the third out, and Santana likely ends his day with 47 pitches thrown. Too many!
Justin Morneau leads off the bottom of the 2nd with a four pitch walk. Rondell White flew out to centerfield. Jason Kubel flew out to RF on the first pitch for the second out. Denard Span grounded out to SS. Score - Twins 0, Red Sox 1.
3rd Inning - Joe Nathan gets the third inning. Kevin Youklis worked another full count before walking on the 10th pitch. Jason Varitek then popped up to Mauer. (John Gordon told us the Twins will have players from 18 different nations.) Manny Ramirez struck out looking. Coco Crisp grounded out to SS to end the inning.
Luis Rodriguez will face Curt Schilling to start the bottom of the 3rd. He flew out to left field. Jason Bartlett got on via an error by Julio Lugo. A few pitches later, Bartlett was picked off of first. Nick Punto struck out looking. Twins 0, Red Sox 1.
4th Inning - Scott Baker is pitching now for the Twins. Wily Mo Pena led off with a single to left. Eric Hinske then hit a double off the wall in left centerfield for an RBI (Span overthrew the cut off). Alex Cora bunted the ball toward second, Baker fielded it and then dropped it. It was called a hit. David Murphy grounded to 3B for a fielder's choice. The run scored. Julio Lugo singled to left. Kevin Youklis was jammed and blooped a single to CF. Jason Varitek walked in a run. Manny Ramirez then struck out for the second out of the inning. Coco Crisp then singled to left that scored two runs. On the play, Varitek got in a rundown for the third out. Ouch! Twins 0, Red Sox 6.
Joe Mauer led off the inning against the Red Sox Curt Schilling (still). Grounded out to 1B. Michael Cuddyer then drilled a solo homer to left field to put the Twins on the board. Terry Francona came out to remove Schilling from the game. Lefty Javier Lopez came into the game, and Justin Morneau grounded out to SS. Rondell White grounded out to 3B. Twins 1, Red Sox 6.
5th Inning - Wily Mo Pena leads off the inning against Scott Baker. Pena weakly grounded out to 2B. Chad Spann walked. Alex Cora flew out to centerfield. David Murphy weakly grounded to 2B.
Jason Kubel leads off the 5th against Lopez. He struck out swinging. Denard Span then singled up the middle against the lefty. Luis Rodriguez moves to the right side of the batter's box. On the first pitch, he hit a grounder to shortstop for a double play. Twins 1, Red Sox 6.
6th Inning - FoxSportsNet just now started showing the Twins game, so I am going to start watching it, rather than the radio broadcast (it's about 15 seconds ahead of the radio). Jeremy Cummings is on the mound facing Julio Lugo. Lugo grounded to Bartlett who threw to Matthew LeCroy for the out. Kevin Youklis flew out to left (Rabe). Cummings seems to have a very smooth delivery. Looks like an average fastball with a very solid curveball/slider. Remember that he is already 29 years old so the odds of him getting a chance with the Twins is pretty small. Jason Varitek then singled to right field. Jeff Bailey (replacing Manny Ramirez) flew out to short left field.
Jason Bartlett leads off against David Pauley. He walked on five pitches. Nick Punto then lines out to center for the first out. Brad King came up and fouled off a lot of pitches before leaning into a pitch. (King is a big man, but has a very good base, stance and swing.) Garrett Jones then grounded to short for an inning-ending double play.
7th Inning - Jeremy Cummings is back on the mound. Jacoby Ellsbury is probably the top Red Sox prospect and seeing his stance and stride and swing, I can see why. He grounded out to 2B. The next batter popped up to Tommy Watkins at SS. (This is frustrating watching the game because Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven could care less about talking about the game.) Chad Spann flew out to Denard Span in centerfield. Nice job by Cummings!
Matthew Lecroy led off with a first-pitch single to left. Josh Rabe popped out to deep 2B. Jason Kubel swung at the first pitch and lined out to centerfield. Denard Span grounded to the shortstop who stepped on 2B for the final out. Twins 1, Red Sox 6.
8th Inning - Juan Rincon gets to pitch this inning. Julio Lugo flew to Span in CF. Kerry Robinson singled to left field. George Kotteras grounded to 2B for a should-have-been double play, but Lecroy dropped the ball at 1B. Kotteras is one of the better catching prospects in baseball. He came to the Red Sox last September from the Padres for David Wells. I mean, for a couple of weeks of David Wells. Makes no sense. Luis Jimenez, the big, former Rockcat 1B, grounded out to 2B for the final out of the inning.
Craig Breslow is pitching the 8th for the Red Sox. Luis Rodriguez popped up to SS. Tommy Watkins was such a great story for Rochester last year. He has been with the Twins organization for about nine years. He is a Ft. Myers native. He can play pretty much any position. He flew out to RF. Glenn Williams flew out to short centerfield. Twins 1, Red Sox 6.
9th Inning - Mike Venafro gets an inning. The first batter drilled a single up the middle. (again, names would be good!) The second batter popped up to Span in shallow center. I heard the PA guy say that Jacoby Ellsbury is up again. He grounded to short and the Twins got the force at 2B. Former Twin Alex Ochoa is up now. He looks significantly smaller than he did in his Twins days. He struck out.
Brad King leads off the inning against Travis Hughes. King struck out on a high fastball. (Bremer just mentioned that Chris Heintz had some of his lip removed to be tested for cancer. Obviously we hope the best for him.) Garrett Jones took a low fastball and drilled a single to right field. Matthew Lecroy grounded to 3B. There was a play at 2B but Jones was called safe. Then the throw was made to first and it was wide, so Lecroy was safe. But then Jones tried to advance to 3B and was thrown out. Josh Rabe grounded to SS for the final out.
Twins 1, Red Sox 6.
I will be back later tonight with a quick post of links. Then be sure to check back tomorrow morning when I will have an all new article online.
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