Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Welp, the Twins won a tight 3-2 game against the Orioles to improve to 2-0. Because none of the other AL Central teams played on Tuesday, the Twins sit atop the division with their 2-0 record. I believe that the magic number would be 160! Here are some thoughts from the game:
I was not happy that as a Twins fan in the outstate, I was not able to watch the Twins/Orioles game on TV. For the most part, Twins games that appear on Fox29 in the Metro area will be simulcast on Fox Sports North. However, FSN is also obligated to televise Timberwolves games even though they are really bad. So, hopefully this won't happy too often, but it was frustrating!
Boof Bonser started and I believe the term "battled" would be appropriate to describe his effort for six innings. Through four innings, he had already throw 80 pitches! Yet somehow, he got through six innings with just 100 pitches thrown. For all of the pitches and the long innings, when you look at Bonser's line, he gave up just two runs on three hits and three walks in his six innings. He also struck out six, so at the end of the day, it was definitely a quality start for Boof!
Michael Cuddyer has now struck out five times in his eight at bats. He also hit into a (run-scoring) double play last night. Wow, will it be nice when there is more than a two-game sample size to judge players by! At least Cuddyer is a power hitter. Nick Punto has already struck out four times too.
Rondell White may be 0-5 so far, but now he has TWO walks already!
OK, I know that one of the Twins strengths is its bullpen. But the way Ron Gardenhire chose to use his bullpen last night was absolutely ridiculous. Pat Neshek got the 7th inning, and after hitting Corey Patterson, he got the final three outs of the inning with a total of 10 pitches. Yet, the eighth inning went to Juan Rincon. He threw just seven pitches and gave up a hit and got an out. Dennys Reyes was brought in and gave up a hit and got an out on five pitches. Then, Jesse Crain came in and got the final out with five pitches. Although each pitcher didn't throw many pitches in that eighth inning, we forget that each had to throw 20-30 warmup pitches to get ready. They each pitched the night before. Can someone tell me why Neshek could not have gone a second inning?
Congratulations though to Pat Neshek who recorded his first win of the year.
Forget about Jason Tyner being the fourth OF... he is the team's designated base stealer. In each game now, he has come in and stolen a base late in the game, and in both games, he came around to score.
Two games, Two Saves for Joe Nathan. How long did it take last year for him to get Two Save Opportunities?
Speaking of Nathan, his wife is scheduled to be induced this morning and the couple could have their second child sometime today. Nathan wants his wife to have their child and still wants to be at the Dome tomorrow night. I am glad that the Twins have the policy that family is first. That's the way it should be. Playing ball is just a job.
If you check out
Expectancy page, and look at the Five Biggest Plays for the Twins
last night, they were:
1.) The biggest play in the game came when Jesse Crain got Kevin Millar to fly out for the third out of the 8th inning. The Twins went from having a 70.0% chance of winning the game to an 88.9% chance.
2.) The second biggest play of the game came in the bottom of the 5th when Luis Castillo reached on an error by pitcher Daniel Cabrera. Torii Hunter scored the game-tying run. The Twins odds of winning the game went from 41.9% to 59.5%
3.) When Jason Bartlett hit a broken bat single in the 8th to score Jason Tyner with the go-ahead run, the Twins went from a 67.2% chance of winning to a .81.5% chance.
4.) In the bottom of the fourth, down 2-0 with Nick Punto on 1B, Joe Mauer singled to advance Punto to 3B. That increased the probability of the Twins winning from 38.7% to 50.0% (On the other side, when Michael Cuddyer scored Punto with his double-play ball, the probability of a Twins win actually decreased back down to 40.5%)
5.) When Pat Neshek hit Corey Patterson to lead off the 7th inning, the Twins odds of winning went from 52.8% to 46.4% He got the next two hitters out to increase the odds to 53.3% and when he struck out Melvin Mora to end that inning, the odds jumped to 61.8%
Tonight, it will be Ramon Ortiz making his Twins debut against Jaret Wright and the O's. The Twins will be going for a sweep. It will be interesting to see what the lineup looks like tonight!
More 2 Read
Jeff Cirillo will likely miss the next few games because of a sore knee. You have to love this comment by Kelly Thesier in the article, "With Cirillo sidelined for at least the rest of this series, Chris Heintz likely could be called into duty as a backup at the corner infield positions. " I have to think that Luis Rodriguez would definitely be the first choice as the backup 3B if need be.
Pat Neshek wrote about thoughts leading up to Opening Day. And also he has a Mike Venafro auction that you should check out.
If you would like to learn more about Win Expectancy or Win Probability, a great place to go would be to Will Young's site where he again plans to chart it frequently.
For those of you in the Rochester (NY) area, 27 Red Wings games will air on TV! Also, Matt Garza will start the season opener, followed by Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker and Dave Gassner. This is all according to Jim Mandelaro's Extra Bases blog.
According to ratings, the Twins opener on Monday night was viewed by significantly more people in the Metro area than the NCAA championship game. That is a good thing!
Please check out a new blog on Minnesota sports called... the Minnesota Sports Blog. It will be talking a lot of Twins these days, but will also touch on the other Minnesota teams. Please stop by and be sure to say hi.
Did you know that Johan Santana is a Fathead? In the next week or two, Fathead will be making their Santana Fathead as part of this year's series. He becomes the second Minnesota athlete to be featured by the company. Check it out!
If you think Cincinnati should be embarrassed about Bob Huggins or former Mayor Jerry Springer, then how should they feel about this video of their current Mayor, Mark Mallory?
Here is a great Jim Mandelaro article on Tommy Watkins. I actually have to wonder if Watkins will really be the Red Wings every day starter at SS. I mean, Matt Tolbert is a solid prospect at this point and I don't think that the organization would have pushed him to AAA to be a part-timer.
And Finally, Dayn Perry of FoxSports.com gives his list of the Top 10 biggest roster omissions on opening day. Let's just say there is a Twins player at #1 on the list, and I am guessing you can figure out who it would be.
That is it for today. Feel free to e-mail me or Comment below.|
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