Thursday, April 12, 2007
Good morning everyone! Today is going to be pretty quick. I got home from work about 5:30 and soon after headed out to play in a poker tournament. I had not played for about three or four weeks for various reasons including being sick and simply forgetting and wanting to watch baseball. But, so often, it feels like I work from 8-6 or 6:30, get home, hop on the computer, watch baseball and write this site until midnight, only to start again. So, I thought getting out and interacting with people, playing cards, being competitive and generally just doing something different sounded really good.
So, today, this entry will be rather short, or at least not as detailed as you may be accustomed to. In a way, I apologize. In other ways, I really don't! So, let's get to it!
I suppose you want to know how I did in the Texas Hold 'Em Tournament. Well, the fact that I got home at about 11:45 should tell you that I did rather well. Honestly, I can't explain it. A solid combination of good cards and complete luck helped out. We started at 7:00 with 32 players spread over four tables. By about 9:30, there were just eight players left, and by about 10:00, we were down to the final three. By probably 10:45, I was in the final two. At about 11:20, it was over. I had a K-6 off-suit. On the flop, a 6 showed up, and I raised a little bit. Anyway, by the time all five cards were showing, there were four over-cards, and the other guy went all in. It was about 20,000 chips, and honestly, I was just ready to go home. A part of me thought he was bluffing, and the other part of me didn't care. I was ready to sleep! So, I called his All-In bet, and he was bluffing, and my 6s won. So, that was a lot of fun!
In the room we played in, there was a very large screen TV and I requested that the Twins game be on. In all honesty, maybe the reason I played well was because I wasn't thinking about poker much, but instead watching the Twins game. What a nice way to end that series. After being completely dominated the first two games of the series, the Twins got a 5-1 win, in part, thanks to some big hits in the bottom of the 8th inning.
A "Quality Start" is defined in baseball as a start in which the pitcher throws six or more innings and gives up three or less runs. Of course, the old timers think that definition is crazy, and at times I do too. But, Ramon Ortiz's eight inning, one-run performance should then qualify as a "REALLY QUALITY START." He gave up just three hits and walked just one while striking out four hitters. Two things stood out to me. First, he was able to go through the lineup in order for the first three innings. That was huge. The Yankees got early leads the first two games and falling behind would have been bad last night. The mental reaction would have been to say, "Here we go again." The other very important thing that I saw Ortiz do (from my poker chair quite a distance away from the TV and with no volume) was work inside. He was throwing fastball inside, and up and in at times. As I noted after his first start, the things I've always liked about Ortiz included his energy, his arm action, his different pitches and the fact that he works fast and keeps his defense on their toes. Now this is a start that Ortiz can truly build off of. It will just be important that he maintain his intensity against lesser opponents.
It was good to see Joe Mauer get an RBI. It was his first of the year. I remember the last couple of years, fans complaining about how few RBI Mauer had. Of course, he was one of the league's top hitters with Runners in Scoring Position. He just has not had many such situations this year yet. So, to come up with a runner on second and to come through had to feel good.
Michael Cuddyer is an RBI machine, coming through with that go-ahead single to left. Justin Morneau needed that RBI double as well. Most of his RBI this season had come in his two home runs. He has been struggling of late, so that was nice. Finally, Torii Hunter came through with one more RBI on his second double of the game. Good for him, and he has started the season well.
afternoon, on his
Around the Majors blog, Joe Christensen posted the Twins
lineup for last night which included Luis Rodriguez as the team's DH.
Several people commented (And I have heard it several times elsewhere) that
it was ridiculous that Rodriguez is on the Twins roster, much less getting
to play as a DH. I had to respond, and I know I've been an L-Rod apologist
for a few years. Here was
response in the Comments:
"Why are people so down on L-Rod? When given a chance to play he does several things. One, he takes a lot of pitches. Two, he walks more than he strikes out. Three, he puts the ball in play. Four, he hits line drives. Five, he can get some extra base hits."
So, I was very happy to see Rodriguez get hits in his first two at bats last night.
A Jon Heyman article on SI.com said that Johan Santana had cut off negotiations with the Twins on a contract extension. The article claims that the Twins offered him two years at about $18 million per year, with a team option for the third year. Christensen talked to Santana yesterday, and he denied anything related to the article.
By the way, Dice-K Matsuzaka is very good. Felix Hernandez is great! Howard Sinker points out that Ramon Ortiz's next start will come in Seattle against King Felix!
Chris Heintz was sent back down to Rochester. Apparently Gardy realized that a third catcher makes no sense because having Mike Redmond DH is not a good thing! However, equally surprising was that Glen Perkins was called up to replace him. Jesse Crain and Juan Rincon are hurting and Dennys Reyes stinks, so Perkins did make some sense. However, that whole "He needs to start" thing just isn't happening. Kind of like with Alexi Casilla.
Rochester hosted Norfolk last night. After being tied at two a piece through the 11th inning, the game was suspended by rain. Dave Gassner started and gave up a run in five innings. Jeremy Cummings gave up one in the next two innings. Jason Miller threw two shutout innings, followed by shutout innings by Bobby Korecky and Mike Venafro. The offense was led by Tommy Watkins who was 2-4 with a home run. Good to see Trent Oeltjen finally get a start, in LF, and he went 1-3 with a walk. Worry not, by season's end, he will be the team's most productive OF.
New Britain lost at Portland 8-5. Trevor Plouffe went 2-5 with a double and a solo homer. Garrett Guzman hit a home run, his second, as well. David Winfree went 2-5. Nick Blackburn started and gave up two runs in four innings. Danny Powers had a rough outing, giving up four runs on three hits and hitting a batter in one inning. Jay Sawatski gave up a run in two innings, and Tim Lahey gave up a run in his inning.
Ft. Myers played a double header against Lakeland. In game one, the Miracle faced Tigers pitching prospect Andrew Miller, and did very well against him. The Miracle won game one 5-4. The big hit was a two run homer by Edward Ovalle with two outs in the 6th inning. Ovalle went 2-3. Juan Portes was 2-4. Ryan Mullins got the start and gave up four runs in 5.1 innings. He gave up three home runs, two to catcher Dusty Ryan and one to the great Cameron Maybin. Eddie Morlan was perfect for 1.2 innings to record the Win.
In Game two, the Miracle completed the sweep with a 6-4 win. Stephen Tolleson and Dwayne White, the top two hitters in the lineup, each went 3-4. Third hitter, Juan Portes went 2-4 with two RBI. Fifth hitter, Erik Lis went 2-4 with a double and three RBI. Kyle Waldrop got the start and gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings. Frank Mata came in and went two shutout innings for the Win. Zach Ward got the Save with a perfect 7th inning.
And finally, Beloit's scheduled game against Kane County was against postponed because of Snow.
Twinscards.com is a great site for Twins cards, photos and memorabilia. The site now will include a blog which will highlight the Twins history. Very interesting stuff! It is called Tony... The Killer and Carew.
I know many of you have become Chris Coste fans via this site, and I think that is a good thing. In the last couple of days, you have likely heard that he was sent back to AAA Ottawa. If you want to read a great, honest, emotional story, check out this excellent Paul Hagen article. I appreciate the article because Hagen asked Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. some really tough questions, particularly about the signing of Rod Barajas.
I didn't see it, but Haley Scarnato was eliminated from American Idol last night. Phil Stacy and Chris Robertson were the other two in the Bottom Three.
That is enough for today, right? I must sleep! Feel free to e-mail me or Comment below.|
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