Sunday, May 2, 2009
Saturday Night Report
The Twins had several opportunities and really should have won, but instead, they had to work some overtime, burn the bullpen and in the end lost 10-7 to the Kansas City Royals in 11 innings. The game was back and forth throughout. Both teams had several opportunities to take over the game, but both teams squandered opportunities.
Glen Perkins started for the Twins and gave up five runs on ten hits in six innings. Luis Ayala came in and gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in 1.1 innings. Jose Mijares came in and got the final two outs. But an Alexi Casilla error caused another tying run to score. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth. Matt Guerrier threw a scoreless tenth. Then in the 11th inning, Craig Breslow came in and walked three out of the four batters he faced. He left with the bases loaded, and R. A. Dickey was the only bullpen arm still available. The knuckleballer came in and didn’t throw any knuckleballs in a walk to John Buck that gave the Royals the lead. A fielder’s choice and a single later, the Royals had the 10-7 lead that Joakim Soria held onto in the bottom of the inning.
In his second game, Joe Mauer had four more hits. Delmon Young, in the lineup because Jason Kubel was scratched because he was sick, went 3-4 with two RBI. Michael Cuddyer went 2-4 with his second home run. Joe Crede, back from a day with his wife who gave birth to their third child, went 2-5.
On Sunday afternoon, the Twins will send Scott Baker to the mound against the Royals’ Gil Meche.
· Craig Breslow – 6.2 innings, 9 walks. I know he’s smart and has something like 57 different pitches in his arsenal. However, he needs to pick out like four or five of them that you can throw for strikes! Otherwise, Brian Duensing should be on call.
· Nick Punto – sure, he has been on Web Gems a lot in previous seasons. But this year, how many times has he bounced throws to 1B. He certainly doesn’t have Bartlett-like range.
· Carlos Gomez – I don’t know if I can put up with watching him anymore. Sure, he covers a lot of ground on defense. I get that. But he can’t hit, he doesn’t even try to bunt for hits anymore, he can’t lay down a sacrifice bunt, and clearly the plate discipline that he was trying to develop didn’t happen yet. How he has a big league gig is beyond me right now.
· Alexi Casilla – he’s not quite in my ‘ready-to-give-up-on’ or ‘send-him-to-Rochester’ lists, but it’s getting close. He at least takes pitches and generally has good swings. Maybe it’s the turf, but he does not seem to have much range on ground balls either.
· Ron Gardenhire – He made the perfect move in the 8th inning when he brought Jason Kubel off of the bench as a pinch hitter for Alexi Casilla. It forced Trey Hillman’s hand, and he brought lefty Ron Mahay into the game. If Kubel was too sick to play today, it didn’t make a lot of sense for him to pinch hit in that situation. And, because he was pinch hitting for Casilla, the perfect move would have been to have Brendan Harris pinch hit for Kubel. That would have created a righty-lefty matchup with one of the Twins best right handed hitters. It would have been perfect to use Kubel as a decoy to get the matchup you wanted. Instead, Kubel was left in to face Mahay, and he struck out to end the threat.
· 0-2 – That is a good pitcher’s count. Why do Twins pitchers give up so many solid base hits when the count is 0-2? It goes back to Brad Radke who did the same thing.
· Like Torii Hunter, Doug Mientkiewicz has never seen a microphone he didn’t like. But this time, I’m listening. It is great to read him come out with statements about his former high school teammate, Alex Rodriguez, whose most recent round of questions brought up by Selena Roberts involves him taking steroids as early as high school. “There’s no way. I was with him too much, I was with him for too long. Our team was together, like, 20 hours of the day. Every day.”
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
· Roger posted his weekly minor league report at Twinkie Town.
Saturday – Game 1 - Rochester 5, Indianapolis 1 – Philip Humber made his first Red Wings start and did very well. He gave up just one run on three hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out three to gain his first win. Sean Henn got the final six outs, allowing only one hit. Dustin Martin went 2-2, was hit by a pitch and stole two bases. Luke Hughes went 2-3 with an RBI.
Saturday – Game 2 - Rochester 2, Indianapolis 3 (8 innings) – The Red Wings managed just four hits in this game. Matt Tolbert had a double and a triple. Trevor Plouffe also hit a triple. Brian Duensing started this one and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk in five innings. Juan Morillo threw a perfect inning in relief. He needed just six pitches, and four of them were strikes. Mike Gosling pitched a scoreless seventh inning, but he gave up a run with one out in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Saturday – New Britain 7, Trenton 6 – Jeff Manship put together and incredible start in this game, and the bullpen held on, barely. Manship worked the first seven innings and gave up no runs on just one hit. He walked one and struck out five to earn his second win of the season. Zach Ward came in and gave up two hits and two walks before being taken out of the game without recording an out. Yohan Pino came in and gave up one hit, but did get the team out of the inning with a three run lead. Anthony Slama recorded his third save, but he struggled. He gave up two runs on a hit and two walks. He struck out one. Rene Tosoni went 2-4 with his third double and first stolen base. Matt Moses and Brian Dinkelman were each 2-3 with a walk. Whit Robbins hit his second home run. Brandon Roberts had a double and drove in three runs.
Saturday –Ft. Myers 6, Charlotte 4 – David Bromberg gave up two funs on four hits and four walks in five innings, but he won his second game of the season. Steve Hirschfeld gave up two runs (1 earned) on one hit and one walk. Henry Arias picked up his first save by throwing two shutout innings. Steve Singleton went 3-5 with his fifth double. Chris Parmelee went 3-4 with his third double, fourth homer and three RBI. Ben Revere went 2-5 with his 12th stolen base.
Saturday – Beloit 6, Great Lakes 18 – Dan Osterbrock had another bad start in this one and falls to 0-3. In just 2.1 innings, he gave up nine runs on nine hits, including two home runs. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. Bruce Pugh went the next 2.2 innings and gave up just one run. Henry Reyes then gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks in just 1.2 innings. Steve Blevins gave up a run over the final 2.1 innings. The offense was able to score six runs despite getting just six hits. Ozzie Lewis and Jonathan Waltenbury each hit their first home runs of the season. Drew Thompson got his first hit, a double.