Friday, May 9, 2008
Friday Morning Notes
It's Friday and that is a good thing. Another long week is closer to being over.
The Twins lost 6-2 yesterday afternoon to the White Sox. The game marked the return of Kevin Slowey and the start produced mixed results. He gave up no runs in the first four innings. Then in the fifth inning, after the Twins scored two runs, Slowey gave up a solo home run to Jermaine Dye. A couple batters later, Slowey gave up a two run homer to Juan Uribe. Seeing highlights of both home runs, the pitches were right down the middle. It reminded me of something a fan in Moorhead once said to a high school pitcher who was getting hit pretty hard, "Why don't you just put it on a tee and quit wasting our time?" Well, that was the case with the two home runs balls. And yes, Slowey has given up a lot of home runs in his short major league career, but there is nothing in his minor league history that indicates that is something that should concern Twins fans. So for me, I took more from the first four innings than from the fifth inning. Slowey was able to get a few strikeouts which is good. I think it was certainly a start to build upon.
Of course the real negative (potentially) story of the day was that Pat Neshek had to leave the game after feeling something hurting in his elbow, something he said he had not experienced before. He will be having it checked out in the morning, so hopefully we will learn that it is just a scare and he can return to the Twins bullpen in quick fashion. If you would like to leave thoughts for Pat, please scroll down and notice the "Best Wishes" posting.
What do you think?
TWINS/RED SOX SERIES PREVIEW
The Twins just lost two out of three on the road in Chicago against the White Sox. Now the Sox of the Red variety, from Boston, will arrive in town for a four game series. The series will match the Twins, the leaders in the AL Central with a 17-16 record against the Red Sox, the leaders of the AL East with a 23-14 record. Here are the pitching matchups (with W-L, ERA, WHIP, Opp. BA):
Friday night - 7:10 - Jon Lester (2-2, 3.94, 1.49, .250) vs Boof Bonser (2-4, 4.29, 1.24, .257)
Saturday night - 6:10 - Daisuke Matsuzaka (5-0, 2.43, 1.20, .158) vs Glen Perkins (will be his first appearance)
Sunday night - 7:05 - Tim Wakefield (3-1, 3.33, 1.26, .222) vs Nick Blackburn (2-2, 3.65, 1.40, .308)
Monday night - 6:05 - Clay Buchholz (2-2, 4.50, 1.47, .270) vs Livan Hernandez (5-1, 3.83, 1.39, .297)
With the Twins inability to take pitches and wait for good pitches, they may really be able to help out Jon Lester who has 26 walks and 27 strikeouts so far this season. The Twins have not yet faced Clay Buchholz which means that he may make a run for his second no hitter of his career. It will be interesting to see how Glen Perkins fares in his season debut. With Livan Hernandez and Nick Blackburn both so hittable, I can envision those last two games being pretty high scoring affairs for the Red Sox.
With all of the offseason rumors surrounding Johan Santana possibly going to the Red Sox, this could be an interesting series. Lester was mentioned. So was Jacoby Ellsbury who is hitting .290, tied with Carlos Gomez for the league lead in stolen bases and has walked more than he has struck out. Jon Lester, despite all of the walks, has not been too bad. Justin Masterson is back at AA, but he did make a start for the Red Sox last month and gave up just two hits in six innings. Jed Lowrie has been up with the Red Sox for several weeks already playing three infield positions. I always thought that the alleged Red Sox deal was probably best (although I do not know for certain which deal was ever officially on the table), I think that the Twins did just fine with the trade, at least for 2009 and 2010!
For the Red Sox:
In his last eight games, David Ortiz is 15-35 (.429).
Kevin Youklis is 10-23 (.435) in his last six games.
Mike Lowell is 8-19 (.421) in his last four games.
The combination of Coco Crisp and Jacoby Ellsbury has worked pretty well so far. Ellsbury is 4-9 (.444) in his last three games. Crisp is 5-11 (.455) in his last five games.
For the Twins:
Joe Mauer has gone 16-34 (.471) over his last ten games. He is 25-62 (.403) in his last 17 games.
In his past nine games, Carlos Gomez has gone 14-35 (.400) to improve his average from .230 to .279.
Nick Punto is five for his last 15, a .333 average. On the other side of the equation, Matt Tolbert has just eight hits in his last 43 at bats, which is a .186 batting average.
Many are thinking that Tolbert should be taking over for Mike Lamb, but Lamb has 8 hits in his last 30 at bats, a .267 average.
Any other thoughts on the Twins? They do have an off day on Monday, their third off-day in a week, which is ridiculous!
Twins Minor League Updates
Thursday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Erik Lis, New Britain Rockcats
Thursday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Matt Fox, Ft. Myers Miracle
Thursday - Game 1 - Red Wings 1, Columbus 5 – Kevin Mulvey started out so well and really has struggled of late. He fell to 2-4 after this game. In five innings, he gave up five runs (3 earned) on five hits. He walked three and struck out two. Casey Daigle pitched on scoreless inning. Seven Red Wings had one hit in this game. Garrett Jones and Darnell McDonald each hit a double.
Thursday - Game 2 - Red Wings 4, Columbus 6 – With Glen Perkins getting called up to the Twins, Heath Totten had to make another start. Unlike his other spot starts, this was not a good one for him. In three innings, he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks. Carmen Cali then gave up two runs in two innings. Tim Lahey pitched one scoreless inning. Randy Ruiz hit his eighth and ninth doubles in three at bats. Denard Span went 2-4 with his second double. Jose Morales went 2-3 with his second homer.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Thursday - Rockcats 7, Bowie 9 – Luke Hughes did not play in this game. Wednesday night, he fouled a ball off of his leg and needed another day off. Hopefully he is not out for long. Erik Lis picked up the offensive slack. He went 3-4 with his sixth double and third homer. David Winfree went 3-4 with two doubles. Matt Moses hit his fifth homer. Jay Rainville is really struggling. In this one, he went just 3.2 innings and gave up seven earned runs. He gave up eight hits and walked two. Three of the hits were home runs. Jason Miller came in and gave up a run on three hits and a walk in 3.1 innings. Kyle Aselton gave up an unearned run in two innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Thursday - Miracle 7, St. Lucie 2 – Deolis Guerra improved to 3-1 with a solid performance in this one. Of course, St. Lucie is the Hi-A affiliate of the New York Mets, so this is the team that Guerra played for last year. He gave up two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out just one. Jose Lugo struck out two and walked one. Matt Fox came in and struck out five in the final 2.1 innings for his first save. Brian Dinkelman went 3-5. Juan Portes went 3-4. Wilson Ramos went 2-4 with his second homer. Whit Robbins went 2-4 with his second double and second home run.
Thursday - Snappers 8, Burlington 6 – Michael Tarsi had three bad starts, then he came back with three good starts. So, it was time for him to have a bad one, right? Well, he did. He gave up six runs (4 earned) on eight hits and a walk in four innings. Loek Van Mil struck out five in three shutout innings. Brad Tippett gave up three hits in a scoreless inning. Matt Williams got his third save with a scoreless ninth. Jair Fernandez went 3-4 with his fifth double. Ben Revere went 2-4 with his fifth stolen base. Mark Dolenc went 2-5. Greg Yersich hit his third homer. Joe Benson batted seventh in this game and he responded by going 1-3 with his seventh double.
I likely won't be posting much over the weekend, so be sure to have a great weekend!|
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