Tuesday Night, July 1, 2008
Tuesday Night Update
Just a quick update... I'm going to post the Game Notes here tonight (including a very positive outing by top prospect Deolis Guerra). I hope to post a minor league update in the morning before heading in to the office for work. Also, I will be posting a Q&A tomorrow night with one of the Twins top prospects. Well, I might as well tell you... remember a couple of weeks ago, I asked readers to send in questions for Jeff Manship? Well, he answered those questions and I will be posting that tomorrow night.
Craig Monroe got a bit of revenge on his old team, the team he helped during their World Series run two years ago. Down 1-0, he came up with two runners on base, and he emptied the bases with his eighth home run of the year. An inning later, a run-scoring double by Alexi Casilla followed by a big two run single by Mike Redmond gave the Twins all six runs that they would score. Scott Baker gave the Twins a quality start, to the definition. He gave up three earned runs in six innings. And this time given a lead, the bullpen finished the job and helped get the win. Brian Bass gave up a run in 1.2 innings, and Dennys Reyes got the final out of the bottom of the 8th. Joe Nathan came in and recorded his 23rd save with a perfect inning. A couple of quick notes:
Every time I see Mike Redmond replace Joe Mauer not only behind the plate, but primarily in the third spot in the lineup, I cringe. However, as he has in his last several games in the three-hole, he comes up with a couple of hits, including a big two-run single last night. At some point, I need to stop cringing!
I had no problem with Craig Monroe replacing Jason Kubel in the lineup. I am a big supporter of Kubel's and have been for four years, but I also understand that Monroe needs at bats and Kubel should get a few days off against some of the tougher lefties. He should now be back in the lineup tomorrow afternoon, along with Joe Mauer.
Likewise, I have no problem with Brian Buscher sitting tonight against a lefty. He has played a lot of games consecutively. He has slowed down some in the last week. That's not so much a negative as an acknowledgement that what he did for his first 12-15 games was remarkable. He just needed a day off.
And big picture, guys like Monroe, Nick Punto, Mike Lamb and Redmond do need to play, otherwise, why not just have 16 pitchers?!
Alexi Casilla had another three hits in this game to raise his batting average to .327. He has gone 8-15 in his past four games to raise his average from .298. He also has a ten game hitting streak now.
Justin Morneau also had three more hits and raised his average to .314. He may be down eight or more home runs as compared to this time a year ago, but he just seems like a much better all-around hitter.
Every time we want to start writing off Carlos Gomez, he comes back. In this game, he went 2-3 with two walks. That's a great day for a leadoff hitter. Maybe having Denard Span around is good for Gomez as he has had two hits in both games.
This was Scott Baker's second straight game in which he gave up three runs in six innings. It was his fifth straight Quality Start. Control... 77 of his 100 pitches were strikes! That is an insane percentage.
The earned run Brian Bass gave up tonight was the first he had given up in his last seven outings. That spanned 10.2 innings.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Twins and Tigers will finish their three game series. Nick Blackburn will go to the mound against Erik Bonine. This will be the fourth career start for Bonine. He gave up six runs in 5.1 innings in his debut. Since then he has thrown seven innings and eight innings in his past two starts. Blackburn is coming off of a game in which he gave up six runs on nine hits, including four home runs, in just 4.2 innings.
And finally, a HUGE standing ovation for a good friend of SethSpeaks.net, former Twins reliever, Grant Balfour who, with Troy Percival on the Disabled List is now the closer of the Tampa Bay Rays. Last night, he got the final outs in the Rays second straight victory over the Boston Red Sox. He got the final four outs, three on strikeouts to save the game for Matt Garza who gave up only an unearned run in seven innings. In an e-mail yesterday, Balfour said it is a lot of fun winning with the Rays.
Twins Minor League Updates
Tuesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Deibinson Romero, Beloit Snappers
Tuesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Deolis Guerra, Ft. Myers Miracle
Tuesday – Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 12 – Philip Humber started this one, and it didn't go so well. He gave up eight runs on ten hits and two walks in just 2.2 innings. He struck out three. Julio DePaula came in and struck out six in 3.1 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks. Carmen Cali then gave up two runs in his two innings. Mariano Gomez then pitched a scoreless inning despite a hit and a walk. Tommy Watkins went 3-4 with a walk and two doubles (he now has nine on the season). Sergio Santos went 3-4. Garrett Jones and Alejandro Machado both went 2-4.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday – New Britain 3, Reading 7 – Anthony Swarzak's struggles continued in this game. He gave up six runs on seven hits and four walks in just five innings. He struck out four. Frank Mata gave up one run on three hits and a walk in one inning. Jason Miller struck out three in two shutout innings. Luke Hughes went 3-5 and hit his 14th home run of the year, his first in a long time! Dustin Martin went 2-5 with his fifth triple.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday – Miracle 4, Tampa 0 – Twins fans should be absolutely thrilled with tonight's performance by the prize of the Johan Santana trade. Deolis Guerra threw a complete game shutout. Nine innings, No Runs, Three hits. He walked three and struck out four. Eli Tintor went 2-4 with his fourth double. Wilson Ramos went 2-5. Juan Portes went 1-2 with a walk and his 15th double.
Tuesday – Beloit 7, Clinton 5 – Deibinson Romero got off to a slow start, and then he had knee surgery. Now he's back and he is starting to hit! In this game, he went 3-4 with his seventh double, second home run and two RBI. Ozzie Lewis went 2-3 with a walk and his eighth double. Estarlin de Los Santos went 2-4. Santos Arias started and gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. Spencer Steedley got the win. He went 3.1 innings of shutout baseball, striking out three.
Tuesday – E-Twins 11, Burlington 4 – With Shooter Hunt now in the fold, this was likely a big start for Curtis Leavitt. He came through big time. He gave up just one run on three hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out six for the win. Danny Rondon came in and gave up three runs (2 earned) on four hits in two innings. He walked none and struck out two. Nathan Fritz made his first appearance and threw a shutout inning, allowing two hits.
GCL TWINS TALK
Tuesday – GCL Twins 4, GCL Reds 0 – Alex Curry got the start and earned the win. He struck out seven in five shutout innings. He gave up four hits but did not give up a walk. Mauro Schiavoni struck out three in three perfect innings. Steven Blevins struck out two in his inning. Tyler Ladendorf led the offense. He went 2-5 with his second double and second stolen base.
Have a great night!!