Friday, August 6, 2010
Friday Links and Thinks
Today is going to be a relatively quick blog. I’ll post a few links, but first, the question of the day:
What is more impressive: that the Twins won eight straight games against Baltimore, Kansas City and Seattle OR that they split a series on the road in Tampa Bay?
Those on Twitter have seen me post this question already. Unfortunately I tweeted it when the Twins had a 6-0 lead in the 7th inning. I immediately got messages that I had jinxed the team, and believe me, I heard it loudly when Jason Bartlett launched the grand slam into the seats to tie that game at six a piece. Fortunately the Twins and Jason Kubel were able to use the catwalk to their advantage and win the game in the 9th.
But winning eight in a row is a big accomplishment, no matter who the opponents. You have to win daily against other teams that are comprised of big league players who, on any day, can beat you. But winning two out of four on the road against the best in baseball, in my mind, is also pretty impressive. This Twins team is playing very, very well right now. Unfortunately, the White Sox aren’t falling down at all and continue to play quite well.
The Twins need to win two out of three in Cleveland. That team has traded Jhonny Peralta, Kerry Wood, Austin Kearns and Jake Westbrook. Carlos Santana (their best player!) is out for the year after a gruesome collision at the plate earlier this week. Travis Hafner is also out. But this is still a scary team. What do we (or the Twins hitters) know about Jeanmar Gomez? On any given night Fausto Carmona could shut an offense down. The Twins have to continue playing well and can’t overlook these games!
Here is a look around the Twins blogosphere. I’ve only included blogs that have been updated in the last few days (let me know if I’m missing any sites that I should add):
· Aaron Gleeman is at the SABR convention in Atlanta, so expect some updates from him after the weekend.
· Twinkie Town has a ton going on. As you know, Roger updates his weekly minor league report every Saturday morning. RandBall’s Stu wrote about Three Other Twins Games with Odd Endings. Jesse shows us just how Unlucky Jesse Crain’s performance yesterday was… or, how poor the home plate ump was in that plate appearance.
· Nick’s Twins Blog says to give credit where credit is due, mentioning names like Jason Repko, Drew Butera and more.
· Twinkie Talk displays the Win Probability throughout yesterday’s crazy game. As you would expect, there were some pretty abrupt spikes.
· Coffeyville Whirlwind is clearly the top historical Twins blog/site on the internet. He’s been looking back to the 1961 season while at the same time finding other very interesting events and reviewing them through the eyes around the scene (newspaper writers) at the time.
· The Baseball Outsider writes that the Rays are following the Twins template. He also discusses the Twins ironman.
· K-Bro listened to a podcast on quantum theory and parallel universes yesterday and then wrote about the Twins/Rays series.. Very interesting. And, she pays homage to the Catwalk!
· For the Love of the Game asks “Is Winning Ever Enough?” It’s a great question and very interesting, but also be sure to check out the pictures. Incredible!
· Call to the ‘Pen wrote a tremendous blog on The Coming Outfield Jam and predicts who the Twins Outfield will be out to 2013.
· Knuckleballs posted their Boyfriend of the Month for July. I don’t think you’ll be surprised, but you will certainly be entertained. If you like, join their game chats as well. The great Jim Crikket also asked When is a Trade Deadline Not a Trade Deadline which helps explain the July 31 deadline and the August 31 deadline as well.
· The Oh, It’s Those Girls baseball blog had a guest poster who wrote “Standing Room Only Doesn’t Mean What You Think.”
· Peanuts from Heaven appears to be as creative a Twins blog as there is. Check out the definitions, random thoughts and poems!
· I had the opportunity to meet Cody, who writes the North Dakota Twins Blog, on the Twins Train trip to Detroit in July. It’s a good thing because he puts out some of the best content among Twins bloggers, so be sure to bookmark his site. He’s got really good blog postings in the last couple of days on Delmon Young and Scott Baker.
· Twin Nation is back, and this week has had articles on whether Francisco Liriano from 2006 is back, and about the emergence of Danny Valencia.
Here are the links to the StarTribune.com TwinsCentric blog postings for this week:
· Monday – John Bonnes – Trade Deadline Notes
· Tuesday – Seth Stohs – Rochester Red Wing Report
· Wednesday – Nick Nelson – Morneau’s Head
· Thursday – Seth Stohs – Looking Ahead: 40 Man Roster Options
· Friday – Parker Hageman – Opponents Trying to Cool Off Valencia’s Hot Bat
John Bonnes is on The Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN Tuesdays and Thursday’s during the 7:00 hour. Podcasts available here. I am on KFAN with Paul Allen each Thursday morning at about 9:20. If you would like to listen, the podcast is available here.
This week’s podcasts:
· On Monday night, I was joined on the SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast by voice of the New Britain Rockcats Jeff Dooley, the White Sox writer for Examiner.com JJ Stankevitz, and Jason Collette of Dock of the Rays, Fanball, and several more sites.
· On Tuesday night’s Twins Minor League Weekly, I was joined by voice of the Ft. Myers Miracle, Alex Margulies and discussed what is going on throughout the Twins minor league system including going in-depth on Oswaldo Arcia.
Here is a quick glance at what happened on Thursday in the Twins minor league system:
Red Wings Report
The Red Wings played a Thursday afternoon game, and it didn’t go well. They lost 8-2 to Wilson Ramos and Syracuse. Another frustrating start from Anthony Swarzak. The right-hander went four innings and gave up eight runs (7 earned) on nine hits. Matt Fox came in and allowed two inherited runners to score, but gave up no more runs in two innings. Jose Lugo threw two scoreless innings before Pat Neshek struck out one in a perfect ninth. Jacque Jones went 2-4 with his 22nd and 23rd doubles. Brian Dinkelman went 2-3 with his 26th double. Matt Macri knocked his 7th home run.
New Britain Notes
The Rockcats lost 7-4 to Erie. Steve Singleton was 2-3 with a walk. Erik Lis hit his eight AA home run. Tyler Robertson fell to 2-11. The lefty gave up six runs (3 earned) on eight hits. He walked three and struck out five. Steve Hirschfeld came in and struck out four in two scoreless innings. Tony Davis threw two more scoreless, and then Billy Bullock gave up a run on two hits in his two strikeout inning.
The Miracle watched the Twins play the Rays in the afternoon and then headed up to Clearwater to take on the Thrashers. They lost 14-13. Matt Williams started and gave up four runs on five hits and a walk in six innings. Blake Martin came in and got just one out. He gave up five runs (1 earned) on three hits and a walk. Michael Allen got three outs and gave up four runs. Dakota Watts got two outs and was charged with one run. Brian Dozier went 3-5 with a walk. Angel Morales was 2-6 with his fifth double. Evan Bigley went 2-4 with two walks. Deibinson Romero was 1-3 with two walks. Drew Thompson was 1-3 with two walks and a stolen base.
Beloit got some great pitching and topped Burlington 5-0. Clinton Dempster started and threw 6.1 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out seven. Nelvin Fuentes struck out three in two scoreless innings. Matt Tone pitched a scoreless ninth frame. James Beresford was 2-4. Michael Gonzales hit his 13th home run. Danny Rams hit his 24th double.
Elizabethton got a second consecutive day off thanks to rain.
GCL Twins Topics
The Twins topped the Orioles 6-3 in GCL play. David Deminsky gave up three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out eight. Tyler Herr recorded his first professional save by striking out four in the final 2.1 innings. Rory Rhodes went 2-4 with his third double. Wander Guillen was 2-4 with his first double. Matej Hejma was 2-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Any thoughts on the Twins or the minor league system? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.