Sunday, August 16, 2009
Weekend Game Notes
I’ve got a few postings in the works, so I’m going to post the Game Notes from Saturday and Sunday here. I also posted the Friday Game notes here. It was a fun weekend. I was at the Twins game on Friday night and had a good time. On Saturday, I went to the Stick & Ball Guy Convention, which is always a great time. It was good to see people again! And on Sunday, it was back to the Twins game, sitting in the nosebleed section out in the left field.
SATURDAY - TWINS 3, CLEVELAND 7
SUNDAY - TWINS 4, CLEVELAND 7
So after Scott Baker two-hit this Cleveland team on Friday night, both Anthony Swarzak and Nick Blackburn were unable to get the Twins through even five innings. The Twins biggest problem all year lied under the surface longer than it probably should have. It wasn’t the bullpen. It wasn’t the bottom of the lineup. The Twins biggest problem this entire season has been any consistency from the starting pitching staff. There was small glimmer of hope on Saturday night. Scott Baker has been very good of late. Francisco Liriano’s last game was actually good. Those were the two we expected so much from coming into this season. Kevin Slowey is out for the year. Nick Blackburn, who pitched so far over his head in the first half, is getting destroyed in the second half. And the weaknesses in Anthony Swarzak’s pitching repertoire have certainly been found by advanced scouts… or anyone who realizes that he doesn’t have much beyond a fastball, which he can’t always locate either.
Now some will complain about the Twins inability to hit Cleveland’s barrage of soft-tossing lefties, and they have every right to do so. David Huff and Aaron Laffey made most of the Twins hitters just look silly. How many of those same types of pitches has Cleveland had in recent years?
Joe Mauer continues to amaze. After getting on base all five plate appearances on Friday night, he was 3-5 on Saturday and extended a hitting streak to 12 games with a single on Sunday.
How demoralizing for the Twins it had to be on Sunday when the Twins hitters gave the team a 3-0 lead after two innings only to see Nick Blackburn give up three home runs, and six runs in the top of the 3rd. Jesse Crain did fine when he came in. Then Jeff Manship, Jose Mijares, Matt Guerrier and Joe Nathan combined for five shutout relief innings. I was at that game, and the boo birds were definitely out in full force. (By the way, congratulations to Jeff Manship who made his major league debut with a scoreless innings on Saturday night that included a strikeout of Shin Soo Choo, his first batter faced.)
It’s official. It is time to start thinking about 2010. Too much was made of the Twins needing to go 6-0 against Kansas City and Cleveland on this home stand. That’s not realistic to expect, but I do believe 5-1 was needed. Going 2-4 on this home stand pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of the 2010 season. Sure, it was actually over weeks earlier, but like most Twins fans, I wanted to hold on to even just a glimmer of hope. At this stage, all hope is gone. I seriously, seriously hope that I am wrong.
Now, in a blog article to be written later, I will try to give an idea of what I would do with this team for the remainder of the 2009 season in preparation for 2010, so please be sure to check back for that.
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Saturday - SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Brian Dozier, Elizabethton Twins
Saturday - SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Deolis Guerra, New Britain Rockcats
Saturday – Rochester 3, Syracuse 9 – Steve Tolleson went 4-4 with his 17th double. Matt Tolbert was 2-5 with his seventh double. Brian Buscher was 2-4. That was about it for the offense. R.A. Dickey was again on the mound, and again was not very good. He gave up seven runs on 11 hits and two walks, but he at least was able to give seven innings. Tim Lahey then gave up two runs on two hits in an inning.
Sunday – Rochester 8, Syracuse 1 – Justin Huber has been the main offensive source for the Red Wings throughout this season. In this game, he was 3-4 with his 17th and 18th home runs. He drove in three runs. The other bat for the team this year has been David Winfree. In this game, he was 3-3 with a walk, three doubles and three RBI. He now has 30 doubles on the season. Brian Buscher went 2-3 with a walk. Matt Tolbert was 2-5 with his seventh stolen base.
Saturday – New Britain 4, Akron 1 – Matt Fox evened his record at 8-8 in this game. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks. He struck out six. Frank Mata gave up a run on two hits and got no outs. Spencer Steedley got an out but also allowed a hit. Alex Burnett came in and got all five batters he faced out for his fourth save.
· Quick note – I know that LaVelle reported last weekend that Burnett had broken his hand. It turned out not being broken, and instead just a bad bruise, so he is still able to pitch, which is good because he has been incredible this year.
Sunday – New Britain 1, Akron 8 – Cole DeVries has really had his struggles the second half of this season after a great start. In this game, he gave up seven runs on eight hits (three of them home runs). He walked one and struck out one. Kyle Waldrop gave up a run on a hit in his inning. Loek Van Mil struck out two and walked on hit two scoreless innings. Frank Mata pitched a perfect ninth. Erik Lis went 2-4 with his 22nd double.
Saturday – Ft. Myers 3, Sarasota 1 – Evan Bigley not only went 2-3 with two walks, but he had the chance to play hero. Bigley hit his fourth home run of the season, a big two run homer that ended this game with a Miracle win! Chris Cates went 2-4. Santos Arias gave up just one run on five hits over the first seven innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven. Joe Testa improved to 3-0 with two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, one walk and struck out five.
Sunday – Game 1 – Ft. Myers 6, Sarasota 3 – Bigley remained hot in the second game. He went 2-3 with his 20th and 21st doubles. Joe Benson was 2-3, was hit by a pitch and stole his 11th base. Ben Revere was 2-4 with his 38th and 39th stolen bases. Steve Hirschfeld was back on the mound. He went 6.1 innings and gave up three runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out five. Blair Erickson got the final two outs for the save.
Sunday – Game 2 – Ft. Myers 4, Sarasota 3 (8 innings) – Bobby Lanigan made his first FSL start. He gave up three runs on eight hits in four innings. He walked none and struck out three. Henry Arias pitched the next four innings and gave up just one hit and walked two. Chris Parmelee hit his 15th homer of the year. Joe Benson got the game-winning hit in the 8th, a single to give the Miracle a 4-3 win.
Saturday – Beloit 4, Wisconsin 2 – Dan Osterbrock won for the sixth time this year. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out seven. Kyle Carr gave up two hits and a walk but did not allow a run while recording five outs. Steve Blevins got the next four outs, two on strikeout. Billy Bullock recorded his sixth save with a scoreless ninth.
Sunday – Beloit 1, Wisconsin 3 – Liam Hendriks had another very good start for the Snappers. In 7.2 innings, he gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out eight. But he was tagged with the loss. Thomas Wright came up and issued a walk before getting the final out. Jeff Lanning went 3-4. James Beresford went 2-4. Aaron Hicks hit his tenth double.
Saturday – Elizabethton 4, Bristol 5 – Brian Dozier has certainly been on fire of late. That continued this weekend. On Saturday, he went 4-5 with his 11th and 12th double. Anderson Hidalgo hit his 10th double and fourth home run. Jhon Garcia made the start for the E-Twins. He gave up four runs on six hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out two. Then Kelvin Mota relieved him and gave up just one run on one hit over four innings in which he struck out four. Kane Holbrooks struck out two in a scoreless inning.
Sunday – Elizabethton 4, Danville 5 – Tom Stuifbergen lots for just the second time this season. He gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings. He walked no one and struck out seven. Peter Kennelly gave up two hits and four walks in just two innings, but gave up no runs. Dakota Watts gave up a walk and a hit in a scoreless inning. The bats managed just four hits in the game. Brian Dozier went 2-4 with a walk and his 13th double. Josmil Pinto went 0-1 but he walked three times.
GCL TWINS GOINGS ON
Saturday – GCL Twins 2, GCL Red Sox 1 – Adrian Salcedo was on the mound again. He gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out four. Oswaldo Sosa struck out three over two scoreless innings of rehab. Andrei Lobanov recorded his sixth save of the year. Daniel Santana went 2-4 with his seventh double. Trayvone Johnson hit his second double.