Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday Morning Notes
Good morning! Although there were two blog postings yesterday, I thought a quick morning blog would be a good idea, just to wrap a bunch of things together.
· Cory Hepola, Sports anchor for WROC-TV in Rochester, NY, called in and talked to us about the firing of Stan Cliburn yesterday. We also talked about Trevor Plouffe, his walk-off home run against Australia and his season with the Red Wings. Finally, it was fun to get a perspective from someone in New York on the Yankees, the MVP race (which most seem to believe is between Joe Mauer, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira).
· Travis Aune (Travis Talks) and I spent the rest of the show dissecting last night’s Twins/White Sox game, and looked ahead to tonight’s Game 2 matchup between Jeff Manship and John Danks. We ended by quickly going through several baseball topics including Angel Villalona, Aroldis Chapman, Milton Bradley and more.
· Tonight at 10:00, I will be hosting another show as I will be each night the next two weeks. I am attempting to line up at least one guest each night, so check it out, ask questions in the chat room, or even feel free to call in and state an opinion or comment, or ask a question.
Twins 7, White Sox 0
· Key story was the performance of Nick Blackburn. Starting pitching is always incredibly important and Blackburn came up big with seven shutout innings. He mixed in eight hits, but he didn’t hurt himself with walks. Like Carl Pavano against the Tigers this year, Blackburn just seems to pitch well against the White Sox.
· Daniel Hudson looked a little nervous in his first big league start. That could be seen in his four walks in five innings. But I think anyone could also see why he has pitched at four levels this year. He gave up just four hits. And just one of the three runs he allowed was earned. His delivery is different, and even Joe Mauer clearly struggled to identify where the pitch was coming from.
· The little guys struck again. Matt Tolbert was 2-5. Nick Punto was 2-2 with two walks and two stolen bases. Orlando Cabrera had two hits, drove in two runs and scored three runs. Getting production of any kind from these three players will be important.
· Joe Mauer went 1-4 and his batting average dropped to .373. Ichiro and the Mariners did not play, so he stays at .355.
· Tonight, Jeff Manship will make his fourth big league start for the Twins. His first start came against the White Sox, and he gave up just one run over five innings. He’s struggled in his two most recent starts though, so he will have to battle tonight to keep the Twins in the game. He will face off against lefty John Danks, who has been very good in September.
· The Detroit Tigers had the day off on Monday before starting a three game series in Cleveland tonight. So the Twins are just 2.5 games back heading into play today.
World Cup Update
· I highlighted yesterday that Trevor Plouffe hit the walk-off, two out home run for Team USA in their 4-3 win against Australia, but a couple of other things should be pointed out.
· First, Plouffe was 2-5 in the game with two RBI.
· Luke Hughes went 3-4 in the game for Australia. He hit his fifth double, stole his second base, and something Twins fans should note, he also committed just his first error at 3B.
· James Beresford went 0-3.
· By the way, Team USA is the #1 seed in Pool G in the third round. I got a note from Tom Stuifbergen this morning, just to remind me that The Netherlands are the #1 seed in Pool F going into the third round.
NFL “Expert” Picks
I think it is fair to say that after a fairly easy Week1 of NFL game picks, our panel struggled a little more with the Week 2 picks. Well, except for Shooter Hunt. The Twins pitching prospect correctly picked 13 out of 16 games for the best showing of the week. Dan Slowey went 12-4. Steve Singleton, Nick Nelson and Jack Michaels each went 11-5. As a group (of 34), we went 8-6-2 for the week. If you’d like to see the up-to-date standings (which are led by Shooter Hunt as well), or our game picks, click here to see our Picks Page 2009.
If you have any opinions, comments or updates, please leave them in the Comments section.