Sunday, May 31, 2009
- The Twins suffered their 3rd straight loss and their 8th loss in their last 9 road games with a tough 5-2 loss to the Rays yesterday. The Twins ran into a tough pitcher in David Price who struck out 11 Twins in 5.2 innings. Francisco Liriano got the start for the Twins and I don't know how to explain the day he had other than to say he threw 94 pitches in 4 innings. The Rays did not hit many balls hard against Liriano but he just could not finish off the hitters very well. It was especially true in the 3rd inning where the Rays got 3 runs to pretty much put the game out of reach as they turned a 1-1 game into a 4-1 game with 3 runs. In that inning Liriano threw 47 pitches to get the 3 outs. It was the same every hitting he would get ahead 0-2 or 1-2 and they would fould pitch after pitch off and somehow would get to 3-2. Then they would hit a chopper that the Twins could do nothing about. In all the Rays had 3 infield singles in 3rd along with a Evan Longoria rbi bloop single barely over Alexi Casilla's head. Liriano did not help himself with 3 walks and 2 wild pitches in the inning, but he was not as bad as his line would indicate. I will admit during the game I wanted him sent to the bullpen or the minor leagues. However, after calming down and looking at the game rationally his control of the strikezone was much better he just did not have a great slider so he couldn't finish off these hitters. His changeup right now is just to throw people off his fastball maybe he could develop it a little more for it to become a strikeout pitch ala Johan Santana. RA Dickey came in relief and did his job as normal pitching 4 innings and only giving up 1 run to lower his very good era down to 3.26 on the year. When the Twins put Dickey in situations like this he has done a great job allowing the Twins the chance to come back in the game and thats all you can ask for out of your long reliever.
- The Twins really could not figure out David Price or Grant Balfour as they combined for 14 strikeouts. Sometimes the pitching is just too good and on this day they ran into the David Price show. Price if he can throw strikes like he did yesterday is almost unhittable. The Twins were only able to muster 6 hits in the game. They were led by the M&M boys once again as they combined for 2 hits and a walk in the game. Justin Morneau had a hit along with his 46th rbi of the year. Alexi Casilla returned to the lineup and contributed a hit and his 5th rbi of the year. Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Brendan Harris, and Carlos Gomez also contributed a hit apiece for the Twins. Delmon Young continued his struggles as he went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts. In 6 games since his return from the death of his mother Young is 2-23 with 13 strikeouts. I know we need to be patient with him because he is such a streaky hitter but he is not being patient at all up there and doesn't seem to have a clue whats going on at the plate. For the Twins to have a chance to contend we need more out of Young then we are getting right now so hopefully he can get it going again.
- Today, the Twins finish off the season series with the Rays with Nick Blackburn gong to the hill for the Twins and will square off against former Twin Matt Garza.
Rochester 6 Lehigh Valley 3
- The Red Wings took their 2nd straight from Lehigh Valley with a very impressive 6-3 victory last night. Steve Tolleson made his season debut with the Red Wings and did not disappoint as he went 2-3 with his 1st double of the year and also added a walk. Jason Pridie also had a big night going 3-5 with his 13th and 14th stolen bases. After getting off to a slow start Pridie is starting to get it going as he raised his average to .246 on the year. Jose Morales also had a big night going 2-4 with his 7th and 8th rbi's of the year. He is now hitting .297 on the season in only a handful of games. Tommy Watkins also added a hit and his 5th rbi of the year. Justin Huber, David Winfree, and Drew Butera also added singles for Rochester.
- It was not the prettiest of outings, but Jason Jones kept the Red Wings in the game and picked up his 1st win with the Red Wings improving to 1-4 on the season. Jones went 5.2 innings and gave up 6 hits and 3 runs on 2 homeruns along with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. Jones is not the pitcher many of us expected when we gave up a solid reliever to obtain him in spring training, however he seems to be coming on and being a serviceable pitcher. Juan Morillo came in relief and got 4 outs, but he walked 2 batters and that is something no Twins fan wants to see. Really walks are the only stat we need to pay attention to with Morillo and based on that even though he did not give up any runs this was not a good outing for him. Bobby Keppel then came in and pitched a clean 8th inning. Mike Gosling, the new Wings closer, came on in the 9th to pick up his first save in a Wings uniform.
- Today, the Wings continue their series with Lehigh Valley as staff ace Kevin Mulvey gets the start for Rochester.
New Britain Business
New Britain 6 Binghamton 5
- The Rockcats got back on the winning side as the bats picked up Jay Rainville after a so so start in the Rockcats 6-5 victory over Binghamton. Danny Valencia and Rene Tosoni were the story in this game as they combined to go 4-7 with 2 homeruns and 5 rbi's. Valencia went 2-3 with his 6th homerun of the year and 2 rbi's to bring his season total up to 24. With the 2 hits in the game Valencia is now hitt a very good .321 this year. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times Danny Valencia is ready for AAA as his .321 average and great defense would attest to. I really hope he gets the chance to get to AAA this year, because he has shown when he gets promoted it takes about 25-30 games for Danny to get used to the pitching, but when he gets it he takes off so the sooner he gets there the better. Rene Tosoni also had a big day as went 2-4 with his 7th homerun of the year a 3 run shot that put the Rockcats back in the lead. Tosoni improved his average up to .252 and the 3 rbi's brough his season total up to 28. Brandon Roberts, Brian Dinkelman, Whit Robbins, Erik Lis, Matt Moses, Yancarlos Ortiz, and Danny Lehman all contributed hits for the Rockcats.
- Jay Rainville continues to be an enigma for the Rockcats because every time you think he his turning the corner and being the pitcher we all know he can be he has a stinker like he had last night. Rainville went 5.2 innings and gave up 5 runs on 7 hits along with 2 walks and 1 strikeout. With the 5 runs it increased Rainville's era to 5.17 on the year. I really don't get him he can be so good one start and then pitch bad the next. If he is going to move up to AAA he is going to have to get more consistant because the talent is there he just has to bring that focus on a nightly basis. The bullpen really picked up Rainville as they went 4.1 innings of shutout ball. Frank Mata was the first guy out of the pen getting out of the 6th inning getting an out. Rob Delaney then came in the 7th inning and pitched 2 wonderful innings not giving up anything and striking out 4 batters. Anthony Slama came in the 9th and slammed the door for his 10th save of the season.
- Today, the Rockcats finish their weekend series with Binghamton as Ryan Mullins gets the start for New Britain.
Fort Myers 7 Brevand County 1
- The Miracle continued their dominant first half of the year by beating up on fellow first place Brevand County 7-1 last night. David Bromberg got the start and man was he dominant as he went 6 innings and only gave up a run on 5 hits with 1 walk and an awesome 12 strikeouts. Bromberg blew the hitters away with a 94 mile per hour fastball and good breaking pitches. With the great outing Bromberg's era is down to 1.94 on the year. Bromberg improved his record to 5-0 on the year in his finest outing as a professional. Bromberg and Gutierrez have made quite a 1-2 punch in the rotation for the Miracle and will look to keep it going next time out. Kyle Waldrop came in relief and was very good as well pitching the last 3 innings to pick up his 1st save of the year for the Miracle. In 3 innings he gave up 4 hits and struck out 2 batters to lower his era to 4.00 on the year.
- The Miracle brought their hitting shoes to the ballpark as well as they had 14 hits along with their 7 runs. The hitting star by far has to be Deibinson Romero who was coming into the game on a 1-36 streak. In this one Romero went 2-5 and drove in his 22nd and 23rd runs of the year. Hopefully this is the start of a rebirth for Romero who is too good to be only hitting barely over .200 for the year. Marc Dolenc also had a big game going 3-4 to bring his average up to a very good .301. Chris Cates had another big game going 3-5 with 2 rbi's to bring his total up to 15 on the season. Ben Revere was not going to be outdone going 1-2 with a walk and his 22nd rbi of the year. Rene Leveret had 2 big hits to bring his average up to .363. Steve Singelton, Danny Berg, and Allan De San Miguel also contributed with a hit.
- The Miracle continue their series with Brevand County this afternoon with Tyler Robertson getting the start for Fort Myers.
Kane County 5 Beloit 2
- The Snappers saw their brief 2 game winning streak come to an end in a very tight highly contested game against first place Kane County 5-2. Michael Allen was on the hill for the Snappers and was ok once again, but that didn't stop him from dropping his record to an awful 0-7 on the year. Allen went 6 innings and gave up 3 earned runs on 8 hits along with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. Bruce Pugh came in relief and went 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits along with a walk and 4 strikeouts. Michael Tarsi finished off the game with a shutout inning with a strikeout. His era on the season now is 5.14 in only a few innings so he has pitched better than his era indicates. The Snappers have been pitching better and if they can keep this up they will be in many more of these games and possibly get some more wins.
- The Snappers offense was really handcuffed by the Kane County pitchers as they were only able to get 6 hits on the night. Ramon Santana had the best night going 1-4 with his 20th rbi of the year. Besides him noone had more than one hit and basically they could not do much against the Kane pitchers. James Beresford went 1-3 with a walk to bring his average up to a very good .315 on the year. Nathan Hansen contributed his 7th double of the year for the Snappers. Alex Soto, Angel Morales, and Juan Richardson also contributed hits for the Snappers.
- Today, the Snappers finish off their series with Kane County as Dan Berlind gets the start for Beloit as the Snappers try to take the series.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Tampa Bay 5 Minnesota 3
- The Twins came out on the short end of a very competitive game last night with the Rays 5-3. The Twins had their chances early in the game, but could not get runners in as they left 8 guys on base for the game. Scott Baker was once again solid for 5 innings only giving up a solo homerun to Carl Crawford. However, once again as his pitch count rose so did his pitches and he gave up a backbreaking 3 run homerun to Evan Longoria to would supply all the runs the Rays would need in the game. In all Baker allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 5.2 innings of work and drop his record to 2-6 on the year. Baker was masterful for 5 innings and then the roof collapsed the Twins will need to figure why that is happening because it happens almost every start. Sean Henn came in for Baker and got an out. Jesse Crain then came into the game and pitched 1.1 innings and gave up a run on 2 hits while walking a batter and getting a strikeout. Jesse Crain has been one of the more disappointing players on the Twins as his 7.36 era will attest to. Hopefully, Crain can get it going as the Twins really need him to pitch effective innings. Jose Mijares and Matt Guerrier combined to get 2 outs in the 8th to keep us close but it was not meant to be on this night.
- The Twins had many chances against Rays starter James Shields especially early in the game as they left 5 guys on in the first 3 innings of the game. Shields then got into a groove and they didn't hit him much until the 8th inning when they scored 2 runs to pull within 4-3. They then had a guy on 2nd with 1 out, but then Joe Crede and Brendan Harris struck out to end the rally. Joe Mauer got back on track after a Joe Mauer type of slump as he went 3-5 in the game to bring his average up to .417. Justin Mourneau had another big game with a 2-4 night to bring his average up to .346 and drove in his 45th run of the year. Michael Cuddyer hit his 9th homerun of the season in addition. Joe Crede and Brendan Harris also added hits.
- Today, the Twins face the Rays in game 2 of the series as the Twins send Francisco Liriano to the hill to face Rays phenom David Price.
- Transaction: After the game the Twins placed SS Nick Punto on the Disabled List with a sore groin and recalled 2b Alexi Casilla from AAA Rochester. The plan is for Casilla to play 2nd and Brendan Harris to play SS with Matt Tolbert moving to a utility role in Punto's absence.
Rochester 5 Lehigh Valley 3
- The Red Wings got back on the winning track with a big 5-3 victory over Lehigh Valley last night. Matt Macri was the hero blasting a game winning 3 run homerun in the top of the 9th for the Red Wings. It was Macri's 4th homerun of the season and drove in his 14th, 15th, and 16th runs of the year. Justin Huber also contributed 2 hits including his 4th homerun of the year a two run shot in the top of the first inning. David Winfree also contributed two hits to bring his average up to .267 on the year. Jason Pridie, Tommy Watkins, Jose Morales, and Dustin Martin also contributed a hit.
- Brian Duensing continued his role of good pitching as of late as he pitched his 3rd straight quality start. In those starts in 21 innings Brian has only given up 4 earned runs which is a 1.71 era in those games. In this outing Duensing went 7 innings and only gave up 3 runs and scattered 10 hits along with a walk and 3 strikeouts. With the 3 runs allowed Duensing's era is down to 4.09 on the season. This is the Brian Duensing we are used to seeing in that he keeps the team in the game and allows the team to come back and get a win. Mike Gosling came in relief to pick up the win for the Red Wings. Unbelievably his record right now is 7-1 on the season. Part of that is luck and part of that is when you come in the game you are allowing the team time to come back to give yourself a chance to get the win. In this one Gosling went 2 innings and gave up no runs on no hits and struck out 3 batters. With the 2 perfect innings Gosling now has an era of 4.22
- Tonight, the Red Wings continue their series with Lehigh Valley with Jason Jones getting the start for Rochester.
- Transaction: With Alexi Casilla being promoted by the Twins Rochester filled his spot on the team by promoting 2b Steve Tolleson from the New Britain Rockcats.
New Britain Business
Binghamton 6 New Britain 0
- The Rockcats had a stinker after winning 9 of their last 11 against Binghamton last night as they lost 6-0. Jeff Manship was good once again as he had his 2nd straight quality start for the Rockcats. With the hitters shut down he needed to be perfect and he wasn't quite that but still very good. Manship went 7 innings and gave up 3 runs on 8 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Jeff Manship needs to be the ace of this staff and it looks like he is starting to get it together and with the hitting for New Britain if he puts an outing like this every time he will win his fair share of games. Jose Lugo came in after Manship and gave up 3 runs in only 1/3 of an inning. Anthony Slama then came on and his struggles continued even though he did not give up any runs he gave up 2 hits and a walk although he did have a strikeout in only 2/3 of an inning. Zack Ward finished it off with a scoreless inning. Hopefully that is the start of some better pitching by Ward who was so good last year and has been so bad this year.
- The Rockcats could not do a lot with the bats last night as they only mustered 3 hits on the night. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the pitcher who is sometimes better than the hitters. Last night was one of those nights were there was nothing the Rockcats could do offensively. All they could get was singles by Brian Dinkelman and Jeff Christy along with Rene Tosoni's 7th double of the year. With Tosoni's hit his average now is .252 on the season.
- Tonight, the Rockcats try to get the bats going as they continue their series with Binghamton as Jay Rainville gets the start for New Britain.
Fort Myers Minutes
Fort Myers 3 Tampa 0
- The Miracle got back on the winning side of things after an embarrasing loss the night before the Miracle played much better winning the game 3-0 over the Tampa Yankees. Deolis Guerra was the story as he pitched 6 shutout innings for the Miracle. In his 6 innings Guerra gave up 5 hits along with a strikeout. After that strong outing Guerra's era for the year is now 4.47. Those are the kind of outings that we expect out of Guerra every time and if he can string a few of them together he may get promoted to New Britain before the year is out. Steve Hirschfeld came in relief and did what he normally does for the Miracle pitching 2 perfect shutout innings along with a strikeout. Hirschfeld's era is now a very good 1.07 on the season. I would really like to see Hirschfeld get some starts in the second half after the June callups to see what he can do. Alex Burnett came in relief and pitched the ninth to pick up his 4th save of the year.
- The Miracle hitting attack were once again led by 2 guys that have gotten it done all year long and that is Chris Parmalee and Ben Revere. Parmalee went 2-4 with his team high 27th rbi. Revere did what he always does and thats get atleast 2 hits. He went 2-4 with his 21st rbi of the year along with 21st stolen base of the year. He should steal 40 bases for the second consecutive year and eventually he will be doing that for the Twins. Chris Cates also had a hit and drove in his 13th run of the year. Deibinson Romero once again went 0-4 to bring his average down to .201 on the year. This slump is unlike anything I have ever seen in the month of may he is hitting .155. If you look deeper he is 1 for his last 35 at the plate to bring his average from .269 down to .201. Hopefully he can figure this out and fast.
- Tonight, the Miracle begin a series against fellow first place Brevand County with David Bromberg scheduled to pitch.
Beloit 15 Kane County 2
- The Snappers won their season high 2nd game in a row with a big victory over first place Kane County 15-2. The Snappers also put up a season high 18 hits in the win. The Snappers were led by Ozzie Lewis who went 3-5 with his 3rd homerun of the year along with a career high 6 rbi's to bring his season total up to 18. James Beresford went 3-4 at the plate to bring his average up to a very good .314 on the season. Juan Richardson added 3 hits to get his average up to a very good .294. Alex Soto also had a big game as he had 2 hits including his team leading 5th homerun of the year along with his 18th and 19th rbi's of the year. Angel Morales, Ramon Santana, and Michael Harrington all contributed 2 hits apiece.
- If not for all the hitting the story of the game would be Brad Tippett who was awesome on the mound once again. Tippett had his 2nd consecutive quality start and brought his record to a very good 5-1 on the year. Tippett went 6 strong innings giving up a run on only 5 hits along with no walks and 7 strikeouts. The 6 strong innings brought his team low era down to 2.79 on the season. Brad Tippett is overlooked by way to many people but he is been Beloits best starter all year long and continued that once again. Steve Blevins came into the 7th and went 1 solid inning giving up an unearned run on 2 hits along with a strikeout. Blake Martin and Danny Rondon pitched the last 2 innings without giving up a run to finish the game.
- Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with Kane County as Michael Allen tries to send the Snappers to their 3rd straight victory.
Friday, May 29, 2009
- The Twins had to settle for a split in the 4 game series with the Red Sox as they ran into Josh Beckett who was phenomenal. The Twins came on the wrong end of a 3-1 Red Sox win thanks to 2 Jason Varitek homeruns. The most interesting part of yesterday's game was in the 7th inning both catchers and both managers got thrown out of the game by the same umpire. It all started with Boston up 2-1 in the 7th with a man on 3rd with 1 out and Sean Henn was pitching and gave up a short fly ball to right field and Jason Kubel came up firing and replays showed that they got the runner at the plate. However, the umpire called him safe and Mike Redmond questioned it and was quickly tossed. Ron Gardenhire then came unglued and got tossed for the 2nd time in the series. In the bottom half of the inning Jason Varitek thought the ump was squeezing him so he argued and was quickly tossed and manager Terry Francona quickly followed him. That overshadowed another very good performance out of rookie Anthony Swarzak who gave the Twins a chance to win and was the tough luck loser. In 6+ innings Swarzak gave up 3 runs on 5 hits along with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts. Going into the 7th inning he had only given up 1 run and ran out of gas in the 7th. With that said in 2 starts he has only given up 3 runs for a era of 2.08 on the season. Jesse Crain came in relief and got an out for the Twins. Sean Henn then came in and got 2 outs to get out of the 7th. Luis Ayala had another strong outing for the Twins working the last 2 innings and giving up no runs on a hit to lower his era to 4.37. I was all set to release Ayala when Glen Perkins comes back from the disabled list, but now I am not too sure what the Twins should do when Perkins comes back.
- The Twins were handcuffed by a very solid outing by Boston ace Josh Beckett as the Twins were only able to muster 5 hits in the game. Joe Crede did the only damage they were able to do against Beckett as he hit his 9th homerun of the season for the Twins in the 2nd inning. Brendan Harris had another solid performace going 2-3 at the plate to bring his average up to .274 on the season. With Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert struggling with the bat I look for Harris to keep getting more and more playing time if he continues to hit like he has. Justin Morneau and Matt Tolbert joined Crede and Harris with hits on a day that they were not able to muster much offense. With the hit Morneau is now hitting .342 on the season which is 5th best in the American League.
- Tonight, the Twins start their short 3 game road trip in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Scott Baker gets the start for the Twins tonight against Rays pitcher James Shields.
Durham 8 Rochester 7
- The Red Wings continue to show the heart that everyone wants to see out of their team coming back from a 7-3 deficit to pull within 8-7, but thats were the comeback ended as the Red Wings fell to Durham 8-7 yesterday. Philip Humber got the start yesterday for the Red Wings and was not very good again yesterday. In 4 innings Humber gave up 4 runs on 8 hits along with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. With the 4 runs allowed Humber's era is now 6.52 on the season. I don't know what to do with Humber because he is really struggling at Rochester. I don't know if the right choice is sending him to the bullpen or just giving him his release. You really do not want to release a guy with the arm of Humber's but you need to do something. Bobby Keppel came in relief and was not much better going 3 innings and gving up 3 runs on 4 hits along with a walk and a strikeout. Armando Gabino finished the game by going the last 2 innings and only giving up an unearned run along with 3 walks and a strikeout.
- The Redwings had another good offensive game as they put up 7 runs on 12 hits even though it was not enough. Dustin Martin led the attack for the Red Wings with 2 hits and his 2nd triple of the year along with his 15th and 16th rbi's of the year. Justin Huber had 1 hit and 3 rbi's to bring his season total up to 18 on the season. Jason Pridie, Alexi Casilla, Jose Morales, Martin, and David Winfree all contributed 2 hits for the Red Wings. With his 2 hits Alexi Casilla is now hitting .316 on the season along with 6 stolen bases. With Matt Tolbert really struggling with the bat with the Twins I really think now is the time for the Twins to bring back Casilla and giving him another chance with the Twins.
- Tonight, the Red Wings begin a weekend series in Lehigh Valley to take on the Iron Pigs. Brian Duensing gets the start tonight for Rochester.
New Britain Business
New Britain 7 Trenton 2
- The Rockcats got back on the winning side of things after a short 2 game losing streak in Trenton with a nice 7-2 victory over the Thunder yesterday afternoon. Matt Fox was the story of the game compiling a very solid outing throwing 7 shutout innings for the Rockcats on only 5 hits along with no walks and 3 strikeouts for Fox. With the 7 shutout innings it lowered Matt Fox's era to a very good 3.00 on the season. Fox and Cole Devries have been the most consistant starters for the Rockcats and have given them a chance just about every night. I will admit I was not expecting much out of Fox this year and he has way surpassed what I was expecting out of him. Frank Mata came in relief of Fox and was not too good once again. He gave up 2 hits and 2 runs along with 2 walks without retiring a batter. He then gave way to Jose Lugo who pitched a scoreless 8th inning to maintain the Rockcats lead. Rob Delaney then came in to finish off the game with a very good 9th inning. Delaney has really rebounded after a couple rough outings for the Rockcats and is ready to move up to Rochester.
- At the plate the Rockcats continued their offensive splurge as they were able to get 7 runs on 8 hits. They were led by Steve Tolleson and Brian Dinkelman each with 2 hits apiece. Tolleson continued his recent role going 2-5 with his 9th and 10th doubles of the year. Tolleson has brought his average up from .140 to now .258 on the season. I was ready to write him off after the first 5 weeks of the season, but in the month of May he has really come on hitting .315 with a .407 obp which is very good. Brian Dinkelman had another good game for the Rockcats going 2-5 with his 30th rbi of the year. With the 2 hits his average is now an unbelievable .340 on the season. Rene Tosoni also had a big game with his 2nd triple and 3 rbi's to bring his total up to 25 on the season.
- Tonight, the Rockcats begin a series with Binghamton in New Britain with Jeff Manship getting the start for the Rockcats.
Fort Myers Minutes
Tampa 8 Fort Myers 3
- Last night was a game the Miracle would just as soon forget as they fell to Tampa 8-3. What was even more unbelievable was the Miracle committed 8 errors in one of the most crazy defensive games I have seen. Carlos Gutierrez committed 2 on his own. Gutierrez had probably his poorest start as a professional only lasting 3.2 innings and giving up 5 hits and 7 runs although only 1 of them was earned. He also walked a season high 5 batters including 4 guys in the first. His era rose to 1.09 on the year so I think you can just forget about this outing and move forward with him as the ace for the Miracle. Spencer Steedley came in relief and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings. Henry Arias then came in and gave up a run on 2 hits to bring his era up to 6.75 on the year. Loek Van Mil made his season debut and was a little shaky but good going 2 innings and not giving up a run on 3 hits. Santos Arias finished it off with a scoreless inning to end the madness on a weird night.
- It was a very quiet night for the Miracle at the plate as they were only able to muster 6 hits at the plate. They were led by you guessed it Ben Revere who went 2-3 with his 20th stolen base of the year. With the 2 hits Revere is now hitting .343 on the year. I really believe that Ben Revere is ready for AA and it would not surprise me in the least if he gets the promotion after the all star game to go up to New Britain. Steve Singelton had a good game as he had a hit and drove in 2 runs to bring his total on the year up to 20. Chris Parmelee, Nick Romero, and Jair Fernandez all contributed a hit apiece to the Miracles cause in the losing effort.
- Today, the Miracle finish off their series with Tampa in a early morning game with Deolis Guerra gets the start for Fort Myers.
Beloit 4 South Bend 2
- The Snappers finally got back on the winning track with a good formula of good pitching a few timely hits and playing good defense. The Snappers stopped their 3 game losing streak with a 4-2 win over South Bend. The key to the game was the pitching of Bobby Lanigan who was awesome last night. Lanigan went 7 innings and did not give up a run on only 2 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. With the 0 runs allowed Lanigan dropped his era to a still too high 5.76 on the season. Bobby Lanigan has been so up and down this season where he will have an outing like this and then next time he will get shelled. Hopeully this is the start of a good streak of games for him because the Snappers really need him to become more consistant if they are going to make a run for the playoffs in the season's second half. Curtis Leavitt came in relief and struggled giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in only 1.2 innings along with a walk. Joe Testa came in and got the last out of the game although he walked 2 batters before he got that last strikeout and preserve the Snappers win. It was the 3rd save of the year for Testa.
- The Snappers really had a solid night at the plate for a change as they put up 11 hits against South Bend pitchers. They were led by Jon Waltenbury who went 3-4 with his 7th double of the year. Angel Morales and Jeff Lanning also had big nights with 2 hits apiece. Morales also drove in his team leading 21st run to bring his average up to .220 on the season. Hopefully this is a start of some good things for Morales because the Snappers need Angel Morales to be a big hitter for them. Michael Harrington also had a double his organization high 16th double of the year. Harrington also drove in 2 runs for the Snappers as they finally broke out of a year long funk.
- Tonight, the Snappers welcome in first place Kane County to Beloit. Brad Tippett is scheduled to pitch tonight for Beloit
Thursday, May 28, 2009
1. With the Twins at the end of the season probably having to trade one of their outfielders so everyone gets to play on a daily basis who would you rather see the Twins trade Delmon Young or Carlos Gomez?
- Argument for trading Delmon Young: The idea in trading Delmon Young is not something that the Twins really don't want to consider, but because of the fact that they have 4 outfielders that need to play every day they need to atleast consider trading him. Young was the 1st overall pick in the 2003 draft and put together great numbers in him minor league career. The black eye is when in frustration Delmon threw a bat at an umpire and received a 50 game suspension. He came back from that and made his debut with the Devil Rays in 2006. He spent the entire 2007 season playing right field for the Devil Rays hitting .288 with 13 homeruns and an impressive 93 rbi's. After the 2007 season he was traded to the Twins along with Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie. At 22 years old last year the Twins were expecting a middle of the order bat that would hit 20-25 homeruns and be protection for Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Instead what they got was a singles hitter who hit everything the other way. In 2008 Young hit .290 with 10 homeruns and only 69 rbi's not really the player they thought they were getting. So far this year it has been more of the same he is hitting .245 with a homer and 14 rbi's in 29 games. Of his 25 hits this season only 2 of them are extra base hits. He just is not the type of hitter the Twins are looking for he is a singles hitter in a homerun hitters body and he won't listen to the coaches advice. Another problem is he is an awful outfielder, he has a very good arm, but he takes horrible angles to balls and looks like a deer looking into the headlights sometimes. The tough part is he is only 23 years old, but without much of a choice Young should be the one that gets traded because there is still value for him because he is such a young player and many teams think he will develop into the power hitter everyone needs.
- Argument for trading Carlos Gomez: I really do not like the idea of trading Carlos Gomez, but he just does not get it at the plate. He is a wonderful centerfielder who is blessed with phenomenal speed. Gomez was signed by the Mets at age 16 in 2002. He worked his way up the ladder in the Mets minor league system and was known as a 5 tool prospect. He made his major league debut with the Mets May 13, 2007. Right before spring training of the 2008 season Gomez was traded along with Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra to the Twins. With the trade came in immense opprotunity with the Twins because the Twins needed a center fielder after losing Torii Hunter to the Angels. Gomez was the opening day center fielder for the Twins and there were some good things he did, but there were some bad things also. In 153 games Gomez hit .258 with 7 homeruns and 59 rbi's along with 33 stolen bases in 44 attempts. Gomez showed the ability to steal bases whenever he wanted too, the problem was he did not get on base enough to do that with only a .296 on base percentage. Current leadoff hitter Denard Span's career obp is .394 so you can see the difference. The problem is Gomez has no plate discipline he thinks he is a power hitter when he should be hitting ground balls and bunting to use his speed. He just does not get the hitting approach he should have learned by now. This year he was slated to be the centerfielder and already he has been benched and his playing time is few and far between. So far this year he is hitting .225 with no homeruns and 2 rbi's in 89 at bats. He is not even stealing when he gets in there with only 4 stolen bases. I am not saying he won't be a good player, but he is not ready to be a major league player and the Twins need their outfielders to be ready, able and willing to get the job done. I believe he is atleast 3 years away from being the 5 tool player he can be. However, 3 years is probably too long for a major league team to wait on when they need good players right now.
- My take: If it was up to me I would not trade either one because I believe they both are going to awesome players in a year or 2. They both have there faults, but also have there strengths. This is close, but if I had to choose I would choose to trade Delmon Young and keep Carlos Gomez. I am basing this on 2 factors when making my decision. The first one is coachability something that Delmon does not like to do is to listen to the coaches. Sometimes I think he thinks he knows more than the coaches do and that doesn't work for me. Gomez on the other hand is always in the cage early working on getting better and doing whatever to help the team if it means pinch running or coming in late as a defensive replacement Gomez is willing to do it. Secondly, I believe the Twins can get more in return for Young because of the Power factor. Teams are more apt of give up players for a guy that could eventually hit you 30 homeruns than a guy who is a speed guy who might be a 20 homerun a year guy. All in all I wish they did not have to trade anybody, but it is becoming fairly obvious that the Twins need to move someone because Gomez and Young are not developing because they are not playing enough. It was a gamble to do this going into the season and it is obvious it didn't work so after the season the Twins should move on and get what you can for Delmon Young. I am not saying trade him just to trade him the deal has to make sense. If the Twins can get a starting shortstop like a Yunel Escobar they should take it because he would fit a need for the Twins. I really believe next year we need an outfield of Span if Left, Gomez in Center, and Cuddyer in Right with Dustin Martin as the extra outfielder.
- Last night at the dome the Twins got back to playing old fashion Twins baseball in that they did not hit a homerun but they did all the little things including stealing 2 bases and capatalizing on 6 Boston wild pitches to win the game 4-2 to move into 2nd place in the AL Central. Kevin Slowey was the story of the game in my opinion struggling through six solid innings against a very good Boston lineup. They foul off everything and get your pitch count up, but Slowey kept battling and made it through 6 innings and only gave up 2 run along with only one walk and five strikeouts. With the win Slowey now has a record of 7-1 which is the 2nd most wins in the league behind Zach Grienke who has 8. With the 2 runs Slowey now has an era of 4.11 and now has 4 quality starts in a row now and becoming the pitcher we all expected out of him this season. Jose Mijares and Matt Guerrier combined to get through the 7th and 8th innings. Guerrier came in with a runner on first with 1 out and got out of it on one pitch getting a double play. Joe Nathan pitched the 9th to pick up his 8th save of the season.
- Offensively the Twins went back to the old Twins baseball in stealing bases, taking the extra base and using their speed to their advantage. With that said it should not of been a close game as the Twins left 14 guys on base. Daisuke Matsuzaka was all over the place and the Twins had no problem getting on base they just struggled getting that big hit. Thanks to a 3 run 3rd inning though they got all the runs they would need. After Justin Morneau hit a double Jason Kubel drove him in with a double of his own. Brenden Harris drove in Kubel to end the rally and have the Twins take a 3-1 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. Jason Kubel had a big game going 2-3 to raise his average to an unbelieveable .340 on the season. Denard Span also went 4-4 with a walk to raise his average to .316. In an example of playing Twins ball 2 of Span's hits were infield singles that he used his legs to beat out. Brendan Harris also contributed 2 hits and that rbi in the 3rd inning. Finally, Delmon Young broke out of a 0-19 streak by getting 2 hits to get him back in the game.
- Today, the Twins finish their 4 game series with the Red Sox at the dome with young Anthony Swarzak getting the start for the Twins against Red Sox ace Josh Beckett.
- The Red Wings had an awful performance that the team would like to forget about. Everybody who yesterday seemed to get pounded in a 13-2 loss to Durham. Reid Santos got the start for the Wings and was ok compared to the other pitchers. He made it 4 innings and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits along with a walk and 5 strikeouts. Tim Lahey then game in and in a word was awful. In only 1.1 innings Lahey gave up 7 hits and 6 runs along with two walks and a strikeout. With the 6 runs allowed Lahey's era is now a robust 12.60 on the season. I know everyone says that Lahey has a good arm, but there comes a time you need to cut your losses and move on and I think that time is now. Lahey was ok last year not great but not this bad. Last year he went 5-5 with a 5.43 era with 8 saves. This year he is awful and its not like he is a young guy he is 27 years old. It is a move that needs to be done especially with Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama toiling at AA and ready to move up. The best move would be to pull the trigger. Ben Hendrickson then entered and was equally bad giving up 4hits and 4 runs in only 2 innings of work. Not really the relief help the Wings were hoping for when they activated him off the DL. Armando Gabino and Juan Morillo did a nice job the last 1.2 innings to end the nighmare.
- The Wings did a few things offensively, but when your pitching staff gives up 13 runs there is not a lot the hitters can do to stay in the game. Dustin Martin and Trevor Plouffe were the hitting stars of the game today. They each had 2 hits to pace the Wings. With Martin's 2 hits he is now hitting .261 on the season. Plouffe also added his 27th rbi of the year along wtih his 2 hits that brought his average up to .232 on the year. Matt Macri drove in the other run for the Wings his 13th rbi of the year.
- Today, the Red Wings finish their series with Durham up at Frontier Field with Philip Humber getting the start for Rochester.
New Britain Business
- The Rockcats had another tough loss to take their 2nd in a row against Trenton as they fell to the Thunder 5-1. The game was much closer than the final score made it appear but Anthony Slama gave up 2 runs in the top of the 9th to put the game away. Cole Devries pitched another solid game and took the loss, Devries went 5 innings and only gave up 3 runs. He walked 3 and also struck out 3 and now his era is at 3.12 on the season. Devries has been New Britain's most consistant pitcher this year and had another good outing just couldnt score any runs for him. Jose Lugo and Rob Delaney put together 3 shutout innings together to keep the Rockcats in the game. Anthony Slama came into the 9th hoping to keep the team in the game and gave up 2 hits and 2 runs in an inning of work. Slama hit 2 batters and gave up a Gopher ball the only thing good about it is he didn't walk a batter so I don't look at it as too bad of an outing. Really it was only 1 bad pitch that hurt him and that will happen.
- The Rockcats did not get the bats going at all yesterday as they were only able to get 5 hits on the day against good pitching by Trenton. Steve Tolleson had the best hitting day of the bunch going 2-5 with the Rockcats only rbi. Tolleson has really been on fire bringing his average up from .140 to now .253. In May he is hitting .315 with 12 extra base hits. It is pretty obvious that Tolleson belongs in AAA and with Alejandro Machado blocking him the most obvious thing to do is release Machado and bring in Tolleson and a super utility player. Brian Dinkelman, Whit Robbins, and Yancarlos Ortiz also contributed hits for the Rockcats but it obviously was not enough in this one.
- Today, the Rockcats take on Trenton in the finale of that series with Matt Fox getting the start for the Rockcats.
- The Miracle got back on the right track with a big 8-0 victory over Tampa last night to increase their lead in the FSL to 5.5 games over Port Charlotte. The story of the game though was Miracle starter Mike Mccardell who won his 6th game of the year. He was dominant again going 7 innings without giving up a run on only 4 hits to bring his era down to 3.63 on the season. In what may surprise you Mccardell leads the Fort Myers staff with 45 strikeouts. He has been as advertised and he is one of the anchors of a very good Miracle starting rotation. Blair Erickson came in relief and struck out the side in the 8th inning. That was huge because Erickson had been scuffling a bit and maybe this will get him going. Alex Burnett finished the game by pitching a very effective ninth inning to finish the win.
- The Miracle came out of a mini hitting slump by putting 8 runs on 14 hits on the board. Nick Romero had a huge game for the Miracle going 2-3 with his first Fort Myers homerun and drove in 3 runs. Rene Leveret had another big game going 2-4 with 3 rbi's. Danny Berg also had his best game of the year going 3-5 at the plate. Ben Revere also contributed 2 hits to bring his average up to .338 on the season.
- Tonight, the Miracle continue their series with Tampa as staff ace Carlos Gutierrez gets the start for Fort Myers.
- The Snappers suffered another heartbreaking loss yesterday to South Bend 3-2 in 15 innings. With the loss the Snappers are now 11.5 games out of first and was their 3rd consecutive loss. It was heartbreaking because they tied it in the 9th only to lose it in 15. Dan Osterbrock was the story of the game as he put together his finest start of the season. Osterbrock went 8 innings and only giving up 2 runs on 7 hits. He also did not walk a batter and struck out 8. Osterbrock has been a dissapointment this year with still a 6.30 era after this start. Hopefully this is the start of a rebound for Osterbrock because he has too much talent to be pitching this poorly. Joe Testa came in relief and pitched 3 shutout innings on 3 hits to lower his era to 1.64 on the season. Matt Williams then came in for 2 shutout innings and then Micheal Tarsi ended up giving up a run in 1.1 innings of work.
- Offensively they were led by Micheal Harrington and James Beresford at the plate. Harrington went 3-5 with an rbi his 14th of the year. With the 3 hits Harrington raised his average to .211 on the season. Beresford continues his hot streak going 2-6 to raise his average to .310 on the season. More interesting in May Beresford is hitting .324 with 9 rbi's to be the Snappers best hitter in the month of May. Juan Richardson contributed 2 hits and his first rbi of the year in the year.
- Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with South Bend as Bobby Lanigan gets the start for Beloit.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
1. Can Justin Morneau win the American League Triple Crown?
- Argument for Justin Morneau winning the American League Triple Crown: Justin Mourneau has been awesome this season. He is hitting .347 which is good enough for 5th best in the American League. Miguel Cabrera is leading at .377 which is not that big of a difference because I guarantee you Miguel Cabrera is not going to hit .377 so if Morneau can hit .330 he will have a good shot to win the batting title. The biggest competition is if teammate Joe Mauer can get enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. The next stat is homeruns where Morneau has 14 homeruns right now which makes him tied for second with Mark Teixeira 2 homeruns behind leader Carlos Pena. Pena is not going to keep this going and Teixeira is not a 40 homerun hitter so if Justin can hit 35-38 he has a real shot at winning the homerun title. The easiest one for him to win is the rbi title. Right now Morneau has 44 rbi's which ranks him 3rd 3 behind Jason Bay and 5 behind leader Evan Longoria. I think that is the most realistic title for him because through the years Justin Morneau has been a rbi machine and this pace is nothing new for him. The biggest reason he has a shot at the triple crown is Denard Span and Joe Mauer. They always get on and as long as that continues there will be rbi opprotunities, also will see better pitches with men on base which will help his average and homerun totals. I know its early but he has a real chance at this.
- Argument for Justin Morneau not winning the Triple Crown: Honestly, the odds are pretty deep against him winning the triple crown. He is not leading any of the categories and it is very very early. Another thing Morneau's career high in batting average for a season is .321 and that is far from a sure thing to win a batting title with a .321 average. Another thing Morneau's swing has changed through the years he goes the other way a lot more than he used to. He also plays in a pitcher's park. It is nothing like Petco Park but it is not as good as Fenway or Yankee Stadium where balls just jump out of. The Metrodome plays more for the pitcher than the hitter. Finally, He is a gap hitter who hits alot of doubles so it would be hard for him to hit the 40+ homeruns it would take to win the homerun title. Overall, there is not much chance he can win the triple crown.
- My take: Honestly, Justin Morneau realistically probably does not have a very good chance to win the triple crown. However, He is probably the best 1st baseman in the league and he keeps getting better as a hitter. Every time he comes up there is a chance he is going to go yard. I believe he will probably win his 2nd rbi title in 4 years, but I don't think he is gong to quite win the batting title or the homerun title. I look for him to hit between 30-35 homeruns and bat about .325 which won't be quite good enough to win those titles. The thing about Morneau is that would be an unbelievable season being that noone has hit for the triple crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967 which is 42 years ago which shows how tough it is to do. It should be an interesting summer to see if Mourneau can keep it up and challenge the immortals of the game.
- The Twins finally got a win against the Red Sox after losing the last 7 games to them going back to last season. The Twins got a good outing by Nick Blackburn and a 5 run bottom of the 5th inning and made it stand up for a 5-2 win over the Red Sox. Coupled with a Detroit loss the Twins are back within 3.5 games of first. The story of the game though was Nick Blackburn who continues his strong string of outings. In his last 4 starts he is 1-1 with a 3.60 era, however he has been the most consistant pitcher on the Twins staff. People are always trying to get rid of him but at the end of the day he always finds a way to get hitters out. With the win Blackie is now 4-2 with a very good 3.55 era on the season. In this outing it did not appear he had a good sinker with alot of flyballs but he did what all good pitchers do and that is make adjustments when one thing is not working you find another way to get hitters out. For Blackburn he used more changeups to keep the Boston lineup off balance. I really think that some of our other pitchers could take a page out of Blackburn's book when something is not working and try something else to see if that will work better because it seems like Blackburn is always around in the 7th inning and gives the Twins a chance to win every time out and thats all you can ask for.
- The Twins put all their offense in one inning to get to Boston starter Jon Lester for 5 runs in the 5th. Justin Mourneau finished the rally with a 3 run shot that turned a 2-1 Twins lead into a 5-1 Twins lead. The thing about that shot that I couldn't believe was how hard it was hit. Seriously im surprised that one of the football seats in right field was not broke because it was hit that hard. Speaking of Mourneau he really is on fire getting 2 more hits to raise his average to .347 on the season. In May he is hitting an unbeliveable .375 with 9 hr and 26 rbi's which is out of this world. Put him together with Mauer and they have combined for 20 hr and 57 rbi's in the month of May which is totally unbelievable. Last nights homerun was Mourneau's 14th of the year which is tied for 2nd and he has 44 rbi's which is 3rd most in the American League. However, what should not be overlooked is how Matt Tolbert hustled out an infield single and how Nick Punto hustled to second on his base hit. You can say all you want about how Punto and Tolbert aren't hitting, but what you are going to get out of those 2 is absolute hustle and that is all you can ask for. Granted we all wish they were hitting better, but the old saying is true that hustle is slump proof and if you allways hustle you are still helping the team.
- Tonight, the Twins continue their series with the Red Sox at the Dome with Kevin Slowey trying to pick up his 7th win of the year as he is facing Daisuke Matsuzaka.
- The Red Wings have continued to battle and it finally paid off in a win as they defeated Durham 5-2 last night. Kevin Mulvey continues to impress for the Red Wings as he put together another quality start for Rochester. Mulvey went 7 strong innings and only gave up 2 runs on 6 hits along with a walk and a very impressive 6 strikeouts. With the 2 runs allowed he lowered his era down to 3.75 on the season. Mulvey seems to be getting better every start and that is all you can ask for. He has 2 quality starts in a row after going through a little rough patch earlier this month, but he seems to have worked through that and pitching like everyone knows he can. I think he is a very solid pitcher who you know what he is going to bring to the table and someone that is very much in the Twins future plans. He is the guy that people are forgetting in the Santana trade. He won't be a superstar but he will bring quality just about every start. He reminds me very much of a young Kevin Tapani another control pitcher the Twins got from the Mets and he turned out ok. Mike Gosling came in relief to pick up his unbeliveable 6th win of the season out of the pen. That is a very high number for a reliever so hopefully he can keep it up.
- The Wings offense continue to struggle right now as they were only able to muster 6 hits against good Durham pitching. They were bailed out by the long ball once again. Trevor Plouffe put the Wings on the board with a 2 run shot in 4th inning to tie the game at 2. The homer was Plouffe's 4th of the year and led to the biggest play of the game. With 2 runners on and 2 outs David Winfree came to the plate and drilled a homerun over the left field fence to put the Wings ahead for good. It was Winfree's 7th homerun of the year and continued his reputation that he is getting this year of being very clutch. Half his homeruns have put the Wings either tied or into the lead and every team needs a player like that when you need a homerun they always find a way to get it done and that is what Winfree is for the Wings. Winfree had another hit earlier in the game also to raise his average up to .257. Winfree's 3 rbi's brought his total up to 23 on the season.
- Tonight, the Red Wings continue their series with Durham in Rochester with Reid Santos scheduled to get the start for Rochester.
New Britain Business
- Honestly, last night is a game the Rockcats would just soon forget even happened because it was not pretty. Ryan Mullins got rocked and the relief pitchers were not much better as the Rockcats went down to Trenton 11-0 and really the game was not even that close. Ryan Mullins got the start and to say he was bad is an understatement. Look at this line 4.2 innings 13 hits 6 runs 4 earned runs 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. Granted the Rockcats did not help him out with 2 errors that led to 2 unearned runs, but the bottom line is Mullins was awful. The thing about it is Mullins had been much better in May and 1 bad start should not change your view on him. Granted he is not a huge prospect for the Twins but he has pitched very good as of late and you should not change your opinion of him after this start any more than you did after his good outings. Zack Ward came in relief and was absolutely awful once again. In 2.1 innings Ward gave up 3 runs to bring his era up to a very bad 7.54 on the season. To put this in context his era in May is 13.50. Zack Ward is one guy I am having trouble putting my finger on why he is having all the problems because for most of last season he was one of the most consistant pitchers in the Rockcats bullpen last year. I am starting to wonder if maybe they should release Ward because he is 25 years old so a demotion to Fort Myers would not help him and he can't get anyone out at AA. Yohan Pino came in relief and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings to get this ugly game over.
- The Rockcat hitters really left the bats at home in this one as they were only able to muster 5 hits in this one. You have to give credit to Trenton starter Zach Mccalister who really shut down a Rockcats offense that had been running on all cylinders. The only hitter that really did anything against Mccalister was Matt Moses who went 2-3 at the plate. With the 2 hits it brought his average up to .264 on the season. In limited playing time Moses has done a good job in the situations that he is put into. Brandon Roberts, Danny Valencia, and Whit Robbins contributed 1 hit apiece to the Rockcats attack
- Tonight, the Rockcats try to get back on track as they continue their series with Trenton with staff ace Cole Devries going for New Britain in this game.
Fort Myers Minutes
- The Miracle saw their 5 game winning streak came to an end last night in a rain shortened game against Tampa 3-1 in 7 innings. Knowing that rain was coming they tried to get as much of the game in as possible and it is a surpise they even got 7 innings in. I really don't think it is fair to end a game because of rain you never know if you can get a big inning to win the game. I would much rather see teams suspend games especially if you are going to face the same team the next day. Tyler Robertson got the start for the Miracle and was once again decent but not great. Robertson went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs on 9 hits along with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. I maybe being too hard on him but I believe he has much better stuff than that and should be dominating this league in his 2nd season there. I was really expecting him to get the call to AA this year, but I am now expecting Robertson to spend the whole season in the FSL and possibly starting next season in the FSL. He has the stuff to take off and be the pitcher we all knw he can be he just needs to do it. Kyle Waldrop came in relief and pitched a scoreless 7th inning before the rains came. Waldrop is another one I think is ready for AA, however I look for when Gutierrez gets called up to AA Waldrop will take his spot in the rotation to build up his arm strength and eventually join him in AA as a starter.
- The Miracle were another team that left their hitting shoes at home as they were only able to muster 4 hits against Tampa starter Lance Pendelton. Ben Revere led the Miracle offense as he picked up a hit along with his 19th stolen base of the year. With the hit Revere's average is still a very good .335 on the season. Evan Bigley, Chris Cates, and Allan De San Miguel also contributed a hit each for the Miracle. Deibinson Romero continued his slump by going 0-3 to drop his batting average down to .207 on the year. Romero was hitting .269 just a few weeks ago. Look at his May stats he is 13-80 a .163 average, but if you look deeper in his last 10 games he is 1-36. I really look for him to come out of this he is too good of a hitter for this but they need to do something to shake him out of this slump because he can't have much confidence right now when you get out every time you come up. I really believe though that Romero will rebound he is too good.
- Tonight, the Miracle continue their series with Tampa with Mike Mccardell getting the start for Fort Myers.
- The Snappers are really in a free fall as they can't beat anybody right now as they are 3-7 in their last 10 games would attest too. Last night they lost a tough pitchers duel to South Bend 4-1 in only 8 innings because of rain. Dan Berlind was once again effective for the Snappers and has been one of their most constistant starters this year. Berlind went 5 strong innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits along with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. The 4 walks were too many but the 7 strikeouts were very good. With the 2 earned runs allowed Berlind's era is down to a very respectable 3.67 on the season. Bruce Pugh came in relief and pitched 2 innings and only gave up a run which was not bad. After the outing Pugh's era is 4.24 on the season. Blake Martin finished the game with 2/3 of an inning to get out of the 8th inning for the Snappers. It was a step forward for Martin who has struggled since coming off the DL so hopefully this will get him going.
- James Beresford led the Snappers attack last night going 2-4 at the plate to bring his average up to a very good .308 on the season. Beresford since coming off the DL has been one of Beloits best hitters and has seen his average slowly go up as the season goes on. Nate Hansen, Jon Waltenbury, Ozzie Lewis, and Drew Thompson also contributed a hit on a night that the Snappers were only able to muster 6 hits in 8 innings. Angel Morales went 0-3 to lower his average down to .218 on the year, which disappoints me because I really was expecting alot more out of Morales after the season he had last year at E-town. Its still very early but I would like Morales to get up to atleast .260-.270 before the end of the season.
- Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with South Bend with Dan Osterbrock scheduled to pitch for Beloit tonight.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
1. Should the Twins send Francisco Liriano to Rochester to work on his mechanics.
- Argument for Keeping Liriano in the Majors: I am not going to argue that Francisco Liriano has had his problems this year. He is 2-6 with a 6.42 era but he has all the talent in the world. You can not forget about 2006 when he went 11-2 with a 2.16 era. He had Tommy John surgery after the 2006 season and missed the entire 2007 season. Last year it took him a while to get his command back and pitch anywhere close to what he did in 2006. He was very solid after he came up in July and did just what the Twins asked him to do when he came back and that was to quiet his mechanics down and throw more fastballs and less Sliders. Going into this year there was a lot of hope that he would be back to 2006 version after a winter of no rehab. Granted the results have not been real great but the bottom line is his velocity is up this year from 89-90 to 92-94. In his start yesterday he was throwing a 89 mile an hour slider so that is huge news. He is very close to putting it all together and being the pitcher that we all know he can be.
- Arguement for sending Liriano to Rochester: The bottom line is he is not getting it done and you can't keep on with a 6.42 era. Especially, on a team that has designs on making the postseason. Every time he goes out there he is giving up 5-6 runs and that is just not good enough. He has no control of the strikezone in that he falls behind and has to bring a cookie that teams are hammering on. What he needs is to spend another couple months in AAA to get his control because that is last thing he needs because his slider is coming back and he has a good changeup when he uses it. The thing about that though is what good are those pitches if your down 3-0, 3-1 in the count to every hitter because you can't hit your spots with your fastball. Bobby Cueller is one of the best pitching coaches in the game and a couple months working with him I believe would have Liriano ready to contribute during the stretch run where the Twins need the Franchise back.
- The bottom line is Francisco Liriano has been bad lately I mean really bad. The easy thing would be to send him to the minors to work on his problems. The problem I have with that is that in the best interest of the Twins when you have someone that talented in the minor leagues. I just really feel after seeing those velocity readouts that Liriano is very close to turning that corner and being very dominant once again. I just think the Twins should keep him up here to work with Rick Anderson on his location of his fastball. If they could get him to consistantly keep the ball down he would be awesome again. He has the most potential of any starter on the staff because when he is right he is dominant. However, you can't keep giving up 5 runs a game forever so if he doesn't pick it up in the next 2 to 3 starts I would relent and send him down to Rochester to work on his control.
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- Yesterday the Twins lost a tough 6-5 game to the Boston Red Sox at the dome. Francisco Liriano was once again awful giving up 5 runs in only 4 innings of work to bring his ERA up to 6.42 on the season. The positive news is he had an unbelievable slider getting 7 strikeouts in only 12 outs. Also it looked like he has some more velocity most of the sliders were 88-89 that is 2006 form. The problem is I can count on one hand the amount of changeups he threw. Boston just laid off the slider because he could't get ahead with his fastball. So he got into 2-0, 3-1 counts and they mashed it then. When he got ahead in the count it was over, but he did not do that enough so thats why he got pummeled. It all comes back to the fastball until he learns to control that he will be nothing more than a average pitcher. For a bright spot R.A. Dickey came in and did a phenomenal job working 4 innings and only giving up 1 run. In his last 12.2 innings Dickey has only given up 1 run. In the role he is in right Dickey is fine, but don't put more into this than it is because you put him in tougher situations and he will struggle just keep him where he is.
- For Most of the game the Twins struggled to solve Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny trailing 5-1 going into the 6th inning. We rallied to get within 6-3 in the ninth facing Super Closer Jonathon Papelbon and Joe Mauer pinch hit and hit a 2 run homerun off Papelbon to pull within 6-5. Thats where it ended but Mauer is unbelievable right now. I have never seen anthing like this before. He is now hitting an out of this world .444 with 11homeruns and 31 rbi's to set a Twins record for most rbi's in a month. Jason Kubel got back on the horse with 2 hits and a rbi in the losing cause for the Twins.
- Tonight, the Twins continue their 4 game series with the Red Sox with Nick Blackburn getting the start for the Twins.
- The Red Wings lost a very tough game yesterday to Durham 3-2. Jason Jones had his finest start of the year for Rochester going 6 innings and only giving up 2 runs and most importantly walking noone and striking out 3. Juan Morillo came in relief and had one of his outings that he would like to forget. In 2 innings of work he gave up 2 hits and a run along with 2 walks and 2 wildpitches. Morillo has the arm to be a good pitcher for us but until he refines that control on a regular basis he won't see a major league mound for a long time.
- Jason Pridie had a good game for the Wings going 2-3 with a walk to bring his average up to .240 on the year. Alexi Casilla added a hit and his 6th stolen base of the year for the Red Wings. I know there are not many who agree with me but I think Casilla should be back up with the Twins he is a much better option for the Twins than Matt Tolbert and he continues to hit good in AAA so yeah I think the time is now for the Twins to make the move to call up Casilla again.
- Tonight, the Red Wings continue their series with Durham with Kevin Mulvey getting the start for Rochester.
New Britain Business
- The Rockcats had their 8 game hitting streak come to an end in heartbreaking fashion as they lost a tough one to Binghamton 5-4 in 11 innings. The tough part is they blew a 2 run ninth inning lead and a 2 run 10th inning lead. For some reason New Britain did not bring their 2 best relief pitchers Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama into the game. I know they had rough outings their last outing but if these are going to be future Twins you need to challenge them to get over it and rebound. It was a shame because Jay Rainville put together another awesome start going 6 innings and not giving up a run on only 3 hits. Yohan Pino pitched a good inning in relief, then Frank Mata came in and gave up 2 runs even though neither of them were earned thanks to an error by Toby Gardenhire. Zack Ward came in the 10th with a 2 run game and coughed that up and gave up 3 runs in only 1.1 innings. I don't know what the answer is with Ward but something has to be done becuase he has been awful.
- The hitting heros yesterday were Whit Robbins who was 3-4 with his 10th double of the season. With the 3 hits his average is up to .326 on the season. Rene Tosoni continued this hot streak going 2-6 to bring his average up to .261 on the season. Tosoni really struggled early in the year but he has really come on as of late. Erik Lis also contributed 2 rbi's for the rock cats to bring his season total up to 20 on the season.
- Tonight, the Rockcats try to get back on a roll as they take on Trenton with Ryan Mullins trying to continue his roll as of late getting the start for New Britain.
Fort Myers Memos
- No Game Scheduled
- Tonight the Miracle begin a series with Tampa with Tyler Robertson getting the start for Fort Myers.
- The Snappers went back to their old way yesterday as they lost another one to Wisconsin yesterday 7-4. Michael Allen got the start and was ok once again but still ended up getting the loss to bring his record to 0-6 on the season. Allen went 5 innings and gave up 4 runs although only 2 of them were earned. He walked 5 batters and struck out 3. With the 2 runs his era is now a not good 6.13 on the season. I am really waiting for the Snappers to try Leavitt in the starting rotation and send Allen to the bullpen. He just is not getting the job done. Really none of our starters really have gotten it done this year. Tippett has been the only decent starter this year. Osterbrock, Lanigan, Hunt, Allen, and Berlind really have not done anything for the Snappers this year so its time to try something else. Also is there any doubt that Joe Testa belongs in Fort Myers with his 1.80 era.
- The Snappers had a good day at the plate as they put together 11 hits. Nate Hansen led the charge going 3-4 with 2 rbi's to bring his average up to .284 on the season. James Beresford contributed 2 hits to bring his average up to .301. Ozzie Lewis came out of the slump with 3 hits yesterday and Jonathon Waltenbury contributed 2 more hits also. Hitting has really not been the problem for the Snappers and not the reason they are in last place. If the Snappers could get some pitching they would have a decent team.
- Tonight the Snappers begin a series against South Bend with Dan Berlind getting the start for Beloit in the 3 game series.
Monday, May 25, 2009
- The Twins continued their hot streak as of late as they defeated the Brewers again last night 6-3 to complete the sweep and run their winning streak to 4 games and pull within 3.5 games behind first place Detroit. Scott Baker really rebounded from a really bad start of the season. Baker went 8.1 strong innings to pick up his 2nd win of the year. After giving up only a run on 5 hits through 8 innings they tried to reward him for his great start to give him a chance at a complete game. A seeing eye base hit and then a nice pitch to Prince Fielder that was done and away, but that was deposited into the seats for a 2 run homerun. It was a good pitch its just good hitters hit good pitches some times. He then gave way to Joe Nathan who picked him up and got the last 2 outs for the win. Baker was masterful at one time retiring 11 straight batters. With the 3 runs he lowered his era to a still very high 6.34 on the year, but its the first step on him regaining his stuff.
- The Twins offense continued their onslaught on opposing pitchers. In the Twins 4 game winning streak they have scored an unbelieveable 43 runs. The M&M boys did it again last night as Joe Mauer had 2 hits and his 10th homerun of the year. I just don't get it why he is hitting all these homeruns and the fact is I don't think anyone can put a tangible reason behind him hitting all these homeruns. In 536 at bats last year he hit 9 homeruns and has 10 in only 77 at bats this year. Justin Mourneau was not going to be outdone as he hit a grandslam to put the game away in the 7th inning going from a 2-1 lead to a 6-1 lead. It was Mourneau's 13th homerun of the year and now he has 40 rbi's so he is having just as good of a year as he has ever had. Joe Crede also homered his 8th of the season before having to leave with a hand injury.
- Today, the Twins begin a pivotal 4 game series at the Metrodome against the Boston Red Sox with Francisco Liriano getting the start as the Twins try to extend their winning streak to 5 games.
- The Red Wings jumped all over Norfolk starter David Pauley for 6 runs in the top of the first inning and that ended up being enough as the Red Wings beat Norfolk 6-2 yesterday. Brian Duensing was the story picking up his 3rd win of the year in by far his finest outing of the season. Duensing pitched 7 shutout innings and scattered 7 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out 4 on the day. With the no runs allowed he lowered his era to a modest 4.14. This was a big start for Duensing because he really has been struggling as of late for the Red Wings.
- Trevor Plouffe supplied all the offense the Red Wings would need in this one with a grand slam in the first that put the Red Wings up 4-0. The homerun was his 3rd of the year. Alexi Casilla continues this hot streak as he had 2 more hits and his 5th stolen base of the year. Tommy Watkins got a rare start in left field and supplied 2 hits to bring his average up to .233 on the season.
- Today, the Red Wings finish off their series with Norfolk before coming home to take on Durham. Jason Jones is scheduled to pitch today for Rochester.
New Britain Business
- The Rockcats continued to pound on Binghamton as they defeated them 10-1 to pick up their 8th consecutive win and pull within 1.5 games of first place Connecticut. Jeff Manship was the story of the game putting in his finest start of the season. Manship went 8 terrific innings and only gave up a run on 4 hits to pick up his 4th win of the season. Manship has really struggled this year and this was a big outing for him to get his confidence back and pitching the way we all know he can. With the only 1 run it lowered his era to a still too high 5.55 on the season. Yohan Pino cam in relief to get the last 3 outs in New Britain's big win.
- Matt Moses was the offensive hero in this game going 3-5 with his 7th double of the year and 2 rbi's to bring his total to 21 on the year. Brian Dinkelman and Danny Valencia combined to go 5-7 with 3 more walks. On the year Dinkelman is hitting .343 and Valencia is not too far behind at .341. I really believe that both of them are ready for AAA. Dinkelman should go first because of his age, but both are definatly ready for AAA.
- Today, the Rockcats finish off their series with Binghamton with Jay Rainville getting the start for the Rockcats as they try to extend their season high winning streak to 9 games.
Fort Myers Minutes
- The Miracle continued their streak of winning the close games as they defeated Port Charlotte again last night 3-2. David Bromberg was the story pitching fabulously again going 5 innings and only giving up a run on 3 hits. He only walked one while striking out 3. With the one run it lowered his era down to an awesome 2.00 on the season. Steve Hirschfeld came in relief and pitched 2 solid innings only giving up a run on a hit. Santos Arias finished the game with 2 shutout innings to pick up his 2nd save of the year.
- Rene Leveret made his anticipated return to the lineup for the Miracle and he did not dissapoint. He went 3-3 with his 2nd homerun of the year and driving in 2 runs and also scoring 2 runs. With the 3 hits his average is up to an awesome .397 on the season. Chris Parmalee continued his recent hot streak as he had 2 more hits to bring his average up to .267. In Parmalee's last 10 games he is hitting .324 to get his average up to .267. Deibinson Romero broke out a little bit by getting an rbi single to put the Miracle ahead. Talk about a slump in his last 10 games Romero is 2 for 37 to lower his average from .268 down to .211. Hopefully that basehit will get him going because he is a much better hitter than this and everyone goes through slumps its how you come out of them that is a key.
- The Miracle are off today before beginning a series with Tampa tommorrow night.
- The Snappers finally got off the schnide by finally winning a game. They defeated Wisconsin yesterday 4-0 to get back on the winning track. The key to the win was the quality pitching by Joe Testa and Brad Tippett. Testa went the first 3 innings and only gave up 1 hit to lower his era to 1.80 on the season. It is so obvious that Testa is ready for Fort Myers, but I don't think he will get up there until Spencer Steedley goes up to AA which will happen after the all star game. Brad Tippett came in relief for some reason and pitched 6 shutout innings and only gave up 1 hit also. He walked 1 batter while striking out 5. Tippett should be starting all the time on this roster and I can't figure out why he was in relief.
- Ramon Santana continues to hit the heck out of the ball going 2-4 with 2 rbi's. With the 2 hits its average is up to .429 on the season. His rbi total is up to 19. James Beresford also contributed 2 hits to bring his average up to a very good .293 on the season. Jon Waltenbury also drove in a run for the Snappers as they try to break out of this hitting slump.
- Today, the Snappers finish off their series with Wisconsin with Micheal Allen getting the start for Beloit.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
- Last night was the Anthony Swarzak show for the Twins as they defeated the Brewers 6-2 to take the 2nd consecutive game from Milwaukee. With the win the Twins pulled within a 1/2 a game behind 2nd place Kansas City and 4.5 behind leader Detroit. The Star of the game though was Anthony Swarzak who was making his major league debut for the Twins. You could not ask for anything better than the outing he had. He went 7 innings and did not give up a run on only 5 hits. He walked 2 batters and struck out 3. Swarzak was in control the whole game not having a runner reach 3rd base the whole game. He changed speeds very well keeping the Brewers potent lineup offbalance the entire game. With his fastball going from 88-94 and no 2 pitches the same speed. Add in a good changeup and occasional slider with his good curveball it made for a good night. I have saw games of his on milb.com and he threw his curveball more so i am not sure if he just did not have a good feel for it because he did not use it much. Overall, a very good first start it will be interesting to see how he does Thursday against the Red Sox and if he does good that leaves a tough decision for what the Twins should do with Glen Perkins scheduled to come back in about a week or so.
- Offensively the Twins were led by who else the M&M boys. Joe Mauer and Justin Mourneau went a combined 5-5 with a homer and 3 rbi's. Joe Mauer let the attack going 3-3 with a walk and his 9th homerun of the year. It is very hard to figure out where his sudden power surge has come from because he had 9 homeruns all of last year in 536 at bats and already has 9 in only 77 at bats. The only thing I can think of is he is maturing and getting stronger and his doubles are now homeruns. I would really like to get you readers perspective on this. Joe Crede also homered, his 7th of the year and drove in 2 runs to bring his total to 20 on the year.
- Tonight, the Twins finish off their series with the Brewers as Scott Baker tries to get back on track for the Twins. It is an ESPN game tonight so it should be fun to hear some different announcers since the Twins are not on Sunday Night Baseball very often.
- Rochester had another tough loss last night against Norfolk after fighting back from a 4-2 7th inning deficit and thanks to a Jason Pridie to run homerun to tie the score. Unfortunatly, it was not to be as Norfolk won it 5-4 in 10 innings. Pridie had 2 hits and his 2nd homerun of the year. With the 2 hits it brought his average up to .234 on the season. There was a Brock Peterson siting after spending the season either on the DL or on the bench Peterson got a chance yesterday and did not disappoint. Brock went 2-4 on the day so hopefully this will get him going because he has way more talent than he has showed.
- Philip Humber got the start and continued his struggles giving up 4 runs in only 5 innings of work to bring his era up to 6.12. Hopefully he can get it going because he is better than that. Ben Hendrickson got his first action of the year pitching a scoreless inning. Bobby Keppel picked up the loss going 3.2 innings and only giving up the 1 run so he was very good.
- Today, the Redwings finish off their series with Norfolk with Brian Duensing scheduled to pitch for Rochester.
New Britain Beat
- The Rockcats continued their hot streak as they moved their season high winning streak to 7 games with a 7-5 win against Binghamton. Matt Fox pitched 5.1 shutout innings for the Rockcats to lower his era to 3.48 on the season. Jose Lugo and Frank Mata combined for a inning and two thirds scoreless innings. Normally when you give a big lead to Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama it is game over. Well lets just say they were not at their best yesterday. In 2 innings between them they gave up 9 hits and 5 runs. The good news is they still won the game and outings like that do not happen very often and both will be fine and this outing will be nothing but a memory.
- Danny Valencia continues to show that he is ready to move up to AAA. Valencia went 3-4 along with a walk and 3 rbi's to bring his total to 20 on the year. With the 3 hits it brings his average up to .336 on the year. Its pretty obvious he is ready for a new challenge and I hope he gets a chance to prove it sometime this year. Another guy that is really on fire right now is Steve Tolleson who contributed 2 more hits and a rbi to bring his average up to .252. If he keeps this up it won't be long till he is in AAA. Whit Robbins also contributed 3 hits and hit his 6th homerun of the year. His batting average now sits at a very good .320.
- Tonight, the Rockcats continue their series with Binghamton with Jeff Manship scheduled to get the start for New Britain as they try to extend their winning streak to 8 games.
Fort Myers Minutes
- In another well pitched ballgame the Miracle won another close ballgame last night 2-1 over St. Lucie. Deolis Guerra had his best outing of the year last night going 7 strong innings and only giving up a run on only 6 hits. With the 7 strong innings it brought Guerra's era down to 5.05. It was about time for Guerra to show why everyone is so high on him because with this being his 3rd year in the fsl people want him to show the promise that he did earlier in his career. I really look for Guerra to take off now and be very good for the Miracle. Henry Arias came on in relief and pitched 2 solid innings to pick up his 2nd save of the year.
- Ben Revere continues to show why is so widely known as the top hitter in the whole Twins organization. Revere went 3-3 with his 4th and 5th doubles of the year. After the 3 hits Revere now is hitting a robust .338 after hitting .379 last year in Beloit. I really look for him to get the call up to New Britain if things keep going the way they are. Steve Singelton also contributed 2 hits for the Miracle's cause.
- Tonight, the Miracle finish the home and home series with Port Charlotte with David Bromberg getting the start for Fort Myers.
- Beloit continued its run of bad baseball as they lost another not close game this time to Wisconsin 9-1. Ramon Santana was the only bright spot as the Snappers were only able to must 5 hits on the night. Santana had 2 hits to bring his team high average up to .425 on the season. I have said it before and I will say it again that Santana is the one that should of been promoted to Fort Myers instead of Nick Romero. Nothing against Nick Romero its just I think Santana is more ready for High A pitching and after 3 years in the Midwest League it is time for Santana to move on. Angel Morales contributed a hit and the only rbi of the game, his team leading 19th rbi of the year.
- The pitching for the Snappers was once again atrocious. Bobby Lanigan after starting out good has really struggled his last few starts. Last night was no difference as he gave up 10 hits and 7 runs in only 4.2 innings. Michael Tarsi came in relief and wasn't much better giving up 2 runs in 2 innings. Curtis Leavitt was the bright spot pitching 2 shutout innings. I would like to see Leavitt get another chance in the rotation after having a decent season last year at E-town. Basically, they have tried everyone else to start I think he deserves at least a chance.
- Today, the Snappers continue their weekend series with Wisconsin and Brad Tippett is scheduled to pitch for Beloit.