Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday, May 13th

Twins Talk
Minnesota 7 Boston 3
Minnesota 20-17 First Place
  • POG: Craig Monroe- Craig continued his recent hot streak by going 1-2 with 2 walks, a double and 2 rbi's to raise his average to .290 on the season. Craig has been just what the Twins were looking for when they traded him and being back in the Al Central seems to have rejuvanated him. For the year Craig has 4 homeruns and 15 rbi's in only 68 at bats this year. My feeling is its time to get him regular playing time while he is performing like this. You need to remember he had 28 homeruns for the Tigers in 06 and if he can come close to that you need to keep him in the lineup. Is it fair to Jason Kubel who hasn't done anything to get benched no its not. However, its looking more and more like the Twins have a chance to contend so you go with the hot hand as long as it lasts and if he slows down you can always go back to Kubel.
  • Livan Hernandez continues to impress notching his 6th win of the season with only 1 loss against him. In the 10 starts he has made this season for the Twins the Twins are 9-1 which tells you how effective he has been to keep us in the games. Last night he went 6 innings and only gave up 3 first inning runs on 10 hits. He walked 1 and also struck out 1 to bring his ERA to a starter low 3.90 on the season. If anybody would of said he would be this good for the Twins i would of called them a liar but i love watching him pitch because he gets by on guile and guts and you have to respect that. Hopefully, he can keep it up and theres no reason why he cant because he has faced good lineups so far and should keep us in most games.
  • The Twins bullpen slammed the door pitching 3 shutout innings in relief of Hernandez led by Juan Rincon's 2 perfect innings. Rincon is the key becuase we need him to pitch like he did 2 years ago if we want to stay in 1st place.
  • Tonight, the Twins begin a 3 game series with Toronto at the Metrodome. Gametime is at 7;11pm with Kevin Slowey making his 2nd start since coming off the dl vs Blue Jays righty Jesse Litsch.

Rochester wrap

Rochester 5 Buffalo 1

Rochester 16-23 12.0 games back

  • POG: Danny Graves- Danny got the spot start for the Wings and man did he impress for the Red Wings. He went 4 shutout innings and only gave up 2 hits and also struck out 2 batters. Danny is not the same pitcher he was 10 years ago but he is a very good pitcher with good movement on his pitches. He still has that very good slider that he uses as his out pitch. The Twins want to find out if they can use him with the injury to Pat Neshek and my gut says yes he has some left in the tank. I think a few more good outings for Danny and i think before the 1st of July you could see Danny Graves in a Twins uniform trying to get big outs.
  • The Red Wings offense finally got on track a little bit by pounding out 16 hits led by Denard Span and Jose Morales who had 3 hits apiece and homeruns by Span and Chris Basak to pace the Wings attack.
  • Tim Lahey was really dominant as he continues his recovery from that bad outing a few times ago. He picked up his 4th save of the year by going the last 2 innings of the game and not giving up a run and only allowing 1 hit. Along with that he struck out 5 out of the 7 batters he faced to show how dominant he can be. I look for Tim Lahey to be in a Twins uniform sometime this season.
  • Tonight, the Red Wings begin a series with Columbus in Rochester. Gametime is at 6:05 with Kevin Mulvey getting the start as he tries to improve on his 2-4 record.

New Britain Business

New Hampshire 11 New Britain 4

New Britain 20-16 3.5 games back

  • POG: Felix Molina- Felix had his best game so far of the season by going 3-4 with an rbi to bring his average to .259 on the season. Felix is a key contributer off the bench for the Rock Cats and what i really like about him is his flexibility. He can play 2nd, short , or 3rd base and not only play it but play it well. Thats one of the reason that he finds his way into the lineup just about every day. With the injury to Luke Hughes Felix has been playing alot of 3rd base and has done a very good job.
  • Anthony Swarzak got the start and wasn't good, but really he was not terrible either. Anthony went 4 innings and only gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits. He walked 4 and struck out 3 in the outing. Anthony's problem lately has not been about getting drilled its about that he cant find the plate which gets his pitch count up which leads him having to leave the game earlier than he or the Rock Cats would like him too. With the earned run it brings Swarzak's ERA down to 3.96. He got off to such a fast start that the expectations for him went through the roof some even saying he is ready for the majors. However since then he has been in a little bit of a funk and is getting behind early in counts and having to throw a cookie and even at AA that will get hit hard. I think he needs to go back to the basics of getting ahead and staying ahead and he will show the signs that made him so high of a prospect by the Twins and probably get a promotion to AAA before years end.
  • Jay Sawatski continues to struggle and makes you wonder if maybe he might get released becuase he gets hard every time he comes into the game and i don't see much of a future for him. In 1.1 innings he gave up 6 hits and 6 runs to raise his era to a crazy 8.41 on the season. Hopefully he can turn it around but im not counting on it.
  • Tonight, the Rock Cats start a series with Binghamton in Binghamton. Gametime is at 5:35pm with Jay Rainville getting the start as he tries to improve on his 2-4 record.

Fort Myers Musings

Sarasota 7 Fort Myers 2

Fort Myers 23-14 First Place

  • POG: Brian Dinkelman- Brian was the only bright spot for the Miracle in a game where they were only able to muster 5 hits. Brian went 1-4 with a double and one of the 2 rbi's the miracle had as a team. With the 1 hit Brian's average is at .326 on the season and his rbi total is at 15 for the season. Dinkelman and Valencia have led the Miracle at the plate even though their pitching staff has been inconsistant and actually Brian has been the most consistant hitter on the team and i look for him to get a promotion up to New Britain sometime this summer.
  • Jeff Manship had his first bad outing of the year going only 4 innings and giving up 10 hits and 6 runs along with 2 walks. There are 2 bright spots in his start he struck out 8 to bring his season total to 46 on the season and the second thing is the start is over. Jeff has been the most consistant pitcher on the staff so i take this as a anamoly and will come out next start and keep the Miracle in the game and give them a chance to win a ball game like he usually does.
  • Frank Mata got his first action of the year by pitching a scoreless inning along with his 1st strikeout of the season. It will be interesting how long he will be in Fort Myers before he is moved up to New Britain.
  • Tonight, the Miracle continue their series with Sarasota in Sarasota. Gametime is at 6pm with Deolis Guerra getting the start as he tries to improve on his 3-1 record.

Beloit Beat

Clinton 6 Beloit 5

Beloit 17-19 9.5 games back

  • POG: Joe Benson- Joe had his first good game in a while going 2-4 with a double to keep the Snappers in the game. With the 2 hits it brought Joe's average up to .234 on the season. Joe has been very up and down this year and the hope is by moving him down in the lineup it will let him relax a bit and swing at better pitches. The biggest problem with him this year has been he strikes out too much and y0u cant have that at the beginning of the lineup. In 128 at bats this year he has already struck out an unbelievable 43 times which is 34% of his plate appearances. With Ben Revere coming on fast Joe is on the verge of being passed up so he needs to work hard to prevent that from happening.
  • Santos Arias put together another solid start by going 5 innings and giving up only 3 runs and 7 hits. He was the tough luck loser for the Snappers picking up his first loss of the season. With the 5 innings it brought his ERA up to 2.81 on the season. He has put together 3 good starts in a row. When Mccardell is ready to come back the Snappers are going to have an interesting decision with starting pitching becuase they are all pitching well.
  • Ben Revere continues to get the job done even though he didnt have a hit for only the 2nd time since he arrived he still found a way to score a run and steal a base to bring his stolen bases up to 7 on the season. The more i see this kid the more excited i get about him and i really think he's special and should be the starting center fielder for the Snappers all season.
  • Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with Clinton in Beloit. Gametime is at 6:35pm with David Bromberg getting the start for the Snappers as he tries to improve his record which right now sits at 1-2 on the season.

Just to let everyone know im working on a Q and A and hopefully have it up in the next few days so hopefully you will like it.