Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday, June, 6th

Twins Talk
Twins 2 Mariners 1 10 innings
  • The Twins pulled off a tight nail biting game that had its twist and turns so much that you could write a book about it. There were mistakes and lots of guys left on base, but the bottom line was the Twins got the win 2-1 over the Mariners in 10 innings. Francisco Liriano had his first good start in quite a while last night going 6 innings and only giving up a Mike Sweeney solo homerun in the 6 innings. He allowed only 3 hits, but again his achilles heel was his wildness as he walked 4 batters along with 5 strikeouts. With the only 1 run allowed it lowered Liriano's era down to 6.12 on the year. The thing I noticed about his start is when there is noone on he is fine, but when someone gets on he loses confidence and tries to aim the ball in there which leads to balls. When he just lets the ball go and doesn't worry about making sure its a strike he is still a very good pitcher. However, when he starts aiming the ball bad things happen and luckily he got out of those situations last night. If you look at most of his starts this year it has been 1 inning where he couldn't wriggle out of jams and gave up 4-5 runs. In this one though he was able to get out of it without any damage so hopefully that will help his confidence that he doesn't have to aim it because his stuff is good enough to get out of those situations without aiming it because the walks came in 2 innings otherwise he was very good. The Twins bullpen really did a good job last as it went 4 shutout innings on only 1 hit allowed. The bullpen got off to a rough start but has been much better as of late. Jesse Crain and Jose Mijeras each got 2 big outs in the 7th and 8th innings. Matt Guerrier then came on and got 5 outs on only a bloop single to bring his era down to 3.33 and pick up his second win without a loss. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect 10th for his 11th save of the year with a couple strikeouts.

  • Last night was a night of wasted opprotunities for the Twins as they left 10 guys on base. Thankfully, we were able to push across that 2nd run and it proved to be enough. It was an odd top of the 10th because you saw everything happen in this one. Joe Mauer led off with a double that kept slicing away from the left fielder, but a ball that should of been caught. They then walked Justin Morneau to pitch to Jason Kubel. Kubel crushed a ball to center field that Mariners centerfielder pulled a Carlos Gomez and robbed Kubel of a 3 run hr. Joe Mauer alertly went to 3rd on the play to bring up Matt Tolbert with runners on first and 3rd and one out. I don't know if they tipped them off or what, but the play was a squeeze and the Mariners pitched out and Joe Mauer was stuck out to dry and was tagged out. So now the situation was Justin Morneau at 2nd with 2 outs and Tolbert at the plate. Tolbert hit a hard fly ball to left field that was misplayed as he came in and then realized it was deep and went off his glove for an two base error to put the Twins ahead. Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher each had 2 hits to pace the Twins. Joe Mauer hit his 8th double of the year in that big top of the 10th inning to bring his average down to a terrible .430. Alexi Casilla added two hits for the Twins.
  • Today, the Twins take on the Mariners in game 2 of their 3 game weekend series as Nick Blackburn will take on Jarrod Washburn of the Mariners.

Rochester Wrap

Gwinnett 9 Rochester 6

  • The Red Wings finished a tough series with Gwinnett by blowing a 6-4 7th inning lead in a tough loss 9-6 to the Gwinnett Braves for their 3rd straight loss. Kevin Mulvey got the start for the Red Wings and was so so for the 2nd straight start. He went 6 innings and gave up 3 earned runs along with a crazy 6 walks and 6 strikeouts. After giving up the 3 runs Mulvey's era is at 4.12 on the season. The thing that surprised me the most was the 6 walks because that is so un Kevin Mulvey like in that coming into the game he had only walked 21 batters in 57 innings coming into the game. I really hope it is just a hiccup because he doesn't throw hard enough to be walking 6 batters a game and get away with it. New Red Wing Rob Delaney came on to shut the door in the 7th inning and did nothing of the sort as he gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in his 2 innings of work along with 2 strikeouts. Rob Delaney is still a very good prospect and it is going to take time to get acclimated to the hitters at the AAA level and a game like this should of been expected and I am not worried at all about how he is going to do for the Red Wings. Trust me at the end of the year Delaney will have his era back down in the 2's and may just be with the Twins. Tim Lahey came on and pitched the 9th and once again gave up a run on a hit along with a walk to bring his era up to unacceptable 11.30 on the year. They need to do something and do something fast with Lahey right now because he can't get anybody out. Calling Anthony Slama are you there, Calling Anthony Slama are you there.

  • Steve Tolleson keeps proving that he is definately ready for AAA as he had another 3 hit game along with his 3rd double of the year to bring his average to a great .409 since his promotion. Drew Butera finally had a good game after only hitting .226 in May he contributed 2 hits for the Red Wings and his 12th rbi of the year. Trevor Plouffe had 2 more rbi's in this one to bring his season total to an impressive 31. David Winfree also added his 12th double of the year in the losing cause for the Red Wings. Jason Pridie, Jose Morales, and David Winfree also added rbi's for the Red Wings.
  • Tonight, the Red Wings begin a series with 3rd place Syracuse with Reid Santos getting the start for the Rochester

New Britain Business

Harrisburg 3 New Britain 2 10 innings

  • The Rockcats lost their 2nd consecutive game last night after winning the previous 3 in a tough nailbiting loss to Harrisburg 3-2 in 10 innings. Ryan Mullins got the start for the Rockcats and was very good in this one. He went 5.2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits along with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts to lower his era to 4.88. Ryan Mullins has really improved after a rough April to be a decent pitcher for the Rockcats. I think he will do really well translating to the bullpen as this was probably his last start as top prospect Carlos Gutierrez will probably take his spot in the rotation next time through. New Rockcat Alex Burnett then came on and continued to impress going 2.1 innings and only giving up a hit and not runs along with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Burnett has been very impressive with the Rockcats since his callup and I really look for him to take on closing duties when Anthony Slama ends up going to Rochester. Anthony Slama came on in a tie game in the 9th and did alright in the 9th, but in the 10th the roof collapsed as he gave up the winning run in the 10th inning. In all Slama worked 1.1 innings and gave up 1 run on 3 hits along with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts to bring his era up to 2.90 on the year. The only thing that concerns me is the amount of walks Slama has because that doesn't translate well when you get in the bigs. If he can tone that down a little bit he will be just fine.

  • The Rockcats pulled a Twins type of game as they left on 7 base runners in the game to only score 2 runs. Brandon Roberts was excellent in this one going 3-5 to bring his average up to .281. Brian Dinkelman continues his great half by going 2-4 to raise his average up to .339 on the year. Someone needs to explain to me why he is not at AAA he is definately ready for the new challenge and with his age the Twins definately need to challenge him. Erik Lis added his 5th homerun of the year in the losing cause along with his 26th rbi. Whit Robbins added a hit and his 26th rbi as well. Juan Portes and Rene Tosoni also added hits to the Rockcats case. On the other hand of things Danny Valencia is in a bit of a slump for the Rockcats. In his last 10 games Valencia has went 4-32 which is a .125 batting average to drop under .300 at .296 on the year. Another reason I like Valencia is his walks in this bad streak at the plate he has drawn 10 walks to still find a way to get on base. On the year Valencia has a very good .406 obp for a middle of the order guy. Things like that is how you don't notice when a guy like him is in a slump because he always finds a way to help the team.
  • Tonight, the Rockcats continue their series with Harrisburg as Cole Devries gets the start for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Fort Myers 3 Clearwater 2

  • The Miracle have proven all year long that they can win the blowouts, but have also proven that when things get close they can win those types of games as well. Last night the Miracle won a close hard fought game over Clearwater 3-2 at Hammonds Field to lower their magic number to clinching the first half title down to 7. David Bromberg got the start for the Miracle and had an uneven performance because they did not hit him much, but an old problem flaired up. In this one Bromberg went 5.2 innings and gave up 2 runs on only 3 hits along with a bad 6 walks along with 8 strikeouts to raise his era to 2.06 on the year. Bromberg had a problem with walks last year at Beloit as he had 54 walks in 150 innings. Going into this one he had only walked 23 in 51 innings which is much better so hopefully this was just a hiccup and he will continue to get better and better in the walk department. Spencer Steedley then came on and pitched 2.1 perfect innings for Miracle to pick up his 4th win without a loss along with a strikeout. Steedley's era is now down to a miniscule 0.68 on the year. I really don't understand why Steedley's is still in Fort Myers because there is nothing else for him to do there and hopefully he will get the promotion that he has earned up to New Britain very soon. Blair Erickson came back after a rough outing Thursday night to pitch a very good 9th inning last night to pick up his 7th save of the year.

  • The Miracle continue to struggle with the bats as they were only able to muster 6 hits in the game. However, a win is a win so they are probably not too disappointed with the 6 hits since they won the game. In this one Steve Singelton had his 9th double of the year to bring his average after the game to .234. Rene Leveret added his 2oth rbi of the year and Evan Bigley added his 8th rbi. Deibinson Romero, Leveret, Chris Parmalee, Jair Fernandez, and Chris Cates added singles in addition to Singelton's double in this one.
  • Tonight, the Miracle finish their series off with Clearwater as Tyler Robertson gets the start for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

Peoria 5 Beloit 1

  • The Snappers are really struggling right now as they are limping into the All Star break after losing their 6th consecutive game to Peoria 5-1 last night. Michael Allen got the start for the Snappers and has been much better as of late, but hasn't shown itself in the win loss record as he dropped to 0-8 on the season. He went 6 innings and gave up 5 runs on 9 hits in one of his worst performances of the year along with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts to raise his era to 6.10. I feel bad for the guy because it seems like when he pitches good they dont score any runs for him and when he pitches bad thats when they score. Curtis Leavitt then came on and pitched a very good inning striking out 2 of the 3 he faced. Leavitt now has an era of 9.45 on the year. Matt Williams came on and pitched the 8th and was once again very good giving up a hit and striking out two to lower his era to 1.74. I really don't see why Matt Williams got demoted to Beloit and why he is still there because him and Joe Testa are really the only pitchers holding that bullpen together.

  • The Snappers continue to struggle with the bats as they were only able to scratch together 1 run although they had 8 hits. The problem in this one is they left 7 guys on base. James Beresford and Michael Harrington each had 2 hits in this one for the Snappers. Beresford brought his average up to a very good .296 after the game. Harrington is now hitting .240 after a dreadful awful April where he hit only .204. He has really turned it on it June and is hitting .462 in 4 June games so hopefully he can keep it going. Dominic De La Osa added his 3rd double of the year and Drew Thompson added his 2nd triple. Juan Richardson and Alex Soto also added singles in the game. Thompson's triple brought home the only Snappers run and was Thompson's 7th rbi of the year.