Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, June, 15th

Twins Talk
Cubs 3 Twins 2
  • The good news was that the Twins took 2 out of 3 from the Cubs over the weekend and finished their tough 10 game road trip at 5-5. The bad news is there were games they should of won and yesterday was one of those games. When you leave 10 runners on base and a pitcher can't get hitters out in critical situations you are going to lose 90% of the time. In this one a Ryan Therriot rbi single in the bottom of the 9th scored the winning run in a Cubs 3-2 victory for the Twins. Scott Baker got the start for the Twins and he was really good in this one. Baker went 7 innings and only gave up 2 runs on 5 hits along with 5 strikeouts to lower his era down to 5.30 on the year. Scott Baker has really rebounded after a rough start to the season and has been the Scott Baker we have gotten to seeing and the Scott Baker that was worth the 17 million dollars that we gave him this spring. Baker has had 3 straight quality starts and 4 of this last 5 have been quality starts. In those 5 outings he has gone 3-1 with a very good 3.50 era. Those are the kind of numbers that Scott Baker is all about and I think we can stop worrying about it when it is Baker's turn in the rotation. He has overcome some bad starts and is now back to normal. Luis Ayala then came on and pitched a clean 8th inning along with 1 strikeout to lower his era to 3.99 on the year. Ayala is another one that has been much better as of late. I was ready to cut the cord a couple weeks ago, but Luis has really picked it up and done his job as a solid middle reliever. I would not trust him in the 8th inning role, but in his job as a middle reliever he is just fine. Just like RA Dickey if you keep Ayala in his role he will pitch good. In his last 10 outings Ayala is 0-1 with a great 1.50 era in those games. That just shows you how well he has pitched since the middle of May. Jesse Crain on the other hand has been awful really all year as he came on in the 9th yesterday. Jesse faced 5 batters and 4 of the 5 reached base as he took the loss to take his record to 2-3. With the run allowed his era is up to 8.15. I really don't know if there is a reason why all of his pitches are up right now, because even though he throughs 95 he is meat right now. There is nothing in his history to suggest something like this happening, but the Twins can't trust him in any game right now. As much as I dislike saying this because i'm a big Jesse Crain fan the only thing you can do is to send him to Rochester to work out the kinks. The person that deserves to come up and take his spot in the bullpen is Bobby Keppel who has done a good job at Rochester. Hopefully, a month at Rochester will straighten him out and the Twins can get him back up here and have him pitching like we all know Jesse can.

  • The problem all year and the reason the Twins are under .500 was our strength last year and that is hitting with runners in scoring position. The Twins left 10 guys on base again yesterday and has been a reoccuring theme all season. In most games the Twins have played them close and a key hit or there would of made all the difference. Hopefully, with the pitchers doing better it will take the pressure off the hitters a little bit and they can get some clutch hits. Joe Mauer once again was the hitting star going 3-5 to move his average up to an unreal .414 on the year. Carlos Gomez had a huge day as well going 2-4 with his 7th double and his 1st homerun of the year. His homerun, a solo shot, tied the game at 2 in the 6th inning. Looks like Gomez is starting to take some better swings up there and being a little bit more patient. He will never be Joe Mauer or Denard Span when it comes to patience at the plate, but if he can improve it a little bit and get his obp up to 34-35 percent then I would be happy. With the 2 hits it raised Gomez' average to .227, but in the month of June he is doing better hitting .250 which may not seem like much, but it is an improvement and if he can keep getting better every month the Twins will be happy. Nick Punto also added 2 hits in this one and his 13th rbi of the year. With Carlos Gomez at 3rd with 2 outs Punto put down a fabulous bunt up the first base line and beat it out for a hit and an rbi. It was one case where his head first slide was good as it helped him avoid the Ted Lilly tag. In 3 games since coming off the dl Punto has went 5-10 a .500 average with a rbi and 2 runs scored. Hopefully, it is a start of a much better rest of the season for Punto because he is going to play everyday and it would be nice not to have a automatic out with him. Jason Kubel and Delmon Young added hits in the losing cause for the Twins.
  • The Twins have today off before beginning a series tommorrow night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rochester Wrap

Toledo 6 Rochester 1

  • The Red Wings dropped their 3rd straight game last night with a tough 6-1 loss to Toledo. Brian Duensing got the start for the Red Wings and was so so in this one. Duensing went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs on 10 hits along with 5 strikeouts. With the loss Duensing dropped his record on the year to 3-5 and raised his era to 5.05. Duensing really has not been the leader of the staff that I was expecting. I thought he would be much better than he has this season, in fact this season he has been very mediorcre for the Red Wings. At 26 years old you wonder how patient the Twins are going to be with Duensing because there are good pitchers on his heals and the Twins don't like to block someone's path. I don't think they will release him because he has a very good arm, but I could see them put him in the bullpen permanently and see if he can turn into a good Loogy. Ben Hendrickson then came on after Duensing and continued his struggles since coming off the dl as he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits along with a walk in 1 inning of work. After the outing Hendrickson's era is now sitting at a very bad 7.71. I think the Twins will give Ben some more time to try to figure things out, but Hendrickson has been a disappointment to me because I really had high hopes for Ben coming into the organization. I even thought he had a chance to help the Twins this year. He definatly will not be back next year and if he doesn't pick it up he won't make the year. Rob Delaney then came on and pitched a very good 9th inning going 1-2-3 with 2 strikeouts to lower his era to 5.14 since his callup. Really everything happened in 1 outing where he was really bad, but he has been very good in the 3 other outings with the Red Wings. At the end of the year he will have his great numbers once again and just might be with the Twins in September.

  • The Red Wings offense continued to struggle in this one as they were only able to score 1 run in this one on 7 hits. The hitting star for the Red Wings was Steve Tolleson who went 2-4 with his 6th double in his short stay with the Red Wings. Tolleson is now hitting .352 with the Red Wings and this is just me, but I would consider bringing him up for Matt Tolbert because Tolbert looks overmatched and Tolleson deserves the chance. Justin Huber went 1-4 with his 28th rbi of the year and lowered his average down to .279 on the year. Jason Pridie, Matt Macri, David Winfree, and Brock Peterson added singles in the losing cause for the Red Wings.
  • Tonight, the Red Wings continue their roadtrip as they begin a series in Columbus with Jason Jones scheduled to pitch for Rochester.

New Britain Business

Bowie 5 New Britain 2

  • The Rockcats after playing really well for quite a while have hit a little bit of a lull where they are not playing as well. Yesterday, they lost a tough hard fought game to Bowie by a score of 5-2. Ryan Mullins got the start for the Rockcats and he was decent in this one. Mullins went 4.1 innings and gave up 4 runs although only 2 of them were earned on 6 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts to lower his era to 4.83 on the year and lowered his record to 3-7. Ryan Mullins really struggled to start the season, but has been pretty good the last 6 weeks giving the Rockcats a chance to win just about every start. In 5 of his last 6 starts he has given up 4 runs or fewer with a 4.62 era in those starts which is much better than what he did in April. Zack Ward then came on and he struggled through an inning giving up a run on 2 hits along with a walk and 2 strikeouts to raise his era to 6.75. For my money Zack Ward has been the biggest disappointment in the whole organization this year. So much was expected out of Ward this year and he has done so little that he is lucky he is still with the organization. I have said for a while he will come around, but I am starting to wonder. I hope I am wrong because Ward has a very good arm and I thought he would be a future Twins reliever, but things are more unsettled with him now. Alex Burnett then came on and pitched 2.1 perfect innings of relief for the Rockcats. Burnett dropped his era to 1.54 in the short time he has been with the Rockcats. I was really happy that Alex was able to bounce back after a so so outing his last time out and show that the Rockcats can count on him out of the bullpen to set up Anthony Slama.

  • The Rockcats could not get anything going against Bowie pitching yesterday as they could only push across 2 runs on 5 hits. Whit Robbins was the hitting star once again going 2-4 with his 16th double of the year and raise his average up to .345 on the year. I really don't get it with Robbins I really did not see this coming. He is making a case to possibly move up to AAA Rochester at the All-Star break. I don't think they will do that because too many other people at Rochester need at bats and he is doing just fine at New Britain. That being said he has been the biggest surprise to me in the whole organization and I really don't know how to grade him after a season like this because his history says he shouldn't be able to do this. I am just going to enjoy the ride and see how far he can go. Matt Moses went 1-3 with his 9th double of the year. Rene Tosoni went 1-3 with his 33rd rbi of the year and Jeff Christy also drove in his 6th run of the year in the losing cause.
  • Today the Rockcats have off before beginning a series with Altoona Tuesday night as Jay Rainville will get the start for New Britian.

Fort Myers Minutes

Daytona 8 Fort Myers 1

Fort Myers 4 Daytona 1

  • The Miracle split a doubleheader with Daytona yesterday losing the first game 8-1 before rebounding in the nightcap 4-1. In the first game Mike Mccardell got the start and his defense let him down to the tune of 5 errors. Take a look at Mccardell's line you don't see it very often. 0.1 innings 8 runs 1 earned run 4 hits and 3 walks. Definately the defense did not help him out much, but he also was not very good in this one with 4 hits and 3 walks. The walks is something I can't figure out because going into the game he had only walked 6 batters in 62.2 innings so far. Hopefully, it was just a glitch and not a foreshadowing because his history says he does not walk batters. Overall, Mike has been very good for the Miracle this year and one bad outing should not sour people on him. Mccardell dropped his record to still a very good 7-4 with a still very good 3.86 era. Santos Arias then came in relief and was very good going 3.2 innings of relief and only giving up 1 hit along with 4 strikeouts to lower his era down to 2.20 on the year. I don't understand why people are not talking about Arias because he was good last year at Beloit and has been equally as good at Fort Myers. Blair Erickson pitched a clean 5th inning with 1 strikeout to lower his era to 2.79. Henry Arias then pitched the 6th and did a very good job to lower his era to 5.33. In the second game Steve Hirschfeld rebounded after a rough start his last time out. In this one Hirschfeld went 5 innings and only gave up 2 hits along with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts to lower his era to 1.72 and raise his record on the year to 2-1. Kyle Waldrop came in relief and pitched a solid inning only giving up an unearned run along with 2 hits and 1 walk and 1 strikeout to lower his era to 3.27. Waldrop has done a lot better after struggling to start the season and I look for him to get better and better as he gains confidence in his shoulder. Spencer Steedley pitched the 7th to pick up his 2nd save of the year and lowered his era down to 0.61. Steedley has only given up only 2 runs in 29.2 innings of work.

  • The Miracle finally broke out of their hitting slump in the second game of the doubleheader. In the first game they were only able to muster 1 run on 3 hits. Nick Romero had the only offense of the game as he hit his 2nd homerun of the year along with his 7th rbi. Chris Cates and Mark Dolenc also added hit in the losing cause for the Miracle. In the second game the Miracle really rebounded for 4 runs on 11 hits. Jair Fernandez led the assault going 2-3 with his 1st homerun of the year along with his 5th double. Steve Singelton went 2-4 with his 10th double of the year and raised his average up to .240. Chris Parmalee went 1-3 with his 10th double and raised his average to .257. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 to raise his average to .224 and his average in June to .302. Romero has really come on after a horrible slump in May to being the hitter we thought he would be going into the season. Ben Revere, and Mark Dolenc also contributed hits to the victory.
  • Tonight, the Miracle begin a series with Dunedin as David Bromberg gets the start for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

Clinton 9 Beloit 2

  • The Snappers let a game get away from them yesterday. After having 2-1 lead going into the 6th inning the bullpen let it get away as they gave up 8 runs in the last 4 innings in this one as they lost to Clinton by a score of 9-2. Bobby Lanigan got the start for the Snappers in this one and went 3.1 innings as they protect his innings and only gave up 1 run on 4 hits with 6 strikeouts to lower his era to 5.24. Danny Rondon then came on and gave up only a unearned run in 2.2 innings of work to lower his era to 5.30. This is where it starts getting bad as Steve Blevins came into a tie game and gave up a run on 2 hits in his 2 innings of work to raise his era to 4.05. Matt Williams came in and totally got demolished as he gave up 6 runs on 4 hits even though only 2 of the runs were earned along with 1 walk and 1 strikeout to raise his era to 2.19 on the season. The Snappers defense really let them down as they committed 2 errors which led to 5 unearned runs without those its a close game.

  • The Snappers were befuddeled by Clinton pitching in this one as they were only able to push across 2 runs on 2 hits in this one. Clinton relievers went the last 5 innings without giving up a hit to the Snappers. The only hits in this one was singles by Michael Harrington and Dominic De La Osa. The only rbi's went to Ozzie Lewis, his 26th on a groundout and Nathan Hanson, his 18th on a sacrafice fly. There will be days like this offensively and hopefully the Snappers can come back today and rebound and have a good night at the plate.
  • Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with Clinton as Brad Tippett is expected to pitch tonight for Beloit.