2005-10-02T14:24:22.603-05:00Johan looks like he will get win 16 today. Maybe U'm crazy but I think he should get the AL Cy Young.
2005-08-19T19:18:32.796-05:00Just when we had reached our low point for the season, the Twins started winning. Not only have we won, but we have been beating two of the best teams in the American league. Oakland had won some ungodly amount of games in their last 20 coming into that series and Chicago had been winning all season. We had been losing in every way possible and were resorting to starting Abernathy in the outfield.
2005-08-18T20:17:39.616-05:00There is a rumor I just read on the front page of ESPN.com (no link due to their insane East coast bias....Yanks, Sox, Eagles, blargh!). It says that JC Romero wants out of of Minnesota. Its a shame I cannot read the article without a friggen ESPN insider subscription.
2005-08-09T01:03:45.713-05:00The Twins made a decision at the deadline that made me happy. It was a decision that kept Alfonso Soriano from patrolling second base for us, but I think it was the right choice. Even if we could have made the playoffs with Soriano, we didn't have a great team and were not going to win in October.
2005-07-31T17:21:17.093-05:00Here are the moves we made:
2005-07-22T02:55:19.233-05:00So, a funny thing happened to Justin Morneau on his way to hitting 40 home runs this season. He quit hitting.
2005-07-20T22:55:49.920-05:00Brad Radke got a letter on Dodgers letterhead suggesting he serve as Hee Seop Choi's pitcher in the Home Run Derby. Trouble is, the note really was sent by jokester Torii Hunter. Just in case Radke had forgotten about those three homers he gave up to Choi in a game earlier this season.
2005-07-14T20:35:00.120-05:00Batgirl was on ESPN's Page2, and the article was so great I thought I should plug it. Prepare to be moved.
2005-07-14T20:09:35.173-05:00Well, the Twins begin their second half tonight. Right now we are in a scoreless game with the Angels and Brett Boone in in the lineup.... Batting 3rd.
2005-07-12T15:51:02.813-05:00Brett Boone is now a Twin
2005-07-07T22:31:49.043-05:00July 7, 2004: 18 starts, 7-5, 3.89 ERA with 29 BB & 125 K’s
BB/MonthThis has also lead to a constantly increasing ERA. Johan has an ERA of 5.84 thus far in July. Now this is only two starts, so it is most likely going to drop. DON'T PANIC.
July: 5 (so far)
2005-06-27T10:19:06.706-05:00The Twins pulled out a win in the land of the Brew Crew. It seems like forever since the Twins had won despite it being only two days. I suppose that is because of their current awful play. They have lost six of eight games.
2005-06-24T10:13:34.773-05:00CENTRALWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRASTRKL10Chicago Sox4922.690-26-1023-12344271Won 78-2Minnesota3931.5579.521-1718-14320289Won 13-7Cleveland3733.52911.517-1620-17306284Lost 37-3Detroit3534.5071318-1717-17316300Lost 17-3Kansas City2546.3522415-2110-25312396Lost 35-5 Despite a nice complete game last night by Carlos Silva, the Twins still find themselves buried 9.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox. Considering that it is nearly the end of June, this is a significant hole to be stuck in. The White Sux are playing better than any team in baseball and it appears that their start was not a fluke. This is definitely not looking good.Anything can happen, but I do not think the Twins will win the division this year. The offense just seems to be too poor to help make up the gap between the Sux and the Twins. Its not awful, it is just too much to make up a 9.5 game gap on the team with the best record in baseball. Truthfully, the Twins may not get within a sniff of the White Sux. I remain hopeful, but I think the wild card may be our only ticket to the playoffs and the streak of recent division titles may be over.I do not want to place all the blame on our hitters. The pitching has really fallen off recently. Radke has gone in the tank and Joe Mays has hit a wall. I suppose a two year layoff will do that to a guy.Adding Joe Randa (as is the rumor) could help the team, but it won't be enough. Perhaps if we signed him in the offseason (as I wanted them to), this hole would not be so big. Ah, dispair!I hope the Twins make me feel foolish.[...]
2005-06-18T21:35:53.716-05:00The sad truth I am admitting right now is this: I have watched two Twins games in the last couple of weeks. Maybe that is obvious from my lack of posting here... but I should make it clear. Work and whatnot has really cramped my viewing schedule. I am however, watching tonight's game against San Diego. I am glad to be seeing the ol' Twinkies play some baseball... but it is certainly a bittersweet viewing.The score is now 7-1 Padres and Brad Radke has reminded me that not much has changed since I last watched a game. His pitiful first innings were always a point of humor for me over the last few years. After he made it through the first without allowing a run I would make a remark like "PHEW! This game is in the bag." Now I cannot even laugh about it. Observe this line: By Inning / PitchesABRH2B3BHRRBIBBHBPSOSBCSAVGOBPSLGOPS Inning 169202861720101200.406.408.8261.235 Now typical thinking would leave you to believe that a starting pitcher gets worse as a game goes along. This is not true for old Brad. In the first innings he makes players look like Barry Bonds. Sure, he almost always gets better as the game goes along, but these first innings are becoming big obstacles.Here are his numbers in 3 inning sets. Considering how bad his first innings statistics are, its amazing how much he improves after inning one. By Inning / PitchesABRH2B3BHRRBIBBHBPSOSBCSAVGOBPSLGOPS Inning 1-317629541011028102811.307.307.545.853Inning 4-6154113820711212631.247.256.396.652Inning 7-946815511511600.326.347.543.890 My gripe is that it is hard starting off in a 2-0 hole after one inning. We have come to expect this from Brad, which is inexcusable. Our offense shouldn't be saddled with that burden in EVERY GAME! This is especially true from a pitcher that started opening day for us. Something has to be done whether its more focus, willingness to walk more hitters instead allowing homers, or more bullpen work, SOMETHING has to be fixed.[...]
2005-06-17T03:25:23.446-05:00One of my fondest memories of Twindom in recent years has to be the tied All-Star Game a couple of years back in Milwaukee. Most notably, I remember the Torii Hunter catch in center-field that robbed the greatest offensive force of our lifetimes, Barry Bonds. My reaction was a definite exuberance, but surprise? Surprise was the farthest thing from my mind.
2005-06-02T18:19:46.023-05:00The Twins pulled off a nice win in extra innings today against Cleveland but came out of the win in much worse shape than we did entering today's game.
Morneau tweaked his left elbow while hitting balls off a tee before the game and was replaced after going 0-for-2 against Indians starter Scott Elarton. Morneau was taken for X-rays after the game and his status is uncertain.Punto is headed to the disabled list after pulling his right hamstring while trying to steal second base."It'll be awhile for him," Gardenhire said.Mauer aggravated a groin strain that kept him out last month. He was removed from the lineup in the 12th inning.Thats from ESPN. I hear now that Morneau is day to day and should be back in a bit. Mauer and his groin could be a problem for a while I think. He keeps aggravating it so who knows how much it will affect his playing time. I presume that he will see more time at DH.
2005-05-27T21:28:56.030-05:00I am a big Gardy critic. I like the guy but I disagree with many of his lineups he uses. That said, I like him more than most managers out there. Baseball managers (along with scouts) think differently than myself. I stick with numbers while they often times use gut instincts and skill sets. I firmly take an OBP guy over a speed guy at the top of the lineup any day of the week. A good example of a bad lineup is the Mets and Reyes at the top of their lineup. He never draws walks and holds an offense killing OBP. Sure he can steal, but he just doesn't get on base enough. Some might call me a "Moneyball" guy but I am more for the title of a Sabermetric guy. With that said I continue...Gardy has done something that really irked me most of the season. His #2 hitters were out of place. He was batting #7-9 hitters there. He was putting guys in the 2 hole who just got out too much. This season, the Twins #2 hitters have had an OBP of .310. For comparison, Boston has had a .361 OBP from their second batter. This fact has had myself been begging for the Twins to quit putting poor OBP guys in the #2 hole. Most notably, Bartlett should have never batted second. When batting there he had a .301 OBP. Really quite poor. Seven of ten times at the plate Jason got out. That is an out that takes away at bats from the rest of the hitters that follow him. Mauer and Morneau would also have less runners on base every time they came to the plate.Other notables inserted there include Castro and Rivas who have had sub .200 OBP there. Simply awful! Otherwise, a complete waste in the lineup. It is one thing to have a waste batting ninth, but a whole other mess when it is the player who gets the 2nd most plate appearances on the team.Nick Punto is the only player that has helped bring up our team OBP up. He has had a .380 OBP when batting in the two hole, which is pretty good. That is good if he could keep it up, but with an OBP of .345 on the season and .340 last year he is bound to come back to his average numbers. Another point is that Punto doesn't play every day (like he should) and only plays against matchups that are more favorable than if he had to play every day. His numbers are likely to drop off a bit.My wish of a worty #2 hitter was granted a few games ago. The player I had been begging for Gardy to move to 2nd in the lineup was put there. JOE MAUER! Joe Mauer is the perfect guy for the #2 spot. Sure he isn't as fast as a guy like Bartlett or Punto but he gets on base about 40% of the time! For every 10 plate appearance he commits 6 outs while our #2 hitters this season commited 7 outs. That provides more at bats for the hitters behind him as well as more baserunners.Now if Mauer is at #2 you might wonder what happens to the #3 spot in the lineup. Well, in the game Mauer batted second, Ford was inserted at #3. This is a downgrade in terms of OBP and slugging, but I suspect that Ford's numbers will get a boost batting in front of Morneau. Therefore, the power remains there. Not only that, but our lineup becomes more effective in terms of left and right handed matchups. With a R-L-R-L lineup at 1-4, opposing teams cannot throw a left handed specialist to get out both Mauer and Morneau because Ford protects them. This provides better matchups for each of player and would improve all of their numbers across the board.After the game he batted second, Mauer has skipped a few starts to rest. My dream lineup was effectively destroyed. Now I hope that when Mauer returns, so will the lineup with him at the #2 spot. I would not be surprised if Punto was inserted at #2 and Mauer at #3, but I w[...]
2005-05-26T20:30:53.676-05:00Juan Rincon will appeal his suspension.
2005-05-21T12:49:06.296-05:00Jason Bartlett was sent down to AAA. I would not have a huge problem with it if it weren't for the fact we have Juan Castro in his place. Juan Castro may turn out to be this year's Jose Offerman. Frightwig wrote a good piece on this very topic here. Check it out.
2005-05-18T01:20:25.940-05:00Like Juan Rincon, I was absent for a time but am now back. Thinking about the Rincon suspension, I got to thinking if it actually cost the Twins any games. Sure it wore on the other guys' arms and could possibly cost us later indirectly, but to find out if Rincon's absence cost us any wins I thought a recap of the games he missed would give a good idea of how much the suspension hurt the Twins in the W-L column.Of the nine games he missed, here are the games where Rincon could not have made a difference. Game 1: Cleveland 4, Minnesota 2 With only runs scored by the Indians coming with 2 in both the first and second innings, the Rincon factor was zero. Game 3: Cleveland 0, Minnesota 9 Radke went a complete game. They could have had me in the pen and won this one. Game 4: Minnesota 7, Tampa 1 Santana did his best Radke impersonation, going for a complete game. Game 5: Minnesota 8, Tampa 1 Lohse only went for five innings forcing us to use Baker, Crain, Romero, and Nathan. Each did a modest amount of pitching at best. Game 6: Minnesota 9, Tampa 6 Mays threw a good game until the seventh inning when he gave up five runs. Mulholland came in for some work, followed by the right-handed duo of Crain and Nathan who worked for a second straight day. Game 7: Minnesota 0, Baltimore 3 We couldn't score a run and the only person out of the bullpen was Matt Guerrier, who didnt give up only a hit in his inning of work. Game 8: Minnesota 6, Baltimore 4 This one went into extra innings. I remember thinking that this might be the time for the Rincon void to be felt. I was wrong. Romero, Crain, and Nathan gave us enough to win in the 10th inning. Crain threw 21 pitches, the most of the three. That makes seven games where we got away without having Rincon. That leaves two games to analyze. Game 2: Cleveland 5, Minnesota 4In the ninth inning, switch-hitting catcher Jason Bard stepped up to the plate and hit a game winning homer off of soutpaw JC Romero. Rincon threw only 17 pitches that inning and Bard was only the second hitter he faced. What is interesting is that Bard has hit better against lefties in his career. The same goes for the next two hitters. Belliard and Crisp are better hitters against lefties. It is possible that Romero could have been pulled after facing one batter. While this is an interesting thought, there are three things that seem to outweigh the possibility that Romero would have been pulled before that homer was given up. First, Romero is effective against righties for a left. Second, Crain could have been brought in if we wanted a righty to pitch. Thirdly, Bard, Belliard, and Crisp are anything but threats to go yard. This is especially true for Bard. While the Rincon void might have hurt us, I tend to think that it did not. Game 9: Minnesota 4, Baltimore 7 Johan Santana vs. Sidney Ponson looked like a gimme but somehow we lost. We were tied in the bottom of the eighth inning until we managed to give up three runs. Guerrier gave up two and Romero gave up one. You may look at that and see that the wear on the bullpen finally came to a head but that is not necessarily true. Only one run was earned. A pair of errors by Terry Tiffee gave the Orioles a couple of runs. With that said, one run was earned and it only took one run to beat us that game. Matt Guerrier wouldn't usually come into a game that was tied in the eighth inning normally. That would be Rincon time. He would have probably been used a couple of inn[...]
2005-05-10T12:41:05.600-05:00Ladies and gentleman, we have seen the future of hitting and his name is Joe. Joe Mauer to be precise. He is the other piece of the two headed monster that will be destroying AL pitching for the next decade or so. The other half of course, is Justin Morneau. Mark my words, Justin Morneau will very soon be a top 20 hitter in the league. But Mauer, Mauer will be a superstar.
2005-05-08T23:45:28.096-05:00123456789 R H E MIN (19-11) 002004201 9 11 0 Final TAM (11-21) 000010500 6 9 0 W: J. Mays (2-1) L: D. Waechter (1-2) S: J. Nathan (9) Sunday night just keeps on rolling. So do the Twins. The Twins completed the sweep of the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays today, a franchise with a lot of young talent who could be great in the future.... just not great yet. With guys like Upton and Kazmir I cannot help but think that they will be a pretty strong team in the future.It just isn't very good right now.The Twins are very good right now. Morneau was 4-4 today with a walk, triple, double, and single. Mauer had a homer, so together they hit for the cycle. Mauer's homer was pretty sweet because it silenced a heckler behind home plate. As Joe crossed home plate, the Tampa heckler bowed to Mauer in respect. The real story of the series was Justin Morneau, who has become our best offensive player.In Morneau's last 5 games played he has 4 homers while going 9 for 18 at the plate. It is amazing to think that he is only 23 years old. He probably wont hit his prime for another five years.The White Sux meanwhile, are winners of their last eight games so we have not gained ground during our recent four game winning streak. But there are good signs that Chicago's pitching is slowing down. Garland came down to Earth this week but was saved by their offense finally picking it up. Hernandez and Contreras will wilt in the summer heat and the Twins will take first place and not look back. To be honest, we should be in first by the end of May.One last thing I need to make clear. Ron Gardenhire makes many many moves that irritate me, but I let it go. Hell, I am pretty happy when I see LeCroy come up to the plate against a lefty with the bases loaded. There is this one move that will have me becoming a rabid anti-Gardy Twins fan: Benching Morneau. Seriously it needs to stop. Hopefully he learned his lesson after he benched him (after two games with HRs before that) only to have Morneau come off the bench and hit yet another bleacher shot. There is no reason to put your best hitter next to Mike Redmond at the end of the bench unless he is injured. No excuse for it Gardy. I see this crap again and I may start an Al Newman for Manager campaign.As a reminder for myself: I will probably write something on Liriano in the coming days, so look for that.[...]
2005-05-05T13:16:22.603-05:00"I'm not a guy who takes supplements," he said. "I used to take fat burners. I'm not a guy who, every week, is looking to see what's going and what's new. I don't even take shakes.