Archive for July, 2010

Recap: Twins @ Royals, Game 1

July 26, 2010

Yesterday, I started off my recap of the 10-4 win over the Orioles with this:

10 runs. 19 hits. The dreaded Punto-Butera-Repko-Casilla quartet combined to go 9 for 19 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run, and 3 RBI.

Well, how about tonight? 19 runs. 20 hits. Joe Mauer and Danny Valencia were perfect at the plate tonight. Zack Greinke looked like anything but a reigning Cy Young winner. Jim Thome was the only Twins starter to not record a hit, although he did still get on base with a walk. Here’s what the Twins combined to do during tonight’s game.

  • .455/.519/.841 (AVG/OBP/SLG)
  • 9 singles, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs
  • 6 walks
  • .625 batting average on balls in play
  • Cuddyer-Kubel-Thome combined to go only 2 for 13 (.153)
  • Mauer-Young-Valencia were 13 for 15 (.867) with 12 RBI

Oh, and just because we’re Minnesota nice, the Twins struck out 12 times.

Notepad Scribbles, 7/25/10

July 25, 2010

Recap: Twins at Orioles, Game 4

10 runs. 19 hits. The dreaded Punto-Butera-Repko-Casilla quartet combined to go 9 for 19 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run, and 3 RBI. I understand that some people are taking away some credit because this offensive outburst came against the Orioles and two so-so pitchers (Jake Arrieta and Mark Hendrickson), but I don’t care. 10 runs isn’t that common, and 19 hits is even less common. Regardless of the quality of the opponent, the Twins offense was very impressive today.

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Avoiding The Max Power Way

July 23, 2010

Today is the (highly?) anticipated 2010 debut of Brian Duensing as a starting pitcher. His success as a starter in 2009 and as a reliever in 2010 has many fans feeling rather confident in his ability to revive a struggling Twins rotation. I’ve already admitted that I was wrong in thinking that the Twins would give Nick Blackburn’s rotation spot to Jeff Manship, but I’m still a bit shocked that they pulled Blackburn from the rotation so fast and immediately gave it to Duensing despite not being stretched out very much.

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The Mauer Bunt

July 21, 2010

I’m sure this will be a hotly debated topic over the next 24 hours, and of course I have something to say. Here’s the scene. The Twins have just scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to tie the score at 3, and they have runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Up comes Joe Mauer and his near .300 batting average. The chance to take the lead is very high… and instead Mauer bunts the ball right in front of home plate. The end result became a sacrifice bunt, and Jason Kubel, who was up next, would ground out to 1st to end the inning.

As soon as Mauer was retired at first base, there was only one thought in my mind. I think Mauer was weighing two options in his head: bunt the runners over, or risk grounding into an inning-ending double play.

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Notepad Scribbles, 7/20/10

July 20, 2010

Now who’s wearing the Duens Cap?

Well, I sure look like an ass. Sort of.

Shortly after claiming that Brian Duensing would not be an option for the Twins rotation because he would need to be stretched out first, Ron Gardenhire allowed Duensing to pitch 4 innings in the 7-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Considering that only 5 of his 39 appearances have been 2 or more innings this year, I have to think that it’s pretty clear that Duensing will be joining the rotation within the next two weeks. Right now, my best guess would be that Duensing would replace Nick Blackburn, but there’s a possibility that it may be Kevin Slowey or even Scott Baker, if Baker’s elbow forces him to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

What makes this move a little easier, though, is how Blackburn is handling this season. He’s certainly frustrated, but from what I’ve read, he’s accepting responsibility for his poor year. It’s not uncommon for a starting pitcher with major league experience (and sometimes some sort of major league success) to don the prima donna cap and say that he deserves to stay on the major league roster, or perhaps even the rotation (see: Oliver Perez). The fact that Blackburn would be willing to go down to Triple-A to fix his problems is refreshing to see.

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The 2010 Trade Deadline Primer

July 16, 2010

Still hurt that the Mariners chose to trade Cliff Lee to the Rangers? Want to impress all the guys at the water cooler that are dead-set on Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt by telling them that Tom Gorzelanny will be the cheaper and much easier to acquire option?* Maybe you’re a free-thinker and would rather see the Twins improve their offense? Well then, the 2010 Trade Deadline Primer is perfect for you!

* Or in my case, boggle the minds of all my friends with suggesting players they’ve never even heard of. “Tom Gorze-who? Sorry Andrew, I’d much rather have Haren; at least I can say his name.”

Courtesy of our friends at TwinsCentric and other bloggers around the country, they put together a whopping 174 page e-book that covers not only the Twins, but every single team in MLB. The e-book costs $9.95 (that’s less than a high-quality baseball!), or you can download the “quarterbook” (literally about 1/4 of the full-size book) for free. The TwinsCentric Primer and quarterbook are available at the TwinsCentric website. Are you a fan of a different team? That’s perfectly fine, as you can also buy the Deadline Primer that focuses on your favorite team, which is available here.

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Rotation Options: In House Edition

July 13, 2010

If you haven’t heard, Nick Blackburn is struggling. Like, he’s been mind-numbingly bad. His troubles have been so bad that people have been calling for Brian Duensing to be flip-flopped with him. Even though Duensing has not been stretched out enough to pitch more than just a couple innings, Twins fans have been making rationales as to why this switch must be made. The best way to sum those up would be:

“Even if Duensing threw only three innings, those would be better than if Blackburn threw, period.”

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Jesse Crain Day: The Power of a Nickname

July 12, 2010

Today was my idea to celebrate Twins reliever Jesse Crain, for one simple reason. Although Nick Punto and Delmon Young (who have both had their own days) had fans split on whether to love or curse, I felt that Crain was the one guy that for his tenure with the team, was likely the most hated player. I’ve been seeing this for several years, and I felt that it was vastly unjustified. Sure, there were some times where he would give up a critical home run, but it never seemed to be with a greater frequency than any other Twins reliever. Nevertheless, the complaints continued.

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Today’s Article That Doesn’t Make A Lot Of Sense

July 11, 2010

I know that a while ago, I said that Jim Souhan – who is normally one of the Official Punching Bags of Off The Mark – actually wrote a good article that caused me to be in total agreement. I had said that I would write about the article, stating why it was so good. For all you people that love reading Souhan’s articles… this post is not about that article. Rather, it’s about one that Souhan just recently wrote, which was inadvertently pointed out to me by Eric Olson of Call To The ‘Pen. That’s fine, because while I never wrote for Fire Joe Morgan, I can certainly pretend that I have.

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I Should Have Done 5 More Pushups This Morning…

July 10, 2010

Ever since the month of May ended, the Twins have been going through a rather rough stretch. After holding a commanding lead of the AL Central, they have now fallen to *gasp* 3rd place, and yet they only have….oh man, HALF THE SEASON left to go? They’re never going to make it!

Along with the recent news that Cliff Lee is off to receive the Nolan Ryan treatment in Texas, Twins fans are rather frustrated right now. Well… the players are frustrated as well. Clearly they can’t be happy with losing all these games, but another issue has been the lack of home runs at Target Field. Apparently averaging one and a half home runs per game between you and your opponent isn’t enough for fans or the players. Everyone would much rather see video game-quantity home runs. Unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen. The Minnesota Twins are here to express their frustration with being unable to send baseballs to Souvenir City. Thus, here is their newest song, to Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero.”

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