As Bad As It Gets…

5 Aug

This is also posted at SethSpeaks.net:

Ah, West Coast games… you have to hate them! Seriously, 9:00 start times?! That’s just not right. So anyway, the minor league games are done, and the Twins and M’s are in the fifth inning, so I’m going to try to find a few Did You Knows or other bullet point notes while waiting for the game to finish. (Update – I should have just gone to bed! UGGH!)

  • First things first, Jason Kubel was removed from the lineup not long before game time with Mike Lamb taking over the 5th spot in the lineup and DHing. Soon after, it was reported that Kubel was removed because of some ‘family emergency.’ I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that I hope it isn’t anything too serious and is able to be taken care of. Best wishes to the Kubel family. I know we’ve all experienced enough “Game in Perspective” moments.

  • It’s been forever, so I thought that I would check the game logs… Did you know that Carlos Gomez’s last Stolen Base came on June 30th? He had two steals on Opening Night, which was in March. He had nine steals in April, six in May, four in June and then none in July and August. The strangest thing is that he has only attempted two stolen bases. Any theories?

  • Will Ichiro Suzuki be enshrined in Cooperstown someday? He will not get 3,000 hits, and he’s really only a singles hitter and a tremendous outfielder. However, I also think it is important to factor in the reason that he won’t get 3,000 hits in the Major Leagues. Because he was playing in Japan for a long time. He does have over 3,000 total hits. He’s just a great hitter and in my mind, he should be a first ballot Hall of Famer when his playing days are complete.

  • Jose Mijares was promoted to New Britain yesterday. He has been terrific and is certainly one of the positive stories of the Twins minor league system in 2008.

  • Here is a very good article from the Omaha World Herald on Brian Duensing heading to the Olympics.

  • If you’re looking for a good Mariners blog, check out USS Mariner.

  • I have reports from people in Rochester that the reports of Francisco Liriano hitting 99 mph on the radar gun there were not exaggerated. The reading at the stadium posted 99 on one pitch in July, and a second radar gun at the game also showed 99 mph. Throughout that game and a couple of other July starts, he was hitting 94, 95 and even 96 mph a couple dozen times. In other words, one perspective is to say that there were exaggerated numbers coming from Rochester. I guess I’ll side more with those who attend the games. On Sunday, he was sitting between 89 and 92 with most of his fastballs. Does that mean that’s all he’s got now, or is it possible that he is now experiencing a dead-arm period and there is much more in his tank? Sunday’s performance was pretty good. Throwing what he threw that day, with better control, he could be very successful. If he is in fact experiencing a dead-arm period and could add even two or three mph to his fastball, and he could be incredible very quickly again.

  • For those that hadn’t heard, the Twins will face R.A. Dickey tonight. The Twins actually signed Dickey to a minor league contract in December. Less than a week later, the Twins lost him in the Rule V draft to the Mariners. The M’s chose to send him down to the minors so they had to offer him back to the Twins. The Twins instead acquired Jair Fernandez, a catcher at Beloit, for the hard-throwing knuckleballer. The 33 year old is 3-6 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 81.1 innings for the M’s. He didn’t play in the big leagues in 2007. In 2006, he threw 3.1 big league innings and gave up six home runs. It’s funny that there are people out there who think that the Twins messed up by not keeping him.     

 

TWINS 6, MARINERS 11

  • Many of you, and I was really thinking about it, probably went to bed when things were looking so good. The Twins had a 6-0 lead going into the sixth, and a 6-1 lead going into the 7th. Then the ten run 7th inning made in 11-6. Gardy was shown fuming in the dugout after that inning, but he can really only blame himself.
  • The pitch count is used so much to limit how many pitches a starter will throw. If a starter ends an inning near 100 pitches, odds are that he will not come out for the next inning. Too often, the pitch count is used rather than noticing how well the pitcher is throwing or how much stress each pitch has been thrown with. In other words, a guy can throw 120-130 pitches if he isn’t struggling or getting into jams each inning. I think we saw the opposite in this game with the Twins. Although Glen Perkins got through six innings with just 71 pitches thrown, I believe it was time to get him out of there. First, in the sixth inning, he allowed three straight singles to start the inning. He gave up a run on a double play and then got the third out, so he got out of the inning having allowed just one run. He had not thrown a lot of pitches, but clearly the Mariners were figuring him out. Perkins was throwing nothing but strikes. In fact, when his game was over, he had thrown 71 pitches, and 55 of them were strikes. In the last couple of innings, the pitches were getting up in the zone. Nothing good can come from that. The right move would have been to take Perkins out after the sixth inning having made a couple of good pitches and leaving with a 6-1 lead. Instead, the 7th inning was a repeat of the 6th, only this time with the bases loaded, Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam. Gardy threw his gum in the dugout before making the pitching change, but he should really only be upset at himself.
  • Then Brian Bass came in and gave up a rocket shot double to Adrian Beltre and a bloop single to Jose Lopez to tie the game. He let go of his pitches and had no clue where the ball was going. That was pretty easy to see. That’s been the case the last couple of months. Bass is not a big league pitcher. As much as I don’t think that Bobby Korecky has a long-term big league future and will himself be quite hittable, I’d take my chances with him over Bass at this stage, to pitch those 6th and 7th innings. But again, back to the game at hand. If Gardy has Bass start the seventh inning, with a 6-1 lead, I have no problem with that. It isn’t high leverage and he probably does just fine.
  • Craig Breslow came in and didn’t help much. He had to be replaced by Matt Guerrier who gave up the go-ahead run on the first pitch to Jeff Clement. Later Ibanez drove in two more runs with a single. Carlos Gomez threw the ball past third base, but fortunately Guerrier was backing up the play and threw the next runner out trying to score yet another run.
  • This would be a great example of the report that Twins pitchers like to get ahead with strike one really hurts them. Of course, every team wants to get ahead with strike one, but the Twins pitchers seem to do that with fastballs or cookies right down the middle. That can work for awhile, but at some point, it catches up. Clearly, the Mariners scouting report was to go up there swinging.
  • And don’t think I’m just blaming Gardy. The players left a lot of runners on base. It really felt like the Twins got a big lead and they just stopped. That’s not unnatural, but if this team thinks it is good, something like this should never happen.
  • And yet, taking it back another step, stuff like this happens to good teams and to bad teams. Again, this is one game, and the challenge to all Twins fans is to remember that and see what happens tomorrow. The hope is simply that this horrific display is not the game that causes the Twins to plummet.
  • By the way… what would the Yankees have wanted for LaTroy Hawkins?? He would slot in behind Joe Nathan, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain very nicely.
  • It’s also important to remember that the Mariners team, for as bad as they are this year, will still win 60 games (probably). They have Ichiro, Ibanez, Beltre and other players who have experienced success in their careers, so it’s not like they are not capable of doing this. And once the flood gates open, it really doesn’t matter who is batting.
  • Sleep well, and they’ll play again tomorrow!   

 

Twins Minor League Updates

Monday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Angel Morales, Elizabethton Twins
Monday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Anthony Swarzak, Rochester Red Wings

 

ROCHESTER REPORT
Monday – Rochester 4, Lehigh Valley 3 – Maybe reports on Anthony Swarzak were true. Maybe he was just so bored with the competition at AA that he was pitching really badly. Maybe all he needed was to be rewarded with a promotion to AAA to be adequately motivated. If so, it appears to be working so far. In his second AAA start, he improved to 2-0 with seven solid innings. He gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk. Both runs came on solo homers. He struck out five. Bobby Korecky pitched a scoreless eighth before allowing a run in the 9th. Ricky Barrett got the final two outs to record his second save. The offense was again led by Jason Pridie. He went 3-4 with a walk and his 21st double. Sergio Santos, Trevor Plouffe and Luke Hughes each went 2-4. Hughes hit his second double. Howie Clark went 2-5 with his 15th double.

 

NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Monday – New Britain 4, New Hampshire 12Yohan Pino simply has not been the same pitcher this season. He missed time at the beginning of the spring with an ankle injury and then missed a month earlier in the year with an arm issue. In this game, he went just 3.1 innings and gave up five runs. He struck out four, but he very uncharacteristically walked six. Armando Gabino came in and gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. Then Frank Mata came in and gave up four runs over the final two innings on three hits and four more walks. Erik Lis went 3-3 with a walk. David Winfree knocked a three run homer, his 14th of the year.

 

FT MYERS MEMOS
Monday
– Miracle 3, Sarasota 2Brandon Roberts scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the 8th inning, and he drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. He went 3-4 with a walk in the game. Wilson Ramos went 2-4 with his 12th homer. Yancarlos Ortiz went 2-3. Edward Ovalle and Juan Portes each went 2-4. Deolis Guerra started and went the first five innings. He gave up one run on six hits. He struck out just one and walked six. Carlos Gutierrez came in and gave up a run on two hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. Blair Erickson walked two and struck out one in 1.1 innings. Jose Lugo got the win by recording the final out of the top of the 9th.

 

BELOIT BITS
Monday – Beloit No Game Scheduled.

 

ELIZABETHTON EXTRAS
Monday – E-Twins 5, Kingsport 6 (12 innings) Angel Morales hit a game tying three run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning. It was his second homer of the game and gave up five RBI in the game. He was 3-5. Michael Harrington went 3-5 with his tenth double. Evan Bigley went 2-5 with a walk. Dan Osterbrook went the first six innings. He gave up three runs (1 earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Lee Martin then gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and a walk in three innings. Steve Blevins went the final 2.1 innings and gave up a run on three hits.

 

GCL TWINS TALK
Monday – GCL Twins 3, GCL Orioles 5 Edgar Ibarra started and gave up two runs on four hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Bruce Pugh went the next 2.1 innings. He allowed three hits and walked one but didn’t allow a run. Mauro Schiavoni gave up three runs (2 earned) on a hit and a walk in 1.2 innings. Hyeong-rok Choi went 3-5. Hyun-wook Choi was 2-4. Tyler Ladendorf went 2-5. Andres Diaz went 1-3 with two walks. 

   

Have a great Tuesday!

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9 Responses to “As Bad As It Gets…”

  1. Mark August 5, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Very good comments. even though you feel Bobby Korecky will never make the majors. But he could be a short term solution to help our bull pen out.I hope the Twins do call him up in sept. after seeing what our bullpen as done this season, bobby has to be considered an improvement for now…..Mark

  2. Seth August 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    Korecky will definitely be up in September, and yes, he would be an improvement over Bass thus, helping in the short term as well. The scary part, for me, is that he’s the best option and he is so hittable too. He could very easily have games similar to what Bass did last night from time to time. The problem with Bass is that they have been happening very consistently. (Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a move wasn’t made today.)

  3. Funkytown August 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Kubel’s 6 month old son had some sort of reaction, according to LEN.

    That was an ugly loss. Bass needs to go. Give up someone in a trade. Korecky, as you noted, is far too hittable.

  4. Funkytown August 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Yanks got the Astros’ #29 rated prospect for Hawkins. I’d like to think the Twins could have for little or nothing as well.

  5. mike wants wins August 5, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    What the bleep are the Astros doing? Sorry.

    Gardy blew that game (well, it’s really on the players, but Gardy should have taken Perkins out earlier).

    I don’t expect the Twins to be this brave, but at some point a manager/team is going to figure out that saving your best reliever for a stat, er save, at the end of the game is silly. You should use your best reliever in the highest leverage situation, like, say, when your starter is melting down and the other team has the bases loaded….

    Heh, I ask for a Gutierez update and he has a mediocre outing…If Swarzak was bored and not concentrating, I hope they include him in a deal in the offseason to get some help….

    I thought I saw that Deunsing is going to try to blog from china. I think it was on the Rochester guy’s blog. You may want to check it out.

  6. SoCalTwinsfan August 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    The Mariners know nothing of scouting reports. They are just all free swingers for the most part and the Twins pitched right into their hands. I agree about Perkins being left in too long (of course, hindsight is 20/20). The sad part is that if the Twins only led 4-1, he most likely would have been pulled after six and Crain would have pitched the 7th and the Twins most likely would have won pretty easily. Also, if Perkins wasn’t left-handed, Breslow would have been the first one up and would have most likely faced Ibanez.

    Bass was as unlucky as he was bad last night, but we don’t need two mop-up relievers now that Livan is gone and Bass has not had any success when brought into higher leverage situations. Bringing up Korecky should help some. I also wish the Twins would have pushed Anthony Slama through the system a little harder. He might have been ready to help if he was already in AAA.

    In the end, the Twins’ bullpen needs to get it done on the road. These big innings have happened far too often this year. The sad part was it took throwing out a runner at home plate to end that inning last night.

  7. minitb August 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    I sure wish the Twins would get Lis some at bats in Rochester. He just keeps hitting and hitting in New Britain, but he’s also not young for his league. Of course, there really isn’t much of a spot for him on the big league roster, so I guess he’s intriguing organizational filler at best right now.

  8. toby August 5, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

    I agree and then some re: Gardenhire’s responsibility for last night. Perkins had been hittable all night and wasn’t striking anybody out — it was clear to me listening/gamedaying that he didn’t have close to his best stuff. If you can get six innings out of a guy throwing the way he’d been throwing that’s great. That said, given the pitch count I, too, would’ve put him out there to start the 7th. BUT when Anderson came out instead of Gardenhire after the Ichiro walk I said, out loud, to my radio-buddy Gordo, “No no no no no [I think it was five no's... that sounds about right trying it out just now] just take him out now.” And after the single with Ibanez coming up I literally yelled, “COME ON! Do NOT let him pitch to Ibanez!!!” Then I had a bite of delicious whole wheat pasta which got temporarily less delicious about 10 seconds later. Normally I’m biased the other way — just because it’s the 7th or 8th and a starter gives up a couple hits I don’t think he’s “done”, but it was just so clear Perkins didn’t have it working and had been lucky to this point I couldn’t believe he was left in there. There was just no excuse for Brian Bass after the grandslam, period. Then again, there has never been an excuse for Brian Bass pitching major league baseball, period.

    BTW, a question for those who watched the game: was the single in the hole gettable for a non-Brendan Harris shortstop or was it through regardless?

    There’s something way wrong with Deolis Guerra. SIX BBs? As I said in my comments re: your previous post, he pulled a Livan big time giving up 1 run of 12 WH in 5 IP.

    As I also said: free Jason Pridie and jail Carlos Gomez. One of these guys is as major league ready as he’ll be and laying waste to AAA pitching. One is far from it. Gomez should’ve been tradebait for Bay or LaRoche. Now THAT would’ve been value for Santana.

    My pitcher of the day was Daniel Osterbrock. He just continues to post great K/BB numbers and if not for Shooter more people’d be talking about him. I can’t wait to see him in Beloit next year.

    Also: Ricky Barrett. Stat.

  9. Leslie August 5, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    I have to question Gardenhire’s decisions.

    Gardenhire screwed up three times in this game.

    Mistake #1: Using Glen Perkins for too long

    Perkins labored in the sixth inning. He was fortunate enough to get the last out. Why did he go in the seventh inning? So he had a 6-1 lead. Gardy wanted one more out of Perk. I was okay with the move as long as Gardy should have had a reliever warming up in that inning when Perkins was starting. He never did. The reliever warmed up when Perkins had two men with no out. When Raul Ibanez faced Perk, Perk was done.

    Perkins should have never been in this position in the first place. I ain’t blaming the loss on Perkins. When has Perkins ever went deep this season? I know he went deep against Texas few weeks ago, but that was it. Perkins is not ready to go deep in games. He is just not good enough, and he is not experienced. You don’t put him in that situation. Perkins should have been gone the minute the two men were on base, and the reliever should have warmed up. This is bad managing right there.

    Mistake #2: Brian Bass pitching

    You nailed it, pyro. I was baffled to see him pitching in a 6-5 game. Bass has stunk all season, and he is rarely used much. Gardy putting him in that game was simply stupid. In the seventh inning, you use Guerrier. I know Guerrier did not have a good night either, but he is never good when he is in to save a jam. He should have started the seventh inning not in the end.

    I get it that Gardenhire wants to see if Bass and Craig Breslow are the answers to a team that is struggling to relieve, but those two have proven that they are not reliable. Now, it’s not the time to experiment people anymore. You are in a tight pennant race. You don’t go “experiment” guys when you have a lead that you should keep.

    Mistake #3: Relying on Craig Breslow to save the day

    Are you kidding me? He hasn’t pitched forever, and Gardenhire expects him now to step up. What is wrong with that picture?

    The funniest part of all this was how Gardy threw his relievers under the bus. The manager needs to look at the mirror. He is the one that put his players in a position to fail. It’s on him not the relievers.

    Gardy mismanged this game last night

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