It’s Funny, Isn’t It?

6 Aug

This post can also be found at www.SethSpeaks.net:

It’s always funny to me that people are so surprised and disappointed when the Twins completely lay an egg, especially when they do so on the road. It’s funny when casual fans overlook the fact that even the bad teams (like the Mariners) have some good players and can beat anyone on any given night. It’s funny that people think that Francisco Liriano will be the absolute savior, and he will be a great help, but he can only pitch one out of every five games. It’s funny that some may start asking how Livan Hernandez would do in these games, and the reality is that he was horrible on the road this year. It’s funny that people will point to the pitchers being so young, and although there may be some truth to it and these guys will have to learn how to pitch well on the road too, veteran pitchers are not immune to bad games either in a pennant race. It’s funny that a couple of losses to a really bad team will make so many people forget about how good the team was overall throughout the first 111 games. It’s funny how you will start hearing people asking if this is the Twins big collapse. It’s funny, isn’t it?

 

It’s funny how during West Coast games you try to write what you can during the game so that you can get to sleep as soon as you can after the game. It’s funny how once you write something one way, the odds of having to re-write everything significantly increases. It’s funny how we all thought that Mike Lamb would be the first veteran to be Designated for Assignment, and he played hero in the top of the 8th inning with a big two run, pinch hit double to give the Twins a 7-6 lead after it appeared that the Mariners had the game in hand?

 

It’s funny how we all want Joe Nathan to come into games in the 8th inning when necessary, and when he finally does, he doesn’t get the job done meaning that the Mariners are now ahead 8-7 going into the 9th inning. It’s funny that that means that the things written previously were actually still somewhat accurate and yet the more recent, yet still previously written, information becomes unfortunately not as optimistic as it was when it was written. It’s funny how this again illustrates perfectly ESPN.com’s Jim Caple’s great article calling the closer role the most overrated in all of sports.

 

It’s funny that within about a minute of the Mariners retaking the lead from the Twins, we found out that Nick Swisher had hit a three run walk-off homer against Joel Zumaya in the bottom of the 12th innings to give the White Sox a win and a lead in the AL Central.

 

Baseball… it’s a funny game sometimes. It’s funny how as much as I used to hate the Tom Kelly “One Game at a Time slogan/cliche”, it proves itself more and more truthful every day. Going into this series, the Twins should have set a goal of winning all three games. But when they lost the first game, that goal should be to win 2 out of 3. And, with this loss, the only goal should be to win the game this afternoon when Nick Blackburn takes on Jarrod Washburn.

 

Oh, and one more… It’s funny how annoying the sound of a train can be when listening to a Twins game!   

 

TWINS 7, MARINERS 8

  • It all started with Scott Baker in this one. He just didn’t really seem to have much. The fastball wasn’t moving and he really wasn’t hitting spots with it. Way too many good pitches and you just can’t get away with that against any team. Six runs on nine hits and two walks in just 5.1 innings for Bake in this one.
  • Weird, a 15 year major league veteran can hit a first pitch fastball right down the middle of the plate a long ways for three run homers…
  • Raul Ibanez … Twins killer! 11 RBI in the first two games of this series! He also had three RBI in the game on Sunday.
  • I’ve touted Joe Mauer as arguably the best defensive catcher in the league and in previous years said he should have won Gold Glove awards. But have you noticed that there are a lot of balls that get by him and are called Wild Pitches, but he tries to stab at the ball, rather than getting down to block it. I know it isn’t the case, but it really comes across as a little lazy. Maybe I’m just seeing things.
  • Nice to have Jason Kubel back in the lineup knowing that his six month old son is healthy. Nice to see him unload on a fastball from RA Dickey. Really nice to see him unload on a fastball from a left-hander as well. Two home run games are always impressive! Adding a single and a huge 9th inning double makes it even better.
  • Dickey pitched pretty well. Three runs in seven innings if very good. When I heard that the Twins signed him in December, I heard that he now had a hard knuckleball. That is something that there really hasn’t been before, and I admit being very intrigued. I think I was one of very few who was a little disappointed when the Twins lost him in the Rule V draft. That’s not to say I have lost any sleep because of it, but I was intrigued. Likewise, I was intrigued to see him pitch last night. His knuckleball was generally hitting about 72-75 mph on the radar gun which is about 10-15 mph faster than most knuckleballs you will see. What is equally impressive is that his fastball sat between 85 and 88 mph. Now that is an impressive gap.
  • Imagine the shock when Ron Gardenhire actually went to Joe Nathan with nobody out in the eighth inning. The eighth, not the ninth, inning! Part of me wants to be disappointed by Guerrier of late, but because he has been used so much, too much, and his track record the last few years, it is understandable (and still disappointing).

 

Twins Minor League Updates

Tuesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Dustin Martin, New Britain Rockcats
Tuesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Henry Reyes,
Beloit Snappers

 

ROCHESTER REPORT
Tuesday – Rochester, Lehigh Valley – Game Postponed by Rain.

 

NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday – New Britain 7, New Hampshire 6Dustin Martin had yet another great game in what really has quietly been a very good season. In this game, he was 4-6 with his 26th double and three RBI, the most important of which was a game-winning single in the bottom of the 9th. Matt Moses went 2-3 with two walks. Brian Dinkelman went 2-5 with a walk and his sixth double. Danny Valencia was 2-5 with his 13th double. Felix Molina was 2-4 with a walk and his 17th double. David Winfree was 2-3 with a walk. Brock Peterson was 1-2 with two walks. Jeff Manship started and in six innings he gave up four runs on ten hits. He walked none and struck out two. Zach Ward gave up a run in his inning. Rob Delaney blew a save and then got the win. He gave up a run on two hits, but he didn’t walk a batter and struck out four in the final two innings.

 

FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday
– Miracle 1, Tampa 7 (8 innings) – The season-long control struggles of Oswaldo Sosa continued. In this game he gave up six runs (5 earned) on five hits and three walks in just 2.2 innings. Matt Williams provided a much needed boost by giving them 4.1 innings of one-run ball. He struck out four. Danny Santiesteban was again brought in to pitch. He walked the two batters he faced before lightning ended the game prematurely. Santiesteban entered the game a couple innings earlier as a pinch hitter. He had a walk and his 5th home run. Brandon Roberts went 2-4. Garrett Olson was 2-3.

 

BELOIT BITS
Tuesday – Beloit 5, Kane County 1 Henry Reyes had his best start of the season. In six innings, he gave up a run on four hits and a walk. He struck out four. Blake Martin got the next five outs, four of them on strikeouts, without giving up a run. Santos Arias recorded his first save and struck out two in 1.1 innings. Allen de San Miguel went 2-4. Ramon Santana had a walk and his sixth home run. Ben Revere was back in the lineup and went 0-5, dropping his average to .392. Paul Kelly went 0-4, to drop his average to .400 (in limited at bats).

 

ELIZABETHTON EXTRAS
Tuesday – E-Twins 10, Bristol 7 It was a big power game for a couple of E-Town sluggers in this game. Two batters combined for nine of the team’s RBI. Evan Bigley went 2-4 with two home runs, his 10th and 11th, and four RBI. Jon Waltenbury went 2-5 with his seventh and eighth homers and five RBI. Michael Harrington went 3-4 with his 11th double. Dominic de La Osa went 2-3 with two walks. Adan Severino went 2-4 with his fifth double. Curtis Leavitt made the start in this one. He gave up six runs on five hits and four walks in just 4.1 innings. He struck out three. Tom Wright came in and gave up a run on five hits in 2.2 innings. Mark Hamburger came in and threw two scoreless innings for his eighth save. 

 

GCL TWINS TALK
Tuesday – GCL Twins 6, GCL Reds 2 Andres Diaz went 3-4 with his sixth homer and third home run to lead the GCL Twins to a win. Jae-Hyung Jang went 3-4 with his second double. Jonathan Goncalves went 2-3 with his sixth stolen base. Michael Gonzalez hit his third home run. Miguel Munoz started and gave up two runs on six hits and three walks in four innings. He struck out five. Michael Tonkin threw a perfect inning. Michael Mopas then struck out four in two perfect innings to improve to 2-1. Khol Nanney then gave up three hits but no runs in hits two innings to record his second save.

   

Have a great day!

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4 Responses to “It’s Funny, Isn’t It?”

  1. mike wants wins August 6, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    That was disappointing. I’ve been one of the loudest yelling for managers to put their best pitchers in during high leverage situations, ESPN posts a great article backing me up, and BAM! My opinion remains unwavering on this topic, the best reliever should come in during the most important moment (once your starter is out), not be saved for a stat.

    Oh well. Two losses don’t end the season any more than two wins make the season, but, losing two games to the worst team in baseball, two games they had won, that’s gotta hurt them in the standings.

    I hope they can make it to the september call ups, when they should have a few more relief pitchrs available.

  2. Funkytown August 6, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Guerrier is wearing out in less innings. Already has allowed more walks and runs in 29 less innings than last year. His ERA is nearly 2 runs higher.

  3. Brad August 6, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    I’ve noticed that about Mauer too. It seems no matter where he goes he can do no wrong and is adored. I don’t quite understand it.

  4. Leslie August 6, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    One thing I like about you is that you have great perspective on things, Seth. I could never be like that so it’s a pleasure to hear that type of perspective. You should add how it’s funny that Adrian Beltre almost homered today in the ninth inning just to see Span catch it to save the Twins in this game this afternoon. This helped the Twins’ win.

    As for last night’s debacle, the Twins got themselves a problem. The bullpen has become a concern. There is no question about it. Outside of Joe Nathan, who do you trust? Guerrier and Crain have been shaky, and now the workload is effecting them. The loss of Neshek is clearly starting to show. Bass, Breslow and Boof are not the answer, and quite frankly, they need to go away. Reyes is good for two batters at best. So just who do you trust?

    How bad is the pen when the Twins were actually interested in Latroy Hawkins?

    Right now, the Twins need to be creative. Here’s what they should do. Send Bass down and release Boof. Insert Duensing and Humber, and see what they can do. They can’t be worse, right?

    The Twins got three issues to worry about. They go on a long road trip at the end of August, and you know how bad they are. The starters have been shaky lately, and you have to be concerned if they are equipped enough to go deep in games as we head to the final stretch. Now, the bullpen is simply unreliable. Add those three factors, and you got an epic fail.

    I don’t see this team being a playoff team. I think they have really overachieved when you look at the issues they got, but then again it’s funny to predict what will happen when I or anyone don’t really know until they play the games.

    Great entry, Seth.

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