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By the time you’ll read this, I’ll be on a Twins Train bus, so you are all going to have to carry the conversation today! We even have some multiple choice questions for you to debate.
It is fair to say that the Minnesota Twins are:
a.) A bad baseball team.
b.) A not-so-good baseball team playing better than they should?
c.) A mediocre team that isn’t playing very good?
d.) A decent team that is not playing up to expectations?
e.) A very good team that is arguably the most disappointing team in baseball?
At 1:30 a.m., I will be boarding the Twins Train bound for Detroit. I’m certain that it will be a fun trip regardless of how the Twins play. But, I’m hoping for the best. On Friday night, we will get to watch Francisco Liriano against Justin Verlander. Unfortunately, such a good pitching matchup will be followed by Nick Blackburn versus Jeremy Bonderman. We are leaving the Twin Cities about 1:30 a.m., and getting to Detroit around 3:00 on Friday afternoon. We’ll watch two baseball games, spend a couple of nights in Motown and head back on a long trip on Sunday, returning Sunday night. I am seriously excited about getting to participate in this Twins Train trip, and I would encourage others, if you are able, to sign up for one of the two remaining Twins Train trips, both in August.
Another multiple choice question for you today:
Regarding Cliff Lee, I think:
a.) The Twins should give up whatever it takes to get him. He will turn this team around.
b.) The Twins should be willing to give up Wilson Ramos and another decent prospect, but not too much.
c.) The Twins shouldn’t give up too much because even if they do, at least 40% of the rotation will still be bad.
d.) Roy Oswalt is better anyway.
The Twins will likely have to part with at least two good prospects to acquire a pitcher like Cliff Lee. Here are the reports from Thursday’s games:
In an afternoon affair, the New Britain Rockcats were shellacked by Reading, 13-2. Deolis Guerra started and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on seven hits in 4.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four. Tony Davis came in and gave up one run in the next 2.1 innings. Billy Bullock pitched a perfect inning, striking out two. Then Matt Williams came in for the ninth inning and gave up five runs, but just one was earned. Alexander Soto, Mark Dolenc and Chris Parmelee each went 2-4 in the game. Soto hit his first home run.
Daniel Santana led off the top of the 10th with a double. He scored when Lance Ray tripled him in. A throwing error allowed Ray to score, giving the E-Twins a 5-3 lead. It was a big day for Lance Ray. The first baseman went 4-4 with a walk, his fifth double and his first triple. Jamaal Hawkins went 2-4 with his third double and first home run. Jhonatan Arias hit his second home run. Blayne Weller started and gave up three runs on six hits in six innings. As we would expect, he walked none and struck out six. Sam Spangler then threw three shutout innings. Nelvin Fuentes came in for the bottom of the 10th, and despite a hit and a walk, he threw a scoreless inning and notched his second save.
Another multiple choice question: Which prospect has risen the most in your mind during the 2010 season?
a.) Joe Benson
b.) Deolis Guerra
c.) Liam Hendriks
d.) Kyle Waldrop
Down in Southwest Florida, Miguel Sano hit his first GCL home run in his first at bat on this day. He also committed his first fielding error, but let’s stay positive. OK, in a 7-1 loss to the GCL Orioles, that may have been the lone positive. The team had just three hits on the game. Alexi Casilla was 0-3 with an error. Tyler Herr started and gave up six runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter. David Deminsky came in and gave up just one run over the next four innings. He struck out five. Matt Trau pitched a scoreless, one-hit inning.
It was a good night for a couple of 2004 Twins first-round picks in Rochester. The Red Wings beat Pawtucket 9-2 behind the arm of Glen Perkins and the bat of Trevor Plouffe. Perkins won for the third time this year. The lefty gave up one run on nine hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out six. Kyle Waldrop gave up a run in 1.2 innings before Jose Lugo pitched 1.1 scoreless innings. Plouffe went 3-5 with his 15th double, 10th and 11th home runs and five RBI. Jose Morales went 2-5 with his 13th doubles and first home run. Jacque Jones went 2-5. Dustin Martin walked four times in the game.
a.) Should have stayed in Cleveland and been “loyal.”
b.) Along with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, should be admired. So many say the NBA is about the money, not winning. These three each took less money than they could have received for an opportunity to win.
c.) Is selfish for accepting an opportunity from ESPN and choosing to give all of the money to charity.
d.) Should have shocked the world and signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After finishing an 8-2 loss in a completed game against St. Lucie, the Ft. Myers Miracle won Game 2 by a score of … The offense was led by Brian Dozier who went 2-3 with two walks and his sixth double. He is now hitting .315. Angel Morales went 2-4 with a walk. Evan Bigley and Deibinson Romero each 2-5. Dan Rohlfing was 0-2 but walked three times. Bobby Lanigan pitched well in the start. He gave up one run on four hits in six innings. Shooter Hunt went the next 1.1 innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits and three walks. He struck out four. Blake Martin came in and got out of the 8th inning. With a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Martin walked the first two batters. Michael Allen came in and immediately gave up a triple to cut the lead to 6-5. One batter later, he gave up a game-tying double. He got a strikeout for the second out, but after a wild pitch, he gave up an RBI single and the Miracle lost 7-6.
Michael Tonkin had a rough start, and things didn’t get better for the Snappers pitchers. Tonkin gave up six runs (5 earned) on nine hits in three innings. Chris Armstrong gave up four runs (2 earned) on three hits in two innings. Peter Kennelly gave up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. He was replaced by Matt Tone who got the final five outs without allowing another run. Anderson Hidalgo and Wang-Wei Lin each went 2-4 with a double. Yorby Martinez added a double, while James Beresford hit his fourth triple. When the game was completed, the Snappers lost 13-5.
Final multiple choice question:
The Twins will finish the season:
a.) In fourth place… hey, the Royals are the best team in the AL Central these days.
b.) In third place… this is what they are.
c.) In second place… the White Sox will just stay hot the rest of the way.
d.) In second place… the Tigers are just too tough.
e.) In first place… are you kidding? The Twins always have their midseason duldrums and will come on strong in the second half.
What do you think? Please feel free to comment on anything you’ve read today, the multiple choice questions, the Twins Train, the TwinsCentric Trade Deadline Primer (which is over 175 pages of incredible content and will be available on Monday!) or anything else.