Tweeting a Twins Loss

8 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

One questionable call. That’s all it takes when you’re playing against a great team. Of course, a team has to be able to take advantage of said questionable call. In Game 1, RF Greg Golson clearly caught a line drive that should have ended the game, but instead it was inexplicably called a single for Delmon Young. The Twins got one more chance, but Jim Thome popped up to end the game and the Twins lost. In Game 2, it was the Twins who were on the wrong end of a very untimely, questionable call. With two outs in the top of the 7th inning and a runner on 1B, Carl Pavano got two strikes on Lance Berkman. Then he threw a pitch the was, according to everything available, a strike in which the baseball was over most of the inside corner of the plate. Berkman took the pitch. Pavano walked off the mound toward the dugout. But Hunter Wendelstedt, the home plate umpire, called it a ball. Pavano handled it well and on the next pitch threw a sinker that dipped several inches below the bottom of the strikezone. Unfortunately, Berkman went down and got it. He drove a double to left centerfield to give the lead back to the Yankees. Manager Ron Gardenhire came out to “talk to his pitcher and his infielders” but it was clear what was going on. He waited for the umpire to come out and he gave him a piece of his mind. Eventually, he was thrown out of the game, and rightfully so. The Yankees added another run, and for all intents and purposes, the game was over. There was some question about what Andy Pettitte would do since he was hurt for about the last three months, but he was tremendous. He had great control and a very sharp cutter and slider. He made the Twins hitters look bad, and he got better as the game went along. Kerry Wood dominated the 8th frame, and then Mariano Rivera got another save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Throughout the game, I was on Twitter which was a terrific invention by whoever it was the invented that technology. Immediate thoughts on the game, stats, and much more. It really is something that baseball fans should be following for many reasons. The immediacy of Twitter can be equal parts amazing and frustrating. To be able to collect information so quickly is great. To have to hear some people’s opinions can be frustrating. Typically I’m pretty level-headed, but during the game tonight, even I got more than a little frustrated. And some of my “followers” called me on it… Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share with you a miniature transcript of my Twitter activity from throughout the game with more information than can fit into 140 characters, when appropriate.

Pregame Fun

PMac21 Craig Sager rocking olive colored pants and shoes today. Interesting. about 5 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by you

You have to love the interesting style choices of TBS’s Sager. Is he good at his job? Not really. But man, is it entertaining to find out what he is going to be wearing each time he’s on TV.

1st Inning

Maybe a sac bunt wouldn’t have been so bad there? :) about 3 hours ago via web

In Game 1, Orlando Hudson bunted Denard Span to 2B after Span led off with a single. In Game 2, Span was again on 1B after a hit. Hudson did not bunt. Instead he grounded into a double play.

Mauer’s 1st At Bat

Hey Joe (Mauer), it’s called a Curveball… it’s supposed to do that. about 3 hours ago via web

Joe Mauer has two soft singles so far in these two games. Against the tough lefty starters for the Yankees, Mauer has looked really, really bad. Sabathia struck him out twice in Game 1 on sliders, and in his first at bat of Game 2, Pettitte did the same thing.

Small Sample Size

@Larjones64 – It’s the beauty of the small sample size of the playoffs. can’t be in a 2-day slump or you will be bashed, I guess. #Twins about 3 hours ago via web in reply to Larjones64

The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. Things happen in a regular season game and even if it’s bad, you can look at the bigger picture. In the playoffs, especially in a Best of 5 series, it’s all magnified. Every pitch counts. Every at bat is scrutinized. A player can be great, but if he has two straight bad games, he is called out, called a choker, or worse. Is that fair? I don’t know, but it is what it is.

Irony

#yankees fans complaining about the strike zone? Wow RT @Ledger_Yankees Some Tweeps are suggesting that the strike zone is <huge for Pavano> about 3 hours ago via web

Yankees writers apparently like to call Carl Pavano the American Idle due to his lack of health and pitching infrequently in the Bronx during his four years there. I just found it very ironic when I read some Yankees writers/tweeters complaining about the Twins getting some ball-strike calls that the Yankees weren’t getting. Think of the irony of that!

Another Lead

That works!! #Twins grab 1-0 lead on Valencia Sac Fly to RF. about 3 hours ago via web

The Twins are 0-10 with Runners in Scoring Position through these two games. Obviously that isn’t idea. Valencia has been up twice now with bases loaded, and although he does not have a hit in either of those plate appearances, he has been productive. In Game 1, it was an RBI walk. In this game, a sacrifice fly gave the Twins the very early lead. I’m finding it comical that Twins writers are talking about how the pitchers can’t hold a lead. In tonight’s game, their lone lead was 1-0 in the 2nd inning. Against the Yankees. I wasn’t really expecting that lead to be held through nine innings.

Gotta Still Have Fun, Right?

martyandrade If Carl Pavano were a character in Star Wars, what character would he be? extra points for extreme nerdism, expanded universe counts. about 3 hours ago via web Retweeted by you and 1 other 

Just because it’s a big game and all doesn’t mean fans can’t have a little fun. Here’s a question that you may want to consider too!

Limiting the Damage

big BIG pitch by Pavano!!! Great sinker got exactly what he needed! about 2 hours ago via web

That was big in that it limited the damage in an inning that could have been really ugly. Nice work by Pavano. Gardy right about him! about 2 hours ago via web

ClassicMNTwins @SethTweets Somwhere, Tom Kelly’s nodding, saying “This Pavano fella’s got moxie.” about 2 hours ago via Mobile Web in reply to SethTweets Retweeted by you

In the top of the fourth, Curtis Granderson led off with a double, and Mark Teixeira singled him to 3B. Pavano got Alex Rodriguez to fly out to RF for a sacrifice fly that tied the game. But Robinson Cano singled and Teixeira went to 3B with one out. With Nick Swisher up, Pavano threw a first-pitch strike. On the next pitch, Pavano through a terrific sinker that dropped below the strike zone. Swisher swung and tapped weakly back to Pavano who started the 1-6-3 double play to end the threat and keep the game tied.

Pet Peaves

“Oriented” not “Orientated” – sorry, one of my pet peaves! about 2 hours ago via web

Again, nothing to do with the game, but I believe one of the TBS crew said “orientated” and I felt the need to say something.

Reusse Researches Runs

1500ESPN_Reusse Dozen prior playoff games vs. Yanks for Twins: 3 runs, 1, 1, 1, 2, 6 (in 12 innings), 4, 5, 2, 3, 1 & 4. about 2 hours ago via web Retweeted by you

1500ESPN’s Patrick Reusse did a little research to show that the Twins offense has been pretty much non-existent in the playoffs. We can now add a two to the end of that list.

Just the Start

You know things aren’t going your way when Lance Berkman homers against you! about 2 hours ago via web

Despite an incredible career in Houston, Berkman has really struggled in his two months with the Yankees. His 5th inning, long solo home run gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead, and Berkman wasn’t done yet.

Lance (Berkman) Love

richardjustice Puma homers for Andy. Two great Americans. about 2 hours ago via ÜberTwitter Retweeted by you and 3 others

HunterPence9 OMG PUMA!!!! That’s serious oppo pop! about 2 hours ago via ÜberTwitter Retweeted by you and 10 others

A former teammate and a great Houston writer who covered Berkman for a long time each had positives to say about Berkman. Justice’s comments are interesting. Everything about both players says that they’re terrific people, especially Pettitte.

Nothing New

RunDallasRun @SethTweets Is TBS a part of the YES Network…can we get them some pom poms? about 2 hours ago via web in reply to SethTweets Retweeted by you and 2 others

Yes, TBS and FOX really, really want the Yankees to win because then their rankings go up and up. As much as Twins fans would love a Twins/Rangers ALCS or a Twins/Reds World Series, FOX would be less than happy.

Fan Participation

Pump ‘em up, @TwinsGeek!!! about 2 hours ago via web

There was a ton of talk after Game 1 about fans who were standing and cheering throughout the game were being told to be quiet and sit down by other fans or by ushers. The Twins Geek was at the game, and he gets pumped up, so when there was another big moment in the game, I implored him to get the Target Field crowd going!

BRUTAL HONESTY OF A CHILD

Ha!!! RT @dotsonc Little lost kid at the soccer field tonight: “Have you seen my mom and dad? My mom is fat and my dad has gray hair!” about 2 hours ago via web

A little more comic relief. This is just funny! Kids are fun!

That Makes Sense!

Which TBS guy just said that the #Twins “need more offense to score runs?” about 2 hours ago via web

That does make some sense. I mean, this isn’t football where a Defensive Back can grab and interception and take it back for a touchdown.

Music to Twins Fans’ Ears

ORLANDO!!!!! AT DAWN!! about 2 hours ago via web

With one out in the bottom of the 6th inning, Orlando Hudson connected with a slider and drilled it well into the left field bleachers to again tie the game at two. I enjoy watching him sprint around the bases when he gets a hold of one.

Three Bagger

DELMON!!!! ATTA BOY!! C’MON My Homie!!! about 2 hours ago via web

After a Mauer roll out to 2B on the first pitch he saw, Delmon Young came up and ripped a triple to right centerfield, just off the tip of Curtis Granderson’s glove. Unfortunately, Pettitte got Jim Thome to ground out to end the threat.

THE CALL, THE AFTERMATH

How will #Twins/Pavano handle bad call? Ah, RBI double to LF. about 2 hours ago via web

Pavano made two TREMENDOUS pitches there. Deserves better! Go get ‘em GARDY! about 2 hours ago via web

Alright Carl, now you’ve got to strand another one. about 2 hours ago via web

So, there was the bad call. Pavano should have had strike three. How did he handled the bad call? He made a great, low pitch, and Berkman still doubled. And then Gardy went to the mound, and the purpose was obvious. And as you know, Berkman ended up scoring too.

 BLAME GAME

The funny thing is there are still #Twins fans out there who will blame Gardy for this! Ridiculous! Happens every year, most games! about 1 hour ago via web

Yes, I have heard a lot of people already say that Gardy should be fired. Yes, I believe that is ridiculous.

WHERE’S THE FIRE?

I want to see Mauer get tossed here. It’s not like he’s hitting at all, and maybe it would actually inspire something. about 1 hour ago via web

@mookie5 – No, Mauer ejected, Butera in would not be good for #Twins. My point was I just want to see some fire from Mauer sometime! about 1 hour ago via web in reply to mookie5

I suggested that it would have been nice to see Joe Mauer react to the bad call by the home plate umpire. No, I didn’t really think that Butera was a better option than Mauer. I just wish Mauer had something in him to show some life, some intensity… even some frustration. He’s just so stoic. 99.5% of the time, that’s a great trait. But as said earlier, things are different in the playoffs. It pains me to say that AJ wouldn’t go so quietly.

Clutch!

Speaking of #Clutch, how about the performance by Jon Rauch right there?! And I loved his excitement coming off the field! about 1 hour ago via web

There was more discussion about the lack of clutch hitting by Twins hitters. Meanwhile, the Twins bullpen continued to pitch well. Jon Rauch came in one out in the 7th to replace Jose Mijares who got the first out on a sacrifice bunt and then intentionally walked Mark Teixeira. Rauch came in and got Alex Rodriguez to strike out and a pop up from Robinson Cano. Rauch showed great emotion coming off the mound having kept the Twins within striking distance.

Mismatch

Valencia = Rookie, Non-Yankee… Pettitte = Pettitte, Yankee… you think the 3-2 pitch was going to be a ball? about 1 hour ago via web

I was still in my bitter stage of the game. Valencia struck out on a borderline pitch around the outside corner to end the bottom of the 7th.

Unfair Expectations

Didn’t expect them to vs Sabathia/Pettitte. RT @pbm408 @SethTweets Mauer, Thome, and Kubel have not carried their weight on offense. about 1 hour ago via web

Not at all. RT @ruck13180 REALLY? so you expected us to lose both games? 37 minutes ago via web

Much is being made of Jason Kubel’s struggles in the playoffs in his career. He is now something like 2-25 with 12 strikeouts. Obviously this is pretty bad, but when he is a career .236 hitter (with a .666 OPS) against left-handed pitchers (including the bad ones), how do we expect him to do against the likes of Sabathia and Pettitte, who he has faced the last two years. So, he may be 0-4 in this series, but I’m impressed that he has walked three times, so he has been on base 42% of the time!

Likewise, Jim Thome is a career .238 hitter against southpaws (with a .763 OPS, which is about .280 lower than against right-handers). Thome is 1-7 in the series with a one walk. Of course, he’s 0-2 against Mariano Rivera and struck out against David Robertson too.

Now Mauer has hit .303 against left-handed pitching in his career, although his OPS is about .180 lower than it is against righties). He is 2-9 in the series with two weak singles.

So Kubel is the one of the three that has clearly produced the most in these two games. The problem is that Kubel and Thome have to play. Who are the options if they don’t? Jason Repko in RF? Alexi Casilla at DH? The Yankees can play Lance Berkman against righties and Marcus Thames against lefties while Austin Kearns sits on the bench.

Of course, Curtis Granderson has hit .215 in his career against lefties with a .621 OPS… and in the playoffs, he hit the big triple off of Francisco Liriano in the four-run sixth of Game 1. That is the beauty and the frustration of Small Sample Size in the playoffs.

Apology

I apologize to #Twins fans for my frustrations with this game. I’m kind of embarrassed. It’s not the usual me. Twins are just frustrating me about 1 hour ago via web

It’s not the umps. It’s not the pitching. It’s not Gardy. Offense has stunk tonight through 8. It’s all the Playoff Small Sample Size. Uggh! about 1 hour ago via web

But anyway, I know a lot of people follow me here because I generally am a lot more level-headed than I have been tonight. I apologize! about 1 hour ago via web

And I would be really, really happy if the Twins found a way to beat Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th! about 1 hour ago via web

Yeah, this is where I started feeling bad about dwelling on the pitch call to Berkman, and then to Valencia. I felt the need to publically apologize. It took to the 164th game of the season for me to snap.

Just Bad

JeffPassan Hunter Wendelstedt is abysmal. He made 16 bad calls out of 93 pitches Carl Pavano threw. Eight balls in the K zone, eight strikes outside. about 1 hour ago via web Retweeted by you and 24 others

Of course, when I saw the performance of Wendelstedt put into numbers, I had to retweet it, right? At the same time, it showed that he was helped eight times and hurt eight times. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really even things out at the end of the day, does it?

One More Thing, Really?!

It was the play of the game. For sure! RT @frogtown3 I think it’s ok to suggest that horrendous call by ump had a huge impact on this game. 37 minutes ago via web

I was getting some good support from followers. This one said it was ok for me to suggest that it had a huge impact on the game. I definitely believe that it was the big play of the game. If that’s called a strike, it may still be a tie game!

Offensive!

 Who knows? Can’t remember. RT @StatFreak101 @SethTweets When was the last time the Twins offense performed well in the postseason? 35 minutes ago via web

When was the last time the Twins offense performed well in the postseason? Hard to remember!

Ouch!

This hurts way more than last year… other years. 24 minutes ago via web

I bought in. I  truly believe that the team that the Twins have put together in 2010 is significantly better than even the team in 2009. I do believe that this Twins team can and should be able to beat the Yankees. I really thought that if nothing else, the Twins would win a few to even things out a little bit. But here we are, exactly where we were a year ago. The expectations were a lot higher this year.

It is Finished

Yeah, it’s over… (and I’m a positive #Twins blogger) RT @PMac21 OK. Now you can panic. #Twins 22 minutes ago via

The Twins were better this year. They clinched nearly two weeks early. They got players some rest so they could go into the playoffs closer to 100% I still want to believe that with right-hander Phil Hughes on the mound in Game 3, the Twins will be able to score some runs and get a win. We shall see. The hope is that if they do, they can do more against CC Sabathia on short-rest in Game 4 and that Nick Blackburn can have that sinker working well. And if all that happens, then Francisco Liriano on full rest could take on Andy Pettitte at home and that they would have momentum. I’m not ready to give up on the Twins yet… but the task ahead just got really, really difficult.

So there you have a it, a quick look through the game through a series of Twitter posts.

  • A quick reminder to join the TwinsCentric guys and a lot of other Twins bloggers at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park for Game 3. Hopefully we’ll be able to watch a Twins win!

Leave your comments here.

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13 Responses to “Tweeting a Twins Loss”

  1. Mighty Casey October 8, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    don’t give up yet.

  2. mike October 8, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Yes the call was a turning point, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that we can’t execute whatsoever!!! I expected more from you Seth, typical Twins fans complaining about New York. No wonder they always beat us. We are all looking for excuses instead of someone just stepping up and becoming a leader. No one has done that since Puckett. Don’t even say Hunter either, he like Mauer will never be able to lay off a low away slider. You tweeted you didn’t expect Mauer to hit lefties, really!!!! BS!!! He’s a 23 million dollar MVP he needs to act like it! Figures he gets a free pass. NO LEADERSHIP!!!!!! Grow up Minnesota Twins, play like you have some balls and quit making excuses!!! You sound like the Cowboys in the playoffs last year!

    • gobbledy October 8, 2010 at 8:08 am #

      spot on!

  3. mike wants wins October 8, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    I don’t think they are better, overall. They have pitchers that don’t strike guys out – that doesn’t work in the playoffs. Their “best hitter” is a singles/doubles hitter who is hurt a lot, but somehow gets a pass for that. Span was worse this year, cuddy was worse, kubel was worse, Mauer was worse. They were better at 3B, SS, 2B, and LF, but that LF was only really better for 6 weeks, he’s been mediocre the rest of the year. And, as much better as they were at those positions, they weren’t GREAT at any of them. They went from awful to good. That works against crappy teams. It doesn’t work against the best teams.

    No Ace pitcher (because they keep drafting the same kinds of guys and won’t trade their “future” for one others have developed). One power hitter (and he’s a lefty that struggles against lefties). Terrible corner OF defense. This is a team built to win in the regular season, but not the playoffs.

    I should not have wasted my time and emotional energy buying in this year. I should have taken a step back and looked at them critically (as in emotion free and logically), and not gotten wrapped up in their beating up on crappy teams and thinking that meant they were any better this year.

    Mauer is NOT worth $100MM on the field, let alone $180MM.

  4. Seth October 8, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    MWW is right… When I did the position-by-position matchup on Monday, I titled it “Head or Heart?” I let my heart think that the clear advantages the Yankees have could be overcome. The fact that I should have put more time and words into were just how bad Mauer, Kubel and Thome are against left-handed pitching, much less really good left-handed pitching like Sabathia and Pettitte. Mauer and Thome were two guys that this offense needs, but it’s not like they’re good matchups for those guys. Pitching wins. And the Yankees pitching, starters and bullpen, have been tremendous.

    I still think this Twins team is a very good team. You can’t fake 94 wins by any means. But the playoffs are different from the regular season. In the regular season, against some of these left-handers, you have Butera catch, Mauer DH and Repko in RF because they all need rest sometimes and might as well give them rest when it makes sense like a bad matchup. In the Playoffs, you’ve got to go with your top players, even in bad matchups. Kubel’s three walks have at least been productive.

    And MWW, we all knew that Mauer wasn’t worth $180mm. The deal at the time made sense from a business standpoint. It never made sense from a pure baseball standpoint. And, if they were still in the Metrodome, Mauer would have 20 HR.

    I definitely don’t think Mauer will get a free pass. The money will start talking. The expectations are there.

    How about this… the Twins wanted a right-handed bench bat in the offseason, but Thome was willing to come for cheap. He was huge in the offseason, but in the playoffs now, wouldn’t it be nice to have that RH bat.

    Anyone else starting to understand why 162 games mean much more to me than 2 or 3?

  5. mike wants wins October 8, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Seth, you are a true believer. Don’t get all logical about it. It isn’t in your personality. You strike me as a guy that loves, loves, loves baseball. And, a guy like that should keep his heart in the effort. I merely like baseball (and really like talking about it). A guy like that can afford to keep his heart out (until the team sucks him in).

    Look, this is a very good team. A team that entertained us for 162 games. That’s worth a lot in a long summer. But, they are lefty dependent, and will be beat most of the time by good to great lefties.

    It’s been a fun ride. They can still win this, though the odds are long. Yes, it is kind of depressing when they lose every game like this in the post season. But, I’m going to try to remember the many happy nights over the summer…..

  6. mike wants wins October 8, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    I think, as much as I love him, it is time for Kubel to move (or Span). They need a RH hitter that is a threat. Cuddy is NOT that guy. Young might be, but isn’t right now. Valencia is a nice player, but isn’t going to hit a ton of power. I’d also like to see them deal from pitching depth for a great pitcher. Who cares who your number 5/6 pithcers are. Go get a great pithcer (would have been nice to get Cliff Lee…..).

  7. gobbledy October 8, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    next yr they have 8 guys under contract for over 70m. add in capps, slowey, liriano and young arb.# 12 guys will be clost to 90m. the 13 other guys will all have to be close to min just to stay under 100m.
    no hardy, no hudson, no pavano, bullpen empty crain, matt, rausch and fuent all gone. it will be a very diff looking team next year with a lot less talent.
    the mauer 10m raise = no hudson & hardy!

  8. USAFChief October 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    “In the metrodome, Mauer would have 20 HRs.” I call BS. This whole “it’s hard to hit HRs at TF” line of crap is just that…crap. If Mauer would–or could–pull the ball in the air with authority more than once a month, he’d hit HRs no matter the location. But no, even when he’s ahead in the count, it’s a soft flair to left, or a grounder to second. He really, really needs to learn to pull the ball. There isn’t a pitcher in the league afraid to challenge him early in the count, because he never, ever tries to do damage on a first pitch fastball, and even if he does work the count in his favor, the penalty for a hittable pitch is a soft single to left.

  9. emoeby October 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Seth, I’m typically a very level headed Twins fan as well, but even last night I was getting very depressed and frustrated about it all. THIS Twins was supposed to be better then in the past. I felt THIS team was going to finally beat the Yankees in a series. Instead we get this.

    It sucks.

    @emoeby
    http://wintwins.tumblr.com/

  10. Kunza October 9, 2010 at 6:41 am #

    Quite simple. If the Twins get swept, it’s time for Gardenhire and the coaching staff to go. No excuses. They piss and moan about not having the players… well, they got them and they still can’t win.

    Gardenhire does not deserve to continually get a free pass. Fire this clown’s ass and get someone in here with a little bit of fire.

  11. Gopher Nation October 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    The part I can relate to is embarrassed as I truly felt that watching the Twins in Game 3. Zero competitiveness and no fight. Mauer for $180 million is more ludicrous now than what we thought when he signed. If I remember right, didn’t we make it worse with a no trade clause. I have to believe there is regret about that. He is just not worth that much. Joe deservedly will take some heat over the next 7 years as he tries to live up to the contract. I am just frustrated.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. links for 2010-10-08 « Marty Andrade - October 8, 2010

    [...] Tweeting a Twins Loss « SethSpeaks.net // Thinking Star Wars makes everything better. (tags: Twins Baseball) [...]

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