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Before we start, a reminder that at 10:20 this morning, I will be joining the Paul Allen Show to discuss Twins topics on KFAN, its affiliates and at www.KFAN.com.
Here are some quick notes on the Twins 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants that ended shortly after midnight tonight:
- Nick Blackburn was good again. He threw another Quality Start, giving up three runs (2 earned) in six innings. There were a couple of errors behind him that hurt. Uncharacteristically, he walked three batters. But his ERA is still sitting at 3.15. He again gave the Twins a chance to win.
- Three errors in a game is never a good formula to winning baseball games. When you have a ground ball pitcher like Blackburn and three infielders commit an error, it reduces the odds of winning. Nishioka has been solid at shortstop since his return. He has a couple of errors, but he has also made a couple of nice plays. The announcers and many people that I read and listen to seem to think he’s doing a good job. I’m not quite convinced yet. I personally think that Alexi Casilla is better defensively at shortstop than Nishioka. That’s not to say that they should flip-flop them now at all. Nishioka needs more opportunity. But from what I have seen, I prefer Casilla.
- Phil Dumatrait and Jim Hoey pitched last night. Neither has pitched much of late, which is a good thing. Each gave up a run, although Hoey’s was unearned. I actually feel comfortable with Capps, Perkins, Mijares and usually Burnett. I have little confidence in Dumatrait or Hoey. With Joe Nathan likely activated in time to pitch (if needed) on Friday, it is likely that Hoey would be sent back to Rochester again.
- Delmon Young has been terrific in June. Maybe not Michael Cuddyer good, but he has definitely been better of late. Last night, he had a well-hit double. He needs to add more extra base hits.
- The loss, coupled with wins from Cleveland and Detroit, means that the Twins are now back at 7.5 games out of the division lead. I’ve had people say that it was a big loss and that they can’t afford to be giving games to those division leaders. Did people really think that the Twins needed to win all of their remaining games? Because, that isn’t really realistic. They will lose from time to time. They will play a few more stinkers, and they will simply lose a couple of games. But no, the loss last night does not alter my thinking that the Twins are back in it.
- I love hearing about former Twins player and minor leaguers making good in the big leagues, especially if they were role players or guys who didn’t get much opportunity. I love seeing the Trent Oeltjen is currently with the Dodgers, and he has had big league time the last three seasons. I love the Luis Maza got opportunities with the Dodgers. I like seeing Luis Rodriguez playing in Seattle. I like seeing former Twins do well. Except, I don’t like seeing them play well against the Twins. Eli Whiteside was in the organization in 2008. He played in just eight games for Rochester before going to the Giants organization.
The Twins and Giants will complete their series on Thursday at 2 with Brian Duensing matching up against Tim Lincecum.
Rochester Red Wings
The Red Wings lost an 8-7 decision to Charlotte. Joe Nathan started for the Red Wings and worked just the one inning. He gave up an unearned run on one hit. He walked one and struck out three and should be heading to Milwaukee for the weekend series in Milwaukee. The regularly scheduled starter, Duluth native Andy Baldwin, gave up six runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out six. Jake Stevens gave up a run on a hit and a walk in two innings. He struck out three. Chuck James gave up a hit and two walks, but no runs, in 1.1 innings. Eden Prairie’s Cole DeVries came in and struck out the one batter he faced. Aaron Bates hit his 10th and 11th doubles in five at bats. Michael Holliman went 1-2 with two walks and his second triple. Dustin Martin was 2-4.
New Britain Rock Cats
The Rock Cats game against Bowie was postponed by rain.
Ft. Myers Miracle
Tom Stuifbergen’s impressive run continued on Wednesday night. However, the Miracle lost 6-5 in 10 innings. The Dutch right-hander gave up two unearned runs on four hits in five innings. He has now allowed just four earned runs over his past 36.2 innings. Andrew Albers threw two scoreless innings. Dakota Watts gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in two innings. He did strike out four. Matt Tone got the loss. He struck out two in the bottom of the 10th, but he gave up a run on a hit and a walk. Speaking of on fire, Aaron Hicks has been remarkable since early May. In this game, he went 3-4 with a walk, his 17th double and third triple. Steve Liddle went 2-4 with a walk and his ninth double. Reggie Williams and James Beresford each had two hits.
The Snappers were on their final day of their All Star break. Their second half begins on Thursday night.
The E-Twins completed the game they started on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, after completing nine innings before the lightning and rains came, they were delayed and the game was suspended. It took four more innings, but the E-Twins fell to Bluefield 6-5. Aside from the highlights mentioned yesterday, there was little to talk about in the final four innings. That said, Derek Christensen threw great. The sidewinding right-hander threw three shutout innings before allowing a run in his fourth inning of work. He walked none and struck out five. Speaking of strikeouts, the E-Twins did plenty of it! In 13 innings, the team struck out 23 times. Max Kepler, Miguel Sano and Rory Rhodes each struck out four times.
In the regularly scheduled game, the E-Twins again lost, this time 4-3 to Bluefield. Kennys Vargas went 2-3 with his second home run in as many games. Eddie Rosario hit a double, and JD Williams hit a triple. Justin Parker made the start and gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out three. Pedro Guerra threw three innings of one-hit ball. He walked none and struck out four. Steven Gruver threw a scoreless inning.
The GCL Twins lost 5-1 to the Rays. The team managed just four hits. Kelvin Ortiz hit a double. Hein Robb started and gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in 1.1 innings. Tim Atherton struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings. Mark Trau walked one in a scoreless inning. Kyle Wahl gave up one run on two walks in his inning. Markus Solbach threw two scoreless innings.
Any other thoughts or questions on the Twins minor leaguers? Feel free to comment here.