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Hi Everybody! This posting will contain game thoughts and notes from Wednesday’s games. The Twins got a much needed win. If you can believe it, the Rochester Red Wings swept a double header and one of their pitchers threw a complete game shutout! Shooter Hunt showed that he is human. Angel Morales continues to impress, and there was a two home run hitter for the GCL Twins!
I encourage comments and questions that you may have, but I must say that I will be leaving town Thursday mid-morning for a trip to Nebraska for a family wedding on Saturday. I hope to check things out when I get there tomorrow night. I will check the site throughout the weekend. I also want to point out that right before I leave tomorrow, my plan is to post a blog entry that everyone will thoroughly enjoy. Seriously, I am really excited about it. That posting will remain at www.SethSpeaks.net throughout the weekend. I do hope to do a couple of postings throughout the weekend, but if I do so, I will post them here. So make sure you check it out throughout the weekend. My travel schedule the last several weeks has been a bit crazy. I appreciate the loyalty most of you have shown by continuing to come to this site and contribute. Thank you!
Let’s get to the game thoughts…
TWINS 7, MARINERS 3
- The Twins really needed this game. It’s not “Must-Win” time yet, but to have been swept, even on the road, by a team with that record would be very disappointing. Losing two of three is disappointing, but really only one game worse than you could or should really hope for. I mean, to think that you’re going to win two out of three games against any team on the road isn’t realistic. Now the Twins will be able to enjoy an off day in Kansas City before starting a three game series against the Royals on Friday night. Again, winning two out of three in that series would be great. The Twins have Kevin Slowey, Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker going in the series, so I’ll take those chances.
- Denard Span – if I have to eat crow for my thoughts earlier this year on Randy Ruiz, then what should my punishment be for any comments I may have made over the last two or three years about Denard Span. Maybe it was the eye surgery in the offseason, but the man has come up here and succeeded beyond any fair expectation. His approach at the plate is absolutely incredible. In my mind, he is the most pure leadoff hitter that the Twins have had since Chuck Knoblauch, and he left before the 1998 season started. He isn’t just a slap and run hitter. He takes a solid swing and can drive the ball. He’s already got two homers. He won’t ever be a big-time home run hitter, but he can hit them. He already has four triples. In this game, he was 3-5 with four RBI including an early bases-clearing triple. He stole his sixth base. He has greatly improved his base stealing and base running based on his numbers throughout the minor league career. And then there is his defense. He has tremendous range, a very good arm. And in this game, he robbed Adrian Beltre of a home run by leaping high above the right field fence. So what does it all mean? Is he the leadoff hitter of the future (and present)? Does he play CF or RF? Well, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. He still only has 143 at bats (and about 165 plate appearances). The league will adjust to him with scouting reports. So how Span responds and adjusts to the league’s adjustments will tell us a lot. But again, his plate discipline and approach are very conducive to being able to make those adjustments and make them more quickly. This is definitely a case where I have absolutely no problem being wrong! Good for him!
- The Twins really, really needed a solid start from Nick Blackburn on Wednesday afternoon. He gave them a quality start. He went six innings and gave up three runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out one and threw 102 pitches. It would have been nice to get seven from him, but it was very similar to the Glen Perkins outing on Monday (except Perkins had thrown about 30 less pitches). Blackburn was being hit a bit and it was time to get him out.
- It was also very nice to see Dennys Reyes, Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan combine for three shutout innings! The bullpen needed a game with success. If there is any part of this team that needs a day off, it is that bullpen. Hopefully they all were able to ice their arms a lot on their flight to Kansas City and none of them pick up a ball on Thursday!
- Another game batting third, another two-hit game for Mike Redmond.
- Randy Ruiz got a start in what likely will be his role when with the Twins, DH against a lefty. He responded by going 2-5.
- I never have much of a problem with guys getting days off. Sometimes they just need them. For instance, Joe Mauer has just looked tired and fatigued this whole series, so I have zero problem with giving him the day off in this game. I have no problem that Delmon Young got a day off. It is just interesting to me that he would get a day off against a lefty. That said, Jason Kubel did well enough on Tuesday night (two homers, four hits) including the home run against the lefty he faced, and I have no problem with him getting another start.
- Adam Everett played like Adam Everett in this game. He was 1-1 with a walk and two sacrifice bunts. Can’t ask for much more from him. He also made a pretty impressive defensive play in the eighth inning.
- Brendan Harris continued to play well. He went 2-4 with a walk, and he too made a couple of very nice plays at 3B. Both of his hits were doubles and he drove in two runs. He had two hits in all three games of the Seattle series.
Any other thoughts on the Twins?
Twins Minor League Updates
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Garrett Jones, Rochester Red Wings
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Tom Shearn, Rochester Red Wings
Wednesday – Rochester 3, Lehigh Valley 2 (8 innings) – This was a pitch-by-bullpen game for the Red Wings. Tim Lahey started and gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in three innings. Danny Graves then threw three shutout innings, allowing just two hits. Ricky Barrett and Mariano Gomez each threw a scoreless frame as well. Jason Pridie continued to hit well. He went 2-4. Michael Cuddyer, in his first rehab start, played RF and went 1-3 with a walk. Trevor Plouffe hit his fifth homer run with the Red Wings. The losing pitcher in this game was former Twin JD Durbin. The Real Deal is now 0-7 with an 11.03 ERA with the IronPigs.
Wednesday – Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 0 – In the second game, recently acquired veteran Tom Shearn went all seven innings and gave up no runs on two hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight. Garrett Jones had a big game. He went 3-3 with two doubles, his 15th homer and three RBI. Jason Pridie went 1-2 with a walk, his 16th double and 22nd stolen base.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday – New Britain 11, New Hampshire 7 – Brian Dinkelman may have some chips moving around in his elbow the rest of the season, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting his bat. In this game, he went 3-4 with his first triple, his second homer and four RBI. David Winfree was 2-3 and recorded his first stolen base. Felix Molina went 2-3 with a walk. Steve Tolleson was 2-4 with a walk. Matt Moses was 2-4. Brock Peterson went 2-5. Kyle Aselton started and went 3.2 innings. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits. He walked five and struck out two. Zach Ward gave up just two hits and no runs over the next 2.1 innings to get the win. He walked two and struck out one. Jose Mijares made his first AA appearance of the year and threw two shutout innings, striking out two. Ben Julianel got a mop up inning of work and gave up three runs on four hits.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday – Miracle, Tampa – The game was postponed due to a power outage and likely will be resumed. Whit Robbins had provided some power in the early innings with his fourth homer. Spencer Steedley started and went three innings of one hit ball.
Wednesday – Beloit 1, Kane County 8 – Yesterday morning, I got an e-mail from a reader that, in part, said, “Why are the Twins allowing Hunt and Slama to toil in A-Ball? Right now, both pitchers are men amongst boys and I can’t help but to think allowing them to completely dominate can possibly be detrimental to their development. ” My response regarding Shooter Hunt was, “He probably is where he should be. He had to move up from E-Town. And, control was his issue before the draft, and he has issued a number of walks in his few outings. he’s getting strikeouts and doing some things well. I don’t know his percentage of strikes thrown. I know he’s only gone five innings in starts which makes me think he is throwing a lot of pitches per at bat.” Well, I sent that before noon so I really hope I didn’t jinx him in some way. Hunt made this start and went just 3.1 innings. He gave up six runs (5 earned) on four hits. He walked five (for the second straight game) and struck out just three. He not has 12 walks in just 13.1 innings with the Snappers. Charles Nolte went the next 1.2 innings and gave up just an unearned run. Mike Tarsi gave up an unearned run in his two innings. Danny Hernandez pitched a scoreless inning. Jeanfred Brito went 1-2 with two walks. Ben Revere went 1-4 with his 35th stolen base.
Wednesday – E-Twins 5, Bristol 13 – Another rough start for Alex Curry in this one. He went just 3.2 innings and gave up seven runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four. Lee Martin then gave up three runs (2 earned) on four hits in 2.2 innings. He struck out four. Kyle Carr gave up three runs (1 earned) in just 1.2 innings. Nathan Fritz threw a perfect inning. Jeff Lanning went 2-3 with his fourth homer and two RBI. Evan Bigley went 2-4 with his eighth double. Angel Morales went 2-4 with his ninth double and tenth home run. Nick Romero went 2-5 with his seventh double.
GCL TWINS TALK
Wednesday – GCL Twins 9, GCL Red Sox 3 – Jakub Hatjmar led the offense in this game with a 5-6 game, each hit being a single. Josmil Pinto went 3-4 with a walk, his first homer and his first stolen base. Daniel Ortiz was 3-5 with his fifth triple. Juan Sanchez went 2-5 with his first two home runs. Angelo Sanchez went the first six innings and gave up three runs (2 earned) on six hits. He walked none and struck out three. Andrei Lobanov struck out three in two shutout innings. Kelvin Mota pitched a perfect inning.
Have a great day!