Lost Opportunity

18 Sep

(send me your questions… I hope to post a Mailbag Issue here tomorrow with your questions, so e-mail me a question at sethspeaksnet@hotmail.com. Topics can cover almost anything that isn’t overly personal.)

 The Twins actually did not lose to Cliff Lee last night. Lee went 6.1 innings, but he gave up four runs (3 earned) on ten hits and three walks. The Twins did well against him. But Scott Baker threw 103 pitches in just 4.2 innings and gave up four runs. Jesse Crain came in and got four outs. Jose Mijares was thrown into the 7th inning in a tie game, which was great. He gave up and infield single to Grady Sizemore, then got a fielder’s choice and a strikeout before he was replaced by Matt Guerrier, who promptly allow two more runs to score, one of his own and one of Mijares’s. Thus, Mijares takes the loss despite another impressive performance. The Twins lost, which is most unfortunate because the Yankees beat the White Sox 5-1. They could have been back at 1 ½ games behind, but instead remain 2 ½ games back with just ten more games to go. Here are some other thoughts on the game/Twins and more:

·         Some will question that Baker came back on just three days rest. I really don’t have a problem with that. He had an easy 94 pitches last Saturday. I think he was fine to do it. He didn’t pitch well, but I truly don’t believe that it was because of the short rest.

·         Justin Morneau went 3-4 with two RBI. He was able to get a game at DH, which I think is important.

·         Joe Mauer also had three hits including his 28th double. Alexi Casilla added two hits. Carlos Gomez was 1-3, but his hit was a home run.

·         As much as the Elizabethton Twins dominate the Appalachian League and have hitters put up monster numbers, and this year was no exception. Baseball America posted its Top 20 Appalachian League prospects and just ONE E-Twin made the list. Here is some conversation on the list at John Sickels Minor League Ball.

·         The Twins Geek gives a perfect verbal visual of the current state of the Twins season and their bullpen.

·         Nick Nelson asks if the Twins are simply Out of Gas.

PODCAST UPDATE – It’s going to be short tonight. Last night’s podcast, I thought, was excellent. Josh Taylor of Taylor’s Twins Talk started out on the show, and we talked about several topics on the Twins from the pitchers, to Michael Cuddyer’s return, and much, much more. Then Joe Benson, Twins OF prospect, joined the show for about 20 minutes. With Joe, we discussed his back injury, offseason plans, football, what he wants to work on and more. Unfortunately, the software again created a small issue. Fortunately this time it didn’t take as long, and I didn’t panic. So, there is a quiet minute or two, but we came back for another minute with Joe (Happens at the 36:45 mark, and returns at the 39:30 mark). Finally, the last twenty minutes were spent with Twins Infield Prospect Steve Singleton who had a very good 2008 season between Beloit and Ft. Myers. We talked about his defense, but also the tremendous improvement he made at the plate. I can’t help but notice how well he did at Ft. Myers and how his numbers were even better than at Beloit. We talked about the organization and more. Of course, all three guests are in our NFL “Expert” Picks panel…

Congrats to Dan Slowey and Vic Quick, the Week 2 Winners at 11-4. Threw two weeks, The Baseball Savant, David Bergner, leads the way with a 22-9 record.

Know that I do intend to update or create a more formal standings list to be updated each week. It’s just taking me some time.

With that, please feel free to e-mail me at sethspeaksnet@hotmail.com


12 Responses to “Lost Opportunity”

  1. Bill in Sarasota September 18, 2008 at 6:25 am #

    The definition of crazy is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Gardenhire keeps putting Guerrier in key parts of the game, Guerrier continues to miss his spots and the result is the same (loss).
    I would kept Baker on five days. The main reason is to have Liriano pitch the opener of the series against the ChiWS. The Twins must win at least two out of three and most likely sweep the ChiWS unless their fortunes turn around in the next four days.

  2. roger September 18, 2008 at 6:33 am #

    Are the Twins out of gas….yes! They may have been doomed the day Neshek went down for a season. A healthy Neshek and they would have what, 6-7-8 more wins? I imagine some may fault Bill Smith for not doing something about the short relief situation in July….but would any deals have hurt more long term than help in the short term?

    Last night’s loss goes to Gardy. If fans watching at home could tell Baker was outta gas, Gardy should have and had he gotten him out before Cleveland had four runs is beyond me. Then again later, Mijares is pitching so well…why not leave him in. But no, gotta go with the right handed Guerrier who is just plain been overused. Make the smart moves in those two instances and the Twins probably win this one…..even with all their fielding mistakes.

    And Seth, let’s be completely honest. Mauer’s throw put that inning in jeopardy. Don’t know if Mijares’ run was earned…but it sure as heck shouldn’t have been.

  3. roger September 18, 2008 at 6:36 am #

    Seth, BA certainly is a “prospect list,” not a list of the best players in the league. How anyone can leave Dan Osterbrock off a list of best players or prospects is beyond me. Yes, he is a college draft…but he was clearly the best pitcher in the league. Yes, don’t put him at #1. But come on Baseball America…at least have the league’s best pitcher on a list. Yes, if he makes it he won’t be in the major’s until he is 25-26…but he still has as good of a chance to be a big time major league pitcher as anyone in that league.

  4. FishingMN September 18, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    I’ve been a supporter of Gardy through the past years while a number of blogs have been screaming about his shortcomings. After watching the past 1 1/2 months I’m finally coming to the conclusion that he needs to go. A number of sites have started to talk about what the Twins need to do in 2009 to be competitive. I’m starting to believe the first thing to do is hire a new manager who doesn’t always rely on “his guys” when better alternatives are clearly available.

  5. Seth September 18, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    If you go to Josh’s Thoughts or Nick & Nick’s Twins blogs, they really summarize things pretty well, kind of how I feel. It’s like, I just don’t want to re-hash the same things over and over to explain each and every loss. It’s frustrating, but it’s not unexpected, it happens, but they were so close. And the frustrating part is that they do still have a chance.
    This road trip is turning into the same thing as the 14 game road trip. Win the first two games and then plummet. They must win in Tampa though. I think it’s basically at that point now.

  6. gobbledygookguy September 18, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    seth who would you say is/are the best available or speculated to be available players, i.e. beltre, atkins, uggla ….. that could make a real impact next yr at our weak spots? next who do we have that you would trade, i.e humber, boof out of options… prospects, to get that help?

  7. Seth September 18, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    Weak spots – SS… thats about it. Buscher has been fine, and platoon him with Macri or Hughes next year and you should be fine there until Valencia is ready the following year. SS is the weak spot. Therefore of the three options you present, Uggla would be the best available. He’s very good, but I’m not saying they should go out and get him, and the Marlins likely wouldn’t deal him for the likes of Humber or Boof. I really, really don’t think that the Twins have to do much this offseason. Maybe one extra bullpen arm, but even that’s not huge in my mind.

  8. mike wants wins September 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    That batting average with RISP things is starting to catch up to them, finally.

  9. Dome Dog September 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    Seth, you said you don’t think the Twins need to do much this offseason. Are you at all worried that if all they add is a bullpen arm that the team will drop even farther back next year? I just get worried that when a team stands pat, just counting on the young guys to continue to develop while the veterans production stays level, that you are asking for trouble. That’s why the other day I just threw out the thought about looking at trading Nathan this offseason. Maybe it’s a dumb idea, I don’t know….

  10. ben September 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    We saw what happened when we lost Neshek this year. Where would we be without Nathan?

  11. Dome Dog September 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    Depends on what you get back and how you fill in the holes…The Twins have a history of finding closers that can get the job done when they’ve been contenders. Guardado was just a middle to late inning relief guy, Nathan and Aguilera were both starters and/or middle relief guys at some point in their careers as well.

    All I’m trying to say is if we just sit on our hands and count on the whole team to improve next year, I don’t think we’ll be close to being contenders. You just can’t count on Neshek at all next year. You can hope he bounces back right away, but I think it is unrealistic and unfair to expect that of him. So your entire bullpen is a mess outside of Nathan right now, you’ve got a gaping hole to fill at shortstop, and you could still use some more power in that lineup. In an attempt to fill as many of those holes as possible and not spend a lot of money doing it (which is what the Twins usually try to do), I guess I just see shopping Nathan as the best chance to shore up those holes with one front office move. Just my opinion, and I’m not even sure I have completely sold myself on it…..

  12. gobbledygookguy September 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    the average win total for the central over last 8 yrs is 94 and with luck we may hit 86-87 and that’s with a near perfect mark against the national league. i think it is a lot to say we don’t need some real help, a 25+ hr guy and at least one real solid bullpen arm. some of these guys will take a step back next yr that is just the history of how young players go. if the tigers and indians come back to norm we will have a hard time matching this yrs wins without some help imo.

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