Friday Night Report

2 May

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From my Game Recap – The big story of this first Twins game of May was the return of Joe Mauer. The Twins All-Star, Silver Slugging, Gold Gloving catcher had missed the entire season with a back injury. But after a week of rehab games in the Florida State League, May Day became “Mauer Day” for the Twins.  Joe Mauer helped make it a great day for the Twins and their fans all around.

Mauer came to bat with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, and with the crowd still on its feet, Mauer hit a long, opposite field home run off of Sidney Ponson to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. It was his first swing of the season. In his next at bat, with his next swing, Mauer lined a Ponson curveball down the left field line for a double. He would walk in his third plate appearance. In his fourth at bat, he did something else he does quite a bat, hit into a double play. But what a 2009 debut for Mauer! 2-3 with a walk, a double and a home run.

And most important, Mauer helped the Twins to a 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals. Justin Morneau was also 2-3 and hit his sixth home run of the season, a two run shot in the fifth inning. Brendan Harris went 2-4.

Kevin Slowey improved to 4-0 on the season despite giving up five runs on eight hits in just five innings. The bullpen was another big story in this game. Matt Guerrier threw two shutout innings. Jose Mijares struck out the side in the 8th inning. And Joe Nathan recorded his fourth save of the season.

The Royals and the Twins are now both 12-11 on the season. This marks the first time the Twins have been over .500 since they were 3-2.

On Saturday evening the Twins will send lefty Glen Perkins to the mound. Perkins is just 1-2 on the season despite a 2.48 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has completed eight innings in three out of his four starts this season, including all three of his Metrodome starts. He will face Brian Bannister who since returning from the minor leagues is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA. He has allowed just one run in his 13 innings.


  • Carlos Gomez was back in centerfield for the Twins, and he contributed with a ground rule double. He had been in Florida with his wife, who gave birth to their first child, Yendel Gomez.
  • Brendan Harris was at 3B in this game because Joe Crede is back in Missouri with his wife who gave birth to their third child.
  • Phil Mackey stated simply Joe Mauer is good at baseball. And again, be sure to check out his new blog, Minnesota Poker Magazine.
  • Have I mentioned yet that tonight’s Twins starting pitcher, Glen Perkins, was the co-host with me of Thursday night’s podcast? If you haven’t checked it out yet, please be sure to do so.
  • Have I mentioned yet that on Monday night’s Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast, Pat Neshek will be joining me to awhile to talk about his rehab and what else is keeping him busy? Anyway, check out Pat’s Blog and vote on something very important when you get there!  


BIG STORY – The big story of this game though has to be the return of Drew Thompson to the lineup. He went 0-4 with two walks for the Beloit Snappers. So why highlight him? Well, it was his first game since the middle of the 2006 season. The Twins second round pick in the 2005 draft, Thompson fractured his back in 2006, and has been working his way back since. He likely could have played early, but with such an injury, the Twins wisely did not send him back to Beloit until the weather warmed. Despite not playing in nearly three years, Thompson is still just 22 years old. The son of former Giants 2B Robbie Thompson, Thompson could move up quickly if he is healthy.


Friday – Rochester 9, Indianapolis 3 – These two teams were supposed to play two games on Friday because of Thursday’s rain-out, but rain again meant that they were able to get just one game in. Anthony Swarzak had been a tough-luck loser throughout April, but maybe things will be better for him in May. He picked up his first win of the season after giving up three runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out six. Armando Gabino struck out one in two perfect innings. Justin Huber returned to the lineup, and made his presence known. His first inning grand slam gave the Red Wings a 4-0 cushion right away. It was his only hit of the game. Matt Tolbert, Dustin Martin, Trevor Plouffe and Jason Pridie were all 2-5 in the game. Martin and Plouffe hit doubles, and Tolbert hit a triple.


Friday – New Britain 9, Trenton 7 Whit Robbins has really been hitting well of late, and in this game, he went 4-5. Wilson Ramos went 3-5 with his third and fourth doubles. Brian Dinkelman remains on fire. He went 3-4 with four RBI. Danny Valencia hit his fourth double and third home run in five at bats. Brandon Roberts also went 2-5. Matt Fox made the start in this game. The 2004 supplemental first round pick gave up three runs (2 earned) on seven hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. Jose Lugo went the next two innings and gave up two runs. Frank Mata got two outs to get out of the 8th inning. Rob Delaney pitched the ninth and gave up two runs on three hits. He struck out two and the Rockcats got the win.  


Friday –Ft. Myers 2, Charlotte 5Deolis Guerra gave up two runs in 5.1 innings. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out six. Blair Erickson gave up a run on one hit in 2.1 innings. He struck out four, but he took the loss. Alex Burnett came in and got the final out but not before giving up four hits, and two additional runs. Chris Parmelee went 2-3 with a triple. Rene Leveret went 2-3 with a walk. Chris Cates was 1-3 with a walk.   


Friday – Beloit 3, Dayton 4 (12 innings)Shooter Hunt was on the mound again on this night, and there was a contingency of the Twins brass there to see what he was doing. He had yet another frustrating night. In three innings, he gave up three runs (2 earned) on just one hit. He struck out four. Now for what you were looking for; he walked six and threw three wild pitches. Dan Berlind came in and gave up four hits and struck out four in four shutout innings. Danny Rondon was perfect through three innings. Matt Williams gave up an unearned run in his second inning of work to take the loss. He struck out three. The Snappers had seven hits. James Beresford was 2-3 with a walk and his third stolen base. Evan Bigley hit his first homer of the season. Angel Morales hit his second home run.

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


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