Sunday Game Report

4 May

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Please note that I posted each day. Here are the Friday Night Report and Saturday Night Report.

And, if you’re at all interested in a baseball road trip, be sure to let The Twins Geek know.

o, I made the trek to the Metrodome for the first time this season on Sunday morning. Hung out on the plaza. Ponied up for some Cheap Seat tickets. Purchased the customary Dome Dog, and sat down to enjoy a ball game. And I did just that. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that I even realized what was going on. I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that Scott Baker had not allowed a hit. In the fifth inning, Baker got three foul pop ups. In the sixth inning, after striking out John Buck, Mitch Maier drilled a long drive to the warning track in right centerfield. Michael Cuddyer covered a lot of ground and reached to make the catch. Then Coco Crisp hit a very hard line drive that Delmon Young was able to catch. My thought process at that time was that he was really hit hard, but in any no-hitter, there are likely some hard hit balls or good defensive plays. Maybe those were those plays. The other side of me noted that he had already thrown 84 pitches, and despite getting 18 out of 19 batters out, it certainly wasn’t easy. I think I would have had someone slowly getting ready in the bullpen. But then again, Gardy had used the entire bullpen the night before, and a couple of them on Friday night as well. So I’m certain he was hoping to use as little of the bullpen as possible.

When Willie Bloomquist led off with a solid single up the middle, the crowd rose and cheered Baker. I looked to the bullpen. Nothing. Mark Teahen bounced a single between first and second for another single. For some reason, I thought that the Jose Guillen match could not be good. But then Baker got ahead 0-2 and I felt better. And then came that fateful 0-2 pitch, and Guillen crushed it into the centerfield bleachers. The lead was now just 4-3. At this point, I looked to the bullpen, trying to figure out when the call would be made. No one had started warming up, but each one of them were stretching their arms out.

I’m not always a big fan of all of Baseball’s Unwritten Rules, but there is one that I do believe. When a guy pitches the way Baker did for the first six innings, you can’t let him lose it. So when Mike Jacobs singled to right field, I knew it had to be time for the change. Luis Ayala was warmed up and ready to go, but Gardy let Baker pitch to one more batter. David DeJesus singled to right too, and mercifully, that ended Baker’s game. However, when Alberto Callaspo doubled in both runs, and Baker was in line for the loss. Ayala worked out of the inning, but the damage had already been done. The momentum had changed drastically. R.A. Dickey gave up one more run in each of the last two innings to give the Royals at 7-4 win.

Joe Mauer pinch hit in the 9th and singled in a run, but Justin Morneau, who was 3-5 on the day with two doubles, grounded out to 2B to end the game. The Royals had the improbably comeback and a series win to boot.

I partially blame Ron Gardenhire for Baker’s bad inning because I just think he was so slow to react. However, Baker himself heeds to be held accountable as well. I mean, he is supposedly a good pitcher, the team’s ace. He has to be able to stop the bleeding.

  • Joe Mauer, not surprisingly, got Sunday off. He did pinch hit and got the single to raise his series average to .700. He was 7-10 in his return weekend. Not too shabby!
  • Jose Morales got the start behind the plate on Sunday. He went 1-4 and is hitting .340. However, Mike Redmond was deemed healthy, so following the game, Morales was sent to Rochester when Jesse Crain was activated.
  • I have confidence in Joe Nathan, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Jose Mijares right now. I have little confidence in Luis Ayala, and R.A. Dickey. I have no confidence in Craig Breslow. The other problem is that there is no one in AAA who is ready to help the Twins, although both Philip Humber and Juan Morillo have done well since they headed to the Red Wings. Rob Delaney has allowed runs in four out of his past five appearances at AA, and even Anthony Slama has given up runs in his last two games. He has walked two batters in an inning in each performance. So, barring a trade, which is unlikely at this point, this is what it is.
  • Michael Cuddyer is 7-15 (.467) with eight walks and two strikeouts in his past six games. In his last six starts, Delmon Young is 9-27 (.333) to raise his average to .274.

OTHER NOTES

MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

ROCHESTER REPORT

Sunday –Rochester 1, Indianapolis 2 – Jason Jones deserved better, but the Red Wings bats managed just seven hits in the game. Luke Hughes hit a double, the lone extra base hit. Jones went the first 6.1 innigns and gave up two runs on six hits. He walked five (but two were intentional) and hit two batters. Juan Morillo needed just three pitches to get two outs in the seventh. Ben Julianel threw a scoreless eighth. 

 ROCKCAT RECAP

Sunday – New Britain 3, Trenton 5 Jay Rainville dropped hit ERA to 2.74 with five innings of one-run ball. He gave up four hits and walked four as well. Jose Lugo gave up three unearned runs in 1.2 innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three. Rob Delaney gave up an unearned run in 1.1 innings. He gave up three hits and a walk. He has now given up runs in four of his last five outings. Yohan Pino worked a perfect ninth. Brian Dinkelman had another two hits to raise his average to .343. Erik Lis was 2-4.  

MIRACLE MEMOS

Sunday –Ft. Myers 6, Charlotte 5Tyler Robertson gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings. All five runs came in the third inning. Santos Arias struck out two in three shutout innings. Alex Burnett struck out two in two shutout innings. Rene Leveret went 2-4 with his fifth and sixth doubles.

SNAPPERS SNIPPETS

Sunday – Beloit 5, Great Lakes 6Jonathan Waltenbury appears to have turned the corner on his season. After hitting his first homer on Saturday, he went 2-3 with a walk, his frouth double and second home run. James Beresford went 3-5. Bobby Lanigan started and gave up six runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings to take the loss. He struck out five. Joe Testa struck out four in three one-hit innings. Matt Williams pitched a scoreless inning as well. 

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

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4 Responses to “Sunday Game Report”

  1. Funkytown May 4, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    How long before Ayala and Dickey are gone? I know no one is dealing, and Morillo was a bust…and there isn’t much at AAA….but man, between those 2 and Breslow, when they pitch, not much good happens.

    I don’t get the fascination with Dickey and the knuckler. It’d be a different story if he was good. He was lousy in SEA last year, too.

    Ayala is shot. He was bad last year, and is trouble every time he comes in.

    All of which frustrates me about Delaney and Slama not moving up in the past year. Delaney to AAA THIS year, and Slama should have been in AAA last year.

    Now they’re burning Delaney out in AA. Way too many appearances this early. Slama isn’t far behind.

  2. Funkytown May 4, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    I actually meant Slama should have been in AA last year, too. Would have made a world of difference.

    Twins are paying the price for having a lousy stretch of pitching. The AA group didn’t advance, and they’re not that good again in AA this year. Mullins especially leading the pack. Sosa out for the year doesn’t help, either.

    Maybe it’s time for Swarzak to come up and work out of the bullpen.

    I could see Sean Henn replacing Breslow soon.

  3. mike wants wins May 4, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    I also don’t get the lack of pinch hitting for Punto the last two nights. Why is Punto hitting when you are down by three. Mauer should have pinch hit there, not be saved in case they got one hit.

    I also don’t get why Punto wasn’t PH for late Saturday, with runner(s) on (can’t remember the exact situation), but I think both Morales and Harris were available….

    This team just looks like a .500 or just below that team right now. They have some terrible hitting, some mediocre hitting, and 2-3 very good hitters. Their SP is inconsistent or worse, and they have 3 stiffs in the pen (1-2 might be acceptable, but not 3).

    Bill Smith’s grade is moving from incomplete to D pretty quickly….I can’t think of one move that he’s made that has worked yet (other than being forced to bring up Span last year due to injuries). Some of them could still work, but so far, his decision making (or the ownership’s cheapness) is not working out.

  4. Kunza May 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    I think the roster (besides Mauer, Morneau, Punto, Span and Cuddyer-uggh) is an absolute mess right now.

    I just think that it’s time to cut the cord with some of these guys like Buscher, Redmond, Ayala, Breslow and others and quit giving them opportunities to be productive. The outfield situation is an absolute disaster. The bullpen is an absolute disaster. The juggling of the lineup every stinking day has been a disaster.

    Pick your guys and let them play for 2-4 weeks. If they suck – then give these other guys a chance.

    We are absolutely killing the confidence of guys like Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young and even Jason Kubel with the constant “I’ve got a hunch” garbage we keep hearing.

    No wonder Gomez sucks this year – he only has 46 AB’s and plays every 3rd day. No wonder Delmon hasn’t been producing any power numbers, he only plays once every 3 days. 25 less AB’s than Cuddyer but more RBI and a batter average. Delmon reminds me of how everyone couldn’t WAIT to get rid of Jason Kubel – now people want him in the lineup every day! Put Delmon in RF, his natural position, and let him play. Put Gomez in CF, and let him play. Put Span in LF, and let him play. Let Cuddyer go on MLB Network and do magic tricks.

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