Tag:Mariners
Posted on: June 16, 2009 2:33 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2009 2:42 pm
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One For The Road.

Despite a recent slew of injuries, the Twins play .500 ball on the road.

By: Christopher Torola

The Twins just completed a ten game road trip, and came away with as many wins as losses. Not bad considering that Nick Punto spent most of that time on the DL, and during the trip the Twins lost at least some playing time from Michael Cuddyer (finger), Denard Span (dizziness), and Joe Crede (back). If the Twins can win games with only eighty percent of the best players on the field, they should be able to play even better once back at full strength. All that being said, the rest of the American League central played just as well or better over their last ten games, and the Twins are now three games out of first place.

On the road trip where the Twins played the Mariners, the Athletics, and the Cubs; the boys from Minnesota never gave up more then four runs in any of their losses. Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker each pitched two games and had quality starts on all of their outings. If they can keep that up, the Twins should quickly pick up games on the Tigers to sit atop the division. Justin Morneau has not completely broken out of his slump. The most telling stat for him on this road trip is that he struck out seven times and only walked once. As if we need a reminder how good Joe Mauer is playing, as he continues to seemingly hit the ball at will his average actually dropped while getting fifteen hits in forty-two at bats. It also appears that Twin's outfielders Delmon Young (ten hits) and Carlos Gomez (six hit in the seven games he got at-bats) are starting to play their way back to respectability.

The rest of the month is spent in inter-league play (and two games at Kansas City). The Twins will host the Pirates and the Astros this week. Both teams have been playing well their during the last 10 games, but remain tied for last place at the bottom of their division. Taking that into account as well as the fact that the Twins are five and one in the National League Central so far this year, it would seem like a perfect time to pick up some ground on the Tigers who just lost two out of three to the Pirates and are now playing the much tougher Brewers and Cardinals.

It should be an enjoyable rest of the month to watch, as inter-league play is always fun to watch, especially if your a Twins fan.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 9, 2009 10:55 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2009 6:07 am
 

When it rains it Pours. Twins v. M's


FRIDAY
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The Twins tee off on the M's beating them 11 - 0. Scott Baker goes 7 strong, striking out 5 and walking none. Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan each pitch one scoreless to complete the shutout. Not only did the the pitching come through in a big way, but the bats took off. Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris hit the Twins first 3 run homers of the year. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau also hit back to back home runs in the 5th inning.

SATURDAY: The Twins hot hitting comes through again as the M & M boys go back to back for the second game in a row to beat the Mariners 9 - 6. Michael Cuddyer hit the Twins' 3rd 3 run home run of the season the day after they hit their first 2. In a game that could have been billed as a great pitching match-up, we saw Felix Hernandez give up 5 runs in just 4 innings while Francisco Liriano pitched 3 innings of no hit ball before struggling to get through the 4th and 5th. Hopefully the Twins batters will continue to stay hot while the starting pitchers are struggling with big innings. Thankfully they have the talent to do so. 

Joe Mauer was hitting .500 at one point in this game.


SUNDAY: The Twins failed to put the M's away during the early innings and it came back to cost them the game. Erik Bedard seemed to be pitching out of a jam his whole time on the mound. He walked 5 and gave up 5 hits in 4 2/3 innings, but the Twins only managed to score 2 runs off him. The bullpen pitched well for the M's until Brandon Morrow made it interesting in the 9th. Nick Blackburn pitched 7 strong shut out innings for the Twins, holding onto a 2 run lead. In the 8th Jose Mijares got one out, walked Jose Lopez on 4 pitches (only Lopez's 4th walk of the season) and gave up the game tieing homerun to Ken Griffey Jr. Mijares was then pulled for Jesse Crain who gave up 2 more runs without recording an out. Craig Breslow gave up another ER in the top half of the 9th. Fresh off the DL, Brandon Morrow entered the 9th with a 3 run lead. Nick Punto hit a single and stole 2nd base. Morrow got the next 2 batters before giving up an RBI single to Joe Mauer. He then walked Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer on 8 consecutive pitches out of the zone before getting Brendan Harris to ground out with a full count to end the game 5 -3 Mariners. 

 


The 3 game sweep of the slumping Mariners was well within the Twins' reach today; but Twins hitters continued to struggle to get big hits with men in scoring position, and were unable to avoid a big inning defensively. Although Blackburn pitched great, bouncing back from a bad outing in Detroit, the bullpen gave up its 4th loss of the season. The Twins have one of baseball's higher bullpen ERAs (which has been one of the team's strong points over the last few years). They will need to turn this trend around to make the post season.

 
 
 
 
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