Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Friday, September 29, 2006

Nightly Notes

Alright, forget about the loss for now. The Tigers blew it against the Royals (thanks for coughing up the save, TJ), and there's nothing we can do about the loss anyway. Here are the things to take away from tonight:

1.) Bonser wasn't great tonight by any means, but remember he was pitching on short rest so that he could be set up for the playoffs. His start was adequate, and would have been better but for a couple of pitches that were left up and ended up sailing over the fence. He'll be fine when he starts Game 2, whoever that ends up being against.

2.) Brad Radke's shoulder was no worse than normal when he woke up this morning, meaning that unless there is a setback over the next few days, he should be the starter for Game 3 of the playoffs. That's fantastic news for Twins fans, because Radke has been very solid over the last half of the season, and provides the kind of veteran leadership that could be crucial. I know I certainly feel much better knowing that only 1 game will be started by Carlos Silva or Matt Garza (although wouldn't it be great if we could just sweep the series and not need a fourth starter at all in the first round?).

3.) Sometimes, young players who don't know any better come up in September and have statement games. For the Twins, this has not just been confined to September, as we've seen guys come up from AAA and contribute all season. One of the most remarkable and unexpected of these statement games may have been turned in tonight by Glen Perkins, who really didn't seem to be in any position to have such a game just a few short months ago when he was struggling to win ballgames in AA. At the end of the year, however, Perkins started to show something, and the Twins gave him a shot to help out the Red Wings in the International League playoffs. He responded with a 7 inning, 10 strikeout performance that perked up Terry Ryan's ears a bit more, and almost certainly contributed mightily to Perkins September call-up. He had been pretty solid in his first couple of appearances, and then tonight he was perfect until his last batter, going 3.2 innings with 5 K's before finally giving up a double to Paul Konerko, who would end up scoring. Perkins threw a yakker to Jim Thome that was unbelievable, and he pitched with confidence that belies the fact that he's barely thrown five innings at the major league level. I don't know if Glen Perkins will make the post-season roster; I don't even know if I want him to. But after this, there's no question that the Twins management is going to give him a very, very hard look.

4.) An interesting note appears in the above-linked article suggesting that if the Twins have a chance to win the division on Sunday, Carlos Silva will get the start. If not, Glen Perkins or Scott Baker would probably get the call. With Matt Garza starting tomorrow, that doesn't necessarily mean anything about who would get the playoff start in Game 4, if necessary. That game will be on Saturday, so either one would have the necessary rest to go in the playoffs. Perhaps a more interesting question is why the Twins aren't slotting Silva in to start that game regardless; could it be that they've already decided he isn't going to be starting in the playoffs, and so if the game is meaningless they'd rather have him available as an emergency long man if one of the early starters gets bombed or has to leave early due to pitch count? I think this is a pretty solid hint, but who knows; things could change if Garza struggles tomorrow.

5.) It would have been great if the Twins had been able to complete the comeback tonight. Homeruns from either Justin Morneau or Torii Hunter would have provided for a storybook ending on back-to-back nights, but unfortunately I didn't have much confidence when Phil Nevin came to the dish. Sad but true fact: I had more confidence in Lew Ford's ability to drive in Cuddyer than I did in Nevin. And I really do want to like the guy.

6.) Michael Cuddyer accounted for all three Twins RBI's tonight, pushing his season total to 105. He moves into a tie with Bob Allison '61 for 20th on the Twins single season RBI list.


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