Nightly Notes: Game #19
1.) Carlos Silva had a reasonably strong start tonight. It wasn't brilliant work, but really he made just one bad mistake and got rocked for a three-run bomb. Part of his undoing was actually his high strikeout total -- or, I should say, the high strikeout total was indicative of a problem. When Silva is on, he gets guys to put the ball in play relatively quickly. Picking up 6 K's indicated that things weren't going according to plan, and his pitch count got very high. As a result, he lasted just 5 innings and gave up the three runs. I'll take this from Silva -- it's better than I expected coming into this season -- but it would still be nice if he could go 6+. Incidentally, Silva shouldn't be blamed at all for this loss -- the Twins should be scoring more than 3 runs in a game.
2.) As ugly as things at the end of the ballgame, the early effort of the bullpen was great. Glen Perkins had a very nice 2.1 innings, Juan Rincon looked solid in 1.1 innings, and Pat Neshek was his usual dominant self. Even Jesse Crain, who was easily tonight's goat, had a solid first inning of work. We can't just ignore what happened in his second inning -- he flat out got rocked -- but, as I've said all year, I think this is an anomaly. Again, as always, if he does it again then it will be a problem. One time is just a blip.
3.) Alexi Casilla and Jason Bartlett both had strong games, but Nick Punto regressed a bit by going 0-for-5. At least he hit a couple of balls hard, although they were hit right to the center-fielder. With Luis Castillo still hurting, it looks like Alexi Casilla will have a regular starting job for at least another few days. The interesting question is what happens when Castillo returns to the lineup -- and you at least have to ask the question whether Nick Punto may be in trouble there. Third base is not a position that Casilla would normally be asked to play, but he's a good athlete with a strong arm, and there's no reason to think he couldn't play there.
4.) The Torii Hunter absurdity continues. Another double, and another homerun. The man simply refuses to hit singles. Not that I'm complaining . . .
5.) Joe Mauer is now hitting .400 on the season. As I write this, Vlad Guerrero is 0-0 with a couple of walks, so his batting average is also sitting at .400. It seems like Mauer can just be chalked up for a couple hits every night now. It's still very early, of course, but is it possible that he could actually be better this year than he was last year? How scary does THAT thought have to be to the rest of the league? By the way, some guy named A-Rod is also hitting .400 after a 4-5 night and two more homeruns, which puts him at 14. Now that's absurd. Best part about the A-Rod story, though -- it's not really making much difference. The Yankees pitching is so bad that the team is just 8-10. That is truly a feel good story for the rest of the league.
Labels: Nightly Notes