Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #23

The Twins are trying to give us all heart attacks, but picking up the win was the important thing. Here are tonight's notes:

1.) Ramon Ortiz was, as usual, very competent. He gave up 5 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings, which is a little on the high side, but not bad, and most importantly gave up just 2 runs. Unfortunately, the offense for the Twins didn't really wake up until the 8th inning, so he gets a no decision. Nevertheless, it has to be encouraging that he went into a road game against a division rival and pitched like a number 2 starter -- it's official, I believe in him.

2.) Jesse Crain gave up a run and has a 6.00 ERA on the season, but he nevertheless was the beneficiary of the aforementioned 8th inning, and picked up his first win of the season. Juan Rincon made things a little interesting by allowing a couple of hits in his inning of work, but still didn't give up a run. And Joe Nathan had another 1-2-3 inning to pick up his 7th save of the season. He may have had some rough outings early, but he looks alright to me.

3.) Mike Redmond struggled in his early at-bats, but came through when it mattered. Joe Mauer delivered a big pinch hit 2-RBI double. Justin Morneau mashed one. It's nice to see a team effort on offense, even if it was a little late in coming.

4.) There was some rumbling in the blogosphere today that Joe Mauer should have started today's game and rested tomorrow. I'll just briefly say that I disagree -- he'd had a couple of games where he wasn't hitting that well, so why not rest him against a tough lefty like Robertson? This has nothing to do with the fact that he was available on the bench to deliver that clutch hit (I previously said it was a double; guess it just seemed too big to be "merely" a single) -- I'm just saying I think it made sense to give him the night "off."

5.) Luis Castillo could be back tomorrow, but I have to say that I don't see a reason to rush him back. Give Alexi Casilla those two starts, rest Castillo until Tuesday in Tampa, and go from there. Incidentally, Gardy supposedly didn't want to put pressure on Casilla by starting him in a tough inter-divisional road game. I say, why not? Show the kid what big league pressure is all about, and see how he takes it. I can't imagine anything so traumatic would have happened that he'd have lost confidence in his abilities. It's not like a guy making a start and getting destroyed -- there's only so much that can go wrong for a hitter.

6.) Sounds like Jeff Cirillo is going to be ready to come back on Tuesday as well. Let the debate begin: Josh Rabe or Glen Perkins to AAA? Personally (and I hate myself for saying this), I kind of like the flexibility in the bullpen that 12 guys gives Gardy. I say Rabe should be heading down. Of course, if the Twins make that move, they'll have to start either Jason Kubel or Jason Tyner in LF every day, and there would often be no good backup option in the outfield. That might be dangerous -- and that's probably why Perkins will be the guy getting optioned out when this series is over.



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