Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #24

Well -- I wasn't quite expecting the Twins to go out and do that today against Justin Verlander and the Tigers -- that being putting up 11 runs (a veritable flood for a team that had been struggling a bit), but I'll certainly take it. Here are today's notes:

1.) While watching the first inning, I thought that Carlos Silva was going to have one of those horrible days where he elevates every pitch and gets absolutely hammered. And, really, is there any question that if this were last year, that's exactly what would have happened? Somehow, Silva has found a way to correct himself mid-course, thus avoiding those kinds of extended innings that cause so much damage. Six innings, 3 runs, 10 hits, 1 walk, 4 K's -- that's pretty much exactly what a good Silva outing looks like. I'll take it.

2.) I suggested before the start of this series that there was no way the Twins were going to go into Detroit and sweep the Tigers. Now, they're a Johan Santana start away from doing just that. Baseball is such a weird sport -- I love it!

3.) It was great to see Justin Morneau settle into a groove today. When he's on, he just makes hitting look so easy, and he puts some great swings on the ball. This isn't the most insightful comment in the world, but I don't care -- I'm just glad that he's making it look somewhat effortless again.

4.) Ron Gardenhire rested Joe Mauer yesterday, knowing he was going to give Mauer either Friday or Saturday off. I suggested yesterday that giving Mauer Friday off instead of Saturday was a good move, because Mauer had had a couple of sub-par games in a row, and seemed to need the rest. There's no way to tell what would have happened if Gardy had gone the other way, but Mauer is now 4-for-6 (including yesterday's pinch hit) after not starting on Friday, so it's hard to say it wasn't the right move.

5.) Everybody in the starting lineup got at least one hit. Considering how much some of the non-stars have struggled early this season, that's a very welcome development.

6.) Alright, I can understand giving Alexi Casilla one day off in the opener of a tough series against a division rival on the road. But two days in a row? With Luis Rodriguez starting at 2B? Rodriguez had a pretty good day at the plate -- 1-for-2 with 2 walks -- but I still don't think this was the right move. Let Casilla start while he has the chance to do so, most importantly so he can get experience playing in important games. Consider this: with Luis Castillo a free agent after this season, it will be tempting to trade him at the deadline. If that happens, Casilla will have to learn to start in games that are meaningful down the stretch. As a result, I'm not really comfortable with justifying not starting him with a justification of keeping the pressure off of him.

7.) We all know that Michael Cuddyer has a great arm. But two outfield assists tonight? Man, he's ridiculous. I love it!

8.) Johan v. Maroth tomorrow for a chance to finish the 10-game gauntlet against AL Central teams at 5-5. I like those odds.



  • At Sun Apr 29, 11:00:00 AM , Anonymous Steve said...

    That's an interesting point you made about Casilla not starting. That hadn't really occurred to me.

    However, I also think it's important to note that he had been starting games for almost a week before he had this two game rest. Even then he had two at-bats yesterday.

    Maybe the Twins aren't trying to hold his feet to the fire quite yet and are willing to take it slower, especially with Lu-Rod as a serviceable infielder on the bench.

    Again, good point. It will be interesting to see how he used the next few days and in the future.

    Do you expect Casilla to get sent down once Castillo returns? I would almost like to see him as the utility infielder as he is a bit more dangerous. However, this wouldn't allow him the proper seasoning he needs and the ability to start somewhere on a regular basis.


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