Nightly Notes: Game #50
1.) Johan Santana was once again not quite Cy Santana, but he still had a pretty solid day -- 8 innings, 4 earned runs on 7 hits, 1 walk and 7 K's. He got a little help from Torii Hunter in the 8th to keep another earned run off the board. Even though he wasn't brilliant today, he was able to keep the Twins in the game, and got some help from a fired up bunch of guys. He gets his 6th win, and the Twins get win #25 -- nice to see.
2.) Justin Morneau looked all too human today, going 0-5 and taking some awfully bad swings. He was picked up by the Twins hitting MVP of the season, one Torii Hunter, who put up another 3 hit day to raise his average to .317. More importantly, though, was the return to form of Nick Punto (3-for-4 to get his average up to .242), Jason Tyner (3-for-4 to get up to .276), and Jason Kubel (2-for-5 with 2 doubles to bump up to .243). The biggest star of the day, though: Mike Redmond, who went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI's and a huge double. No wonder the Twins want to keep Chris Heintz around when Joe Mauer comes off the DL -- Redmond is going to be DH'ing a whole lot, I suspect.
3.) Jason Miller had another solid performance, with a little help from Jason Kubel in left field. It would be a great story if Miller pitched well enough to force the Twins to consider keeping him up for the rest of the year -- but after just two games, it's a little premature to be talking about that.
4.) The Pierzynski thing -- it sure looks like he was trying to step to the inside of the bag. I don't think A.J. would try to actually hurt Morneau; I think, instead, that he wanted to annoy him and mess with the Twins. Based on Gardy's reactions, he certainly did annoy them -- but that seems to have fired the Twins up, rather than distracting them. Being an annoying pest is a two-edged sword, because you either distract a team to the point where they start focusing on you rather than on the game, or you motivate them to beat you to a pulp. Right now, I'd say the Twins are more motivated than distracted. Anyone still wonder why A.J. gets booed? Last thing on this: huge hat tip to the umpires for letting Gardy scream and rant without getting the hook. He was absolutely protecting his player, and the umpires understood that and let him vent. Great job, guys.
5.) Ramon Ortiz is going to the bullpen, and I wrote about it earlier today. For my thoughts on that topic, scroll down or click here.
You'll notice I got the Low A report up (finally!), right beneath this post. I'm working on the AAA report now, and will have it up by tonight. That means I'll officially be back on track with those posts, and will start to fix other things on the blog that have gone into a bit of disrepair -- such as the poll question which is now completely obsolete (and has been for weeks), and the updating on the Organizational Rankings that I've also gotten way behind on. Hopefully within a week, the entire blog will be completely up to date.