Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #63

Proud Papa Silva came up big tonight, as the Twins get the series victory and put themselves in the position to go for the sweep tomorrow night. Here are tonight's notes:

1.) How about that performance from Carlos Silva! This was a vintage Silva performance -- 8 hits, no walks, 2 K's, 3 double-plays. He was pitching so well that I don't think Gardy even hesitated about letting him throw 108 pitches to pick up the Complete Game Shutout. That's such a rarity with this group of Twins that sometimes you forget it's even possible on a pitch count, but Silva tonight was proof. Of course, this means that Carlos has 2 Complete Games in his last three outings -- which sandwich his worst start of the year (and, judging purely by Game Score, the worst Twins start of the year, period). Even allowing 8 hits, Silva wasn't really in trouble at any point tonight -- sure, he had a couple of rough patches, including the second inning when Chipper and Andruw Jones both singled to start things off, and the third, when Escobar and Johnson did the same thing -- but Silva just seemed totally in control throughout this game. I forgot how fun he can be to watch pitch when he's on his game.

2.) Normally I talk about the bullpen here. Of course, none of them pitched tonight thanks to the Chief, but there is some news, at least, to throw in here. It sounds as if Dennys Reyes is about to be activated, and that Carmen Cali is going to be the guy who is sent down. I sincerely hope that Reyes regains some of his 2006 magic, but at least if he doesn't, we know that Cali is waiting at AAA to help out if he's needed -- and Glen Perkins return seems to be getting fairly close as well. Since there's still some question about Joe Mauer's durability, this move makes sense. I would be stunned if the Twins stayed with 11 pitchers for more than 2 weeks, however.

3.) Lew Ford hit a homerun tonight and played solid defense out in left. Does that mean all is forgiven, and that I now will happily accept his presence on the roster? No. But here's the thing -- I root for every Twin that's in the lineup. I want Lew to prove me and all the other haters wrong, and I sincerely hope he does just that and goes on a tear. While a 1-for-4 day with a homer and some solid defense isn't bad, it's also not enough to make me forget the last, oh, 2 years. I'm willing to re-evaluate my position on Ford, but it's going to take more than that to get me to do it.

4.) How much longer will the Twins keep Jeff Cirillo around to put up 0-fer's? He's now hitting .210 on the season after going 0-for-3 tonight, and this just makes me wonder -- what happens to veteran free agents when they join the Twins? He's usually a better hitter than this, at least when he gets at least 150+ at-bats. The one notable recent exception is 2003, when he had 258 AB's and hit just .205. For the most part, though, he's been much more solid than that. Nevertheless, he comes to the Twins and his hitting falls into a black hole. Remind you of anyone? I'm thinking of Rondell White, of course, who hadn't hit below .270 in his career (with the exception of his 2002 season with New York, when he hit just .240). Of course, he was injured last season, so his early hitting woes weren't really his fault. I don't think Cirillo can fall back on his knee surgery, though. Maybe the reason the Twins are so hesitant about signing free agents to play in the field is that the guys they can afford to pay just fail to perform when they join the Twins.

5.) Don't look now, but the Yankees won again tonight, and the White Sox lost again. Two teams that struggled with some early season adversity -- but one of them righted the ship and seems to be on the way to making things interesting in the playoff race, while the other has self-destructed and is becoming a circus. I think all you need to do is look at the difference in the style of the managers -- the calm, almost stoic presence of Joe Torre versus the hyperkinetic and hypercritical presence of Ozzie Guillen -- to get a good idea of why this can happen. It isn't the only reason, of course -- the Yankees are better than they were playing, and the White Sox apparently aren't -- but I think it's a big part of things. My not-so-fearless prediction: Ozzie will be gone at the end of the year.

6.) Oh yeah -- before I go for the night, congrats to Michael Cuddyer on putting together an impressive 3-for-4 performance, and to Justin Morneau for clobbering his 18th HR and driving in his 48th, 49th, and 50th runs of the year. Nicely done, guys!

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2 Comments:

  • At Thu Jun 14, 07:59:00 AM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    I was a little upset that Cali was the one to go. I would have liked keep him up at the majors.

    Also, I would be in favor of bringing up Jones to take Cirillo's spot. He obviously isn't healthy still because they said he had a shot in his knee on Sunday.

     
  • At Thu Jun 14, 08:15:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    I hadn't heard about Cirillo getting a cortisone shot -- maybe I was a bit too harsh on him, then, when I said I didn't think he could fall back on his knee injury to explain his poor performance at the plate.

     

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