Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #69

That's more like it! Twins pick up a big, important, necessary win in New York, and *gulp* Scott Baker gets a shot tomorrow to help the Twins win the series. Here are tonight's notes:

1.) OK, that's what Johan Santana is supposed to pitch like once June rolls around. A complete game, 4 hit performance (but just 1 K?) that saw Johan throw just 92 pitches. The low strikeout total may have had something to do with the fact that he had a low enough pitch count to get a complete game as a Twin -- something which once was rare, but which has become downright unremarkable over the last couple of weeks. Still, strikeouts or not, this is what the Twins need Johan to pitch like over the last 93 games of the season if they have any hope of catching the Tigers and Indians.

2.) Jeff Cirillo is making his case for replacing Nick Punto full time at 3rd. He's started to hit, going 3-for-5 tonight to raise his batting average to .253 on the season. And how about Johan picking up a double? He put a pretty good swing on that curve, but I never understood why National League pitchers don't just bust their opposition with fastballs -- seems to me they'd be likely to get strikeouts and weak grounders against almost all of them (except for guys like Carlos Zambrano, who could take the ball out of the yard). It was also nice to see Joe Mauer (2-for-4), Justin Morneau (2-for-5), and Jason Bartlett (2-for-5) pick it up tonight. Somewhat oddly, the only guy in the lineup not to get a hit tonight was Luis Castillo -- but he's been dragging a bit of late, with his average dropping from above .330 down to .306 now.

3.) There's been a lot of talk about Rondell White recently, and he supposedly felt better today after having a setback this weekend, but I don't expect to see him back before mid-July at the earliest. Even then, who's to know how he's going to perform? If the Twins think they need to make a move to get a bat at DH, I wouldn't wait for White to get healthy.

4.) I was jazzed for the start of the Elizabethton Twins season (see my preview post, below) -- but it rained in Tennessee, and 3 of the 4 Appalachian League games that were scheduled for tonight didn't get off the ground. Darn you, mother nature! Ah well -- there's always tomorrow.

5.) Don't forget -- tomorrow marks the start of a two-day gossip fest, with Scott Baker needing to deliver. If he doesn't, he'll have to watch Matt Garza make his start on Thursday knowing that a trip back to AAA is very possible. And if Baker pitches really terribly, there's a good chance that Garza won't even make that scheduled start -- in other words, we should know pretty quickly whether or not Baker's time in the big leagues is going to be up.

6.) Completely off topic, but I'm going to go on record here with a basketball opinion. I love Kevin Garnett -- have ever since he was drafted. Ideally, the T-Wolves would be able to build a solid corps of players around him and win a Championship. Sadly, the team has been so horribly mismanaged the past few years by Kevin McHale that there is very little payroll flexibility. The Wolves need to make something happen, and that something would probably involve trading KG. If the reported offers from Boston are even close to accurate, the Wolves need to talk to KG and make this thing happen. While he doesn't have a no-trade clause, he will be able to opt out after next season, making a deal risky for the receiving team. That's why the Wolves need to make sure that KG is alright with whatever situation happens. I never, ever thought that I would advocate for the Wolves to trade KG -- but it's time. We fans can all blame Kevin McHale for walking the team into this corner.



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