Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nightly Notes: Game #73

Another solid win for the Twins in the absence of the MVP, thanks to some timely hitting by Joe Mauer (power!) and some solid pitching from Johan Santana. The Twins win the series and head home for a four game set with the Toronto Blue Jays. Here are today's notes:

1.) Johan Santana showed an un-Santana-like inefficiency with his pitches today, as he needed 97 pitches to get through 6 innings of work. Nevertheless, in those 6 innings he allowed just 2 runs (only 1 of which was earned) on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 8. When Santana is at his best, he can get strikeouts quickly and efficiently, but today he had to labor a bit more. Nevertheless, thanks to an offense that actually had a little bit of life to it today, Santana picked up his 8th victory, and lowered his ERA to 2.83 -- while I was doubtful about his ability to make the All-Star game because of the number of solid pitching performances in the American League this year, I now have to rethink that position. His reputation and another solid year in the ERA and K categories should be enough to get him in the game. Oh yeah, before I forget -- how about that triple!?! Johan can swing the stick!

2.) Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan both got touched for runs today, but Matt Guerrier was his usual strong self and the runs never put the Twins in danger. When you see these guys in the game, you just feel nice and secure, don't ya?

3.) Just to make me look silly for being so effusive over his recent performance, Jeff Cirillo threw up an 0-for-5. Ho-hum. He's still been solid for the last two weeks.

4.) Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 -- with 2 homeruns. Hey, I'll take it! I don't think that Mauer is ever going to turn into a bigtime homerun guy -- his swing is built for doubles and a high average, not for lofting the ball into the air. Still, when he connects with one, he can crush the ball, and that's exactly what happened a couple of times today. He's been solid for the last couple of games, so I'd say he's fully recovered.

5.) I'm of the opinion that Justin Morneau needs to go on the DL if he won't be able to play even for just 1 week -- with so many games over the next two weeks (15 games in 14 days), the Twins need every roster spot filled. Besides, with the injury that Morneau suffered, you don't want to take any chances. Unless Morneau can play by Thursday or Friday, then, I think he needs to go on the DL -- and, I think that's exactly what's going to happen. If it does, I think the Twins will call up Garrett Jones.

6.) Incidentally, the Twins may go with Mike Redmond or Joe Mauer at first in one of the next couple of games. Presumably that would only happen if Jeff Cirillo needed a day off. Frankly, I don't want to see either of these guys playing there -- but it would certainly be entertaining.

7.) Nick Punto (.219) got a hit today! Unfortunately, neither Lew Ford (.247) nor Luis Rodriguez (.179) did. Enough with Rodriguez -- bring up Tolbert!



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