Nightly Notes: Game #50
1.) There's simply no better place to start than with the excellent performance of Glen Perkins today. After Boof Bonser's horrid outing yesterday, the Twins badly needed Perkins to show something today to save the bullpen. He did just that, going 7.2 innings and allowing just 1 run (on a big Carlos Guillen bomb) on 7 hits and 2 walks. He's more than demonstrated that he belongs in the Twins rotation right now, and it would be a horrid decision to keep Bonser in the rotation at Perkins' expense. I don't know how Perkins will do over the balance of the season, but I'm really encouraged by what he's done so far, and I have a suspicion that he won't be seeing Rochester again anytime soon. If Francisco Liriano starts to pitch well in AAA, the Twins could be faced with a very pleasant conundrum of what to do with all of their talented young pitchers.
2.) It was just 1/3 of an inning, but Matt Guerrier finally did what the Twins have been begging their relievers to do -- bail out a starter. Glen Perkins left runners on 2nd and 3rd when he was taken out in the 8th, and Guerrier got a strikeout to end the inning. Thank you, Matt Guerrier! Of course, Joe Nathan was once again outstanding in the ninth. Ho hum, what else is new?
3.) Mike Lamb put together a very welcome 3-for-4 day today to raise his batting average to .246 on the year. In the month of May, Lamb is hitting .271 with a .684 OPS. By no means are those great numbers, but honestly I'd take that (especially if he could start driving the ball a bit more for doubles and homers -- something he's been doing in his last couple of games). Lamb has been too good of a Major League hitter throughout his career to keep playing as poorly as he did in April (when he hit an atrocious .197), so I'm not surprised that he's started to improve a bit. The question is whether he can hit at a .270-.280 clip for the rest of the year. I'm starting to get a wee bit hopeful that such a thing might be possible.
4.) At times, this season has felt like a slog -- but the team is sitting at 25-25 and is just 2 games behind the White Sox after 50 games. That right on the pace that I predicted the Twins would be on (I guessed in February that they'd finish 82-80 -- although my other predictions are pretty much laughable), and I think that's encouraging. Why? Well, the bullpen has been really bad. Delmon Young isn't hitting like anyone expected, and certainly isn't making us forget Torii Hunter. Adam Everett and Mike Lamb (until quite recently) have been miserable. Francisco Liriano was brutal and is back in AAA. Boof Bonser has been Boof Bonser. Infielders are dropping like flies. Despite so many things not going as planned, the Twins have still banked a .500 record through the first 50 games. Twins fans should be pleased -- there is plenty of room for improvement on this squad, yet despite that they're usually competitive.
5.) The best day of racing on the calendar is going well so far -- there was a great Formula 1 Race this morning, and the Indy 500 has been decent. There's nothing like getting up at 5:30 in the morning and looking forward to somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 hours of racing in three great events. I hope you're all having a great Memorial Day weekend so far!
6.) I plan on posting a Good, Bad, Ugly post on the Ft. Myers Miracle either tonight or tomorrow. Work is also continuing on the Relief Pitcher Org Rankings (the first 10 players are already posted, and if you're clever you can find them on the site -- although I'm not going to make it general knowledge where they are until I'm done). Also, in the next week to ten days, you should look for posts covering early awards-leaders, my early choices for the All-Star Game, and possibly some other things I've been thinking about but won't talk about (since I can't promise them yet!).
Labels: Nightly Notes