Nightly Notes: Game #57
1.) Tonight, for the second game in a row, Livan Hernandez gave up 13 hits in 6 innings. On the plus side, rather than giving up 8 runs (6 earned) as he did last week, Livan limited himself to "just" 5 runs (all earned) tonight. I guess that's progress, of some sort. I think everyone knew what the Twins would be getting out of Livan when he came in, and there's now not much doubt that his early season success was largely an aberration. Just as one example, Livan has not given up fewer hits than innings pitched in a single game this season, while his fellow starters have all accomplished that feat multiple times (Bonser -5; Slowey - 4; Perkins, Blackburn, Baker - 3). The point is that Livan always has and always will give up a ton of hits and, therefore, a lot of runs. In addition, he wears always chooses the hideous vest uniform when he pitches, which is reason enough to wish he were banished. He undoubtedly provides veteran leadership, but frankly I wouldn't mind watching a rotation of Baker, Blackburn, Bonser, Perkins, and Slowey, with Duensing and Mulvey waiting in the wings for a chance. Maybe that's just me -- and I shouldn't complain, since the team picked up a win.
2.) Not much to say about the bullpen -- it seems that most of the guys have turned it around after a rather brutal stretch, which is great to see. Speaking of the bullpen, we got a chance to see Boof get some warmup tosses tonight in the 9th. In case you hadn't yet heard, Bonser was officially told today that he's been demoted to the bullpen, and that Scott Baker will be activated to start on Thursday. That starts off the question of who will be sent down to make room, and while nothing is official just yet, it sure sounds like the Twins are going to carry 13 pitchers until they get through the 40 games-in-41 days stretch. That would mean that Matt Macri will likely soon get a ticket back to Rochester. The way the team has been working the bullpen, I guess I can't blame Bill Smith -- although I just about retch when I see a roster that out of balance.
3.) With Joe Mauer breaking out of the non-Simpsons version of the "No Homers Club," you have to wonder when Delmon Young will send one out of the yard. I realize that people want Delmon to start turning on the ball and hitting it to left field for power, but frankly I'll take him going the other way with power so long as he does it consistently -- three doubles and 3 RBI's made for a heck of a productive night for Young. He doesn't need to hit homers if he drives in runs. The problem this season has been that he hasn't been doing either, and that's led to a lot backlash. Hopefully he'll keep it up after tonight. All that said, I still want to see him pull one over the fence . . .
4.) I confess to being incredibly curious about Joba Chamberlain's scheduled start tomorrow. I'll probably use MLB.tv to check in on the action -- although I'm sure ESPN will cover it breathlessly. Joba has quickly become one of the guys that I love to root against, so I guess I'm hoping he gets squashed. Probably not too likely, though.
5.) Congrats to the five Ft. Myers Miracle (High A) players selected as Florida State League All-Stars today. Righties Jeff Manship, Robert Delaney, and Anthony Slama all made the cut, as did second baseman Brian Dinkelman and third baseman Danny Valencia. Had you asked me at the beginning of the season who would make this game, I probably would have gone with everyone on this list except for Slama, who has been a very pleasant surprise. Good luck to them all.
6.) I'm excited for the draft, but in something of an abstract way. There are too many players and too many rounds for me to even attempt to familiarize myself with very many names -- but I'll be scrutinizing the list on Thursday and Friday nights to see what interesting things can be gleaned from the selections. Unlike most drafts that I follow, the excitement for me comes after the picks are made. This is completely different from the NFL and NBA drafts, which for me are all about the buildup and speculation -- and then 5 minutes after the last picks are made I forget all about it until the season starts. I guess baseball is just a different animal, in this as in so many areas. It's probably why I love it so much!
7.) I still plan on putting together an All-Stars/Award Winners post for the first two months of the season, but I'm not sure when I'm going to get to it. I don't have a lot of work or anything like that -- I just have to take the time to sit down and write the post.
Labels: Nightly Notes