Nightly Notes: Game #64
1.) The Twins finally got a quality start, with Scott Baker going 7.0 innings and giving up 8 hits and a walk while allowing just 1 run. Frankly, the Twins desperately needed this kind of start. Glen Perkins wasn't bad yesterday, but he only went 5.1 innings. The Twins needed somebody to go at least 6+, and preferably at least 7, and thankfully that's what the Twins got tonight.
Now, I for one am of the opinion that this is more the norm for the Twins starters. I think each of them is likely to have individual down periods (something all big league pitchers are subject to), but the problem of late is that all of the Twins starters have been going through it at once. If I'm right, and if most of the starters will return to form relatively soon, then it's an argument in favor of not needing 13 pitchers. If I'm wrong, and the starters continue to struggle, it's an argument in favor of keeping 13 pitchers. Take your pick.
2.) The Twins got 5 hits today, scattered amongst 5 different players. Three of those players were Matt Macri, Carlos Gomez, and Alexi Casilla. Nice to see the young guys getting their hacks in. No surprise that Joe Mauer picked up one of the other hits. Incidentally, the fifth hit came from Mike Redmond, who was in the game because he has a great history against C.C. Sabathia. Not really a point here -- I just thought that this was an interesting breakdown of the hits.
3.) With the pressure off a bit, Francisco Liriano seems to be improving. Tonight, he went 6.0 innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and a walk while striking out 7. I'm not suggesting that he should be called up tomorrow or anything (although frankly I wouldn't mind seeing him in place of Livan Hernandez!), but it's a good sign that he hopefully is heading in the right direction.
4.) Brian Buscher was back at 3B tonight for Rochester, which suggests that he's over whatever his injury was. If you've read recently, you know my opinion on what the Twins need to do with the roster. I won't go through it all again, but if Buscher is healthy, in my opinion he should replace Juan Rincon on the roster by the time the team swings into Milwaukee. UPDATE: Looks like the Strib agrees with me about Buscher being the likely callup if Rincon is cut by Friday, which they are saying is likely.
5.) Let's go through a brief thought experiment for a moment. Let's say the Twins keep 13 pitchers for two weeks. Let's also say that Matt Macri keeps playing relatively well (he went 1-for-3 against C.C. tonight), while Mike Lamb and Brendan Harris continue to underwhelm. At the end of that two week stretch, Nick Punto is supposed to be ready to return. The Twins certainly could option Macri back to AAA -- which, of course, they tried to do last Friday before realizing that Punto had to be put back on the DL -- but that's why the thought experiment has Macri playing well over the next two weeks. In those circumstances, does anyone think the Twins would stick with 13 pitchers? I personally don't. Of course, if Macri doesn't perform, especially if the pitchers revert to the form they've been in for the past 10 days or so, all bets are off.
6.) Go Celts! No one's commented on my repeated rooting for the Celtics -- but I'd be curious to know whether you're rooting for L.A., Boston, or none of the above in the NBA Finals. If you get a chance, let me know in the comments.
Labels: Nightly Notes