Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nightly Notes: Game #92

Back to back day games in the middle of the week is a bit brutal (thanks, Detroit, for that nice little kick in the pants), but at least I was able to come home today to a Twins win. Here are some notes on the game:

1.) Kevin Slowey has been bit by a nasty inning in each of his last two starts. The difference between his start on the 5th against Cleveland and today's start against the Tigers, however, was that this time he was unable to get out of his bad inning. Two bad starts in a row is OK so long as he comes back strong after the break. Hopefully, he's just losing a little focus -- that can be fixed, I would think. Either way, it didn't hurt the Twins today as they picked up the win anyway (which also happened against Cleveland, of course). They won't get that lucky if he continues to struggle a bit.

2.) It sure looked like Joe Nathan was going to blow the game in the bottom of the 9th (corrected -- I said 10th originally), as he walked three battles but wriggled out of the inning with a couple of strikeouts. It would have been ironic if, following yesterday's discussion about using Joe Nathan, he would have come out and lost the game tonight. For the record, I supported the decision to bring him in for the 10th inning, and would continue to support such use even if he had failed today. I just think it would have been ironic . . .

3.) Nice bounce back from Matt Guerrier, delivering two solid innings to pick up the win. I'm eager to see him get another shot in a setup role, so he gets a chance to prove that two days ago was not the norm.

4.) With Denard Span and Carlos Gomez heading in opposite directions, there will undoubtedly be a lot of talk about whether Span should be leading off right now. For the record, Gomez has gone 0-for-12 in his last three games, and is hitting just .212 for the month of July. His average is lower (at .260) than it has been at any point since April 29. Span, on the other hand, is hitting .361 after his 4-for-4 performance today. I'm not opposed to moving Span into the leadoff slot for awhile -- he's playing awfully well, for sure. If Gomez is moved to the 9th spot, for instance, it doesn't really make a big difference except for at the start of the game. After all, we'll still get a 9-1-2 speedy threesome (8-9-1-2 when Punto is playing) hitting one after another, which I think is a strength for the Twins. Aside from just being the hot hand, Span also is much, much more patient at the plate -- and that's an advantage in a leadoff man. I really like Gomez, but I don't see any reason not to make this switch.

5.) Justin Morneau is on a similar pace to his MVP season, although if he just duplicated his first half efforts in the second half, he'd come up a bit short in the HR and RBI categories. If I remember right, though, Morneau's second half in 2006 was significantly better than his first half -- and if he can turn that trick this year, another MVP nod might not be out of the question. I'll be honest -- I was never quite sure what the Twins were going to get out of Morneau long term. I always thought he'd be a really solid player, but I thought 2006 might be a bit of a fluke, and that his numbers would more often be like 2007 (still a very, very nice season -- but not MVP worthy). Now, I'm more convinced that he has several MVP runs in him (not MVP wins, necessarily, but seasons that give him a shot).

6.) Nick Punto is now hitting .320. I'm just sayin'.

7.) KC, we need ya to come through tonight. Stomp those Sox!

8.) Congrats to Evan Longoria and Corey Hart on getting voted into the All-Star game by the fans. While I don't like the fan vote for starters, I think this vote is fantastic. I'm a little stunned that players from Tampa Bay and Milwaukee got the support of so many fans, but I'm also delighted by it, and I have no qualms with either pick. Let's hope that both guys get a chance to do something in the game.



  • At Thu Jul 10, 06:54:00 PM , Anonymous Twins Fix said...

    Good stuff, Taylor. Coupla' things:

    -Nathan pitched in the ninth inning today, not the tenth.

    -I agree with you about Gomez and Span. They need to flip spots, at least for the rest of this year. One thing I'm concerned about is whether or not Span will actually stay with the club when Cuddyer returns. He better...maybe then is when we do our rotation flop, too. Bring up Liriano, move Perkins to the 'pen, get rid of somebody else?

    -I do not see how Chicago is keeping up with our hot streak. If you subtract the BoSox series, Chicago is almost as equally hot as we are. Crazy. Let's go Royals!

    -I do not like the 'Summer in July' promotion in Detroit simply because it screws up my posting schedule. Gametime at 10:05 out here on the left coast.

  • At Thu Jul 10, 07:09:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Andrew -- thanks for pointing out that I said the 10th instead of the 9th. Human error on my part. And I can understand the difficulty of blogging from out West -- I don't have it as bad, since I'm in the Mountain time zone, but when they're out East it makes things difficult even for me. Ah well -- such is life!

  • At Thu Jul 10, 09:28:00 PM , Anonymous Marty Andrade said...

    Ah yes, the West and Southwest is so terrible, with it's majestic natural beauty, low taxes and all of my relatives.

    Complain all you want Taylor

  • At Thu Jul 10, 10:04:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I wasn't complaining about anything other than the time difference! I love living in Colorado, and assuming I can find a job out here when I eventually graduate (assuming such a thing is even possible), I will gladly stay.

  • At Thu Jul 10, 11:07:00 PM , Anonymous Twins Fix said...


    I will complain as well. Assuming you watch the Twins games you get to wake up like a normal human being.

    Actually, I guess I do too. I just don't have time to do much in the morning. I have to get up at 6:30 PST to beat the horrible heat while I run anyway. I guess I'm just growing accustomed to this new Western life. I think I like it.

  • At Thu Jul 10, 11:45:00 PM , Anonymous Marty Andrade said...

    When are you graduating Josh? This is, what, your 4th year of grad school?

  • At Fri Jul 11, 10:43:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    I have no idea when I'm graduating. Here's what I do know -- at the end of this upcoming school year (which is indeed my 4th post-undergrad) I'll receive my JD and a Master's in Environmental Policy. I'll then be working exclusively on the PhD. How long that will take -- nooooobody knows. At least at the end of this year, if I don't feel like getting the PhD, I'll be able to leave with a professional and a graduate degree in hand.

  • At Sat Jul 12, 12:03:00 AM , Anonymous Marty said...

    Well, if it makes you feel any better grandpa Americo never finished his PhD.


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