Nightly Notes: Game #111
1.) It sure looked an awful lot like Francisco Liriano still has some dominant stuff. In his six innings of work, he struck out 5 and allowed just 3 hits, although he also walked 3 batters. If Liriano can figure out how to avoid throwing so many balls, I don't see any reason why he can't once again become a dominant force. I was extremely encouraged at how deceptive many of his sliders appeared to be. If I had to guess (and since I'm not a pitching coach or even remotely close to an expert, that's all it is), I would say that the biggest reason for all the balls was partly mechanical and partly mental -- I'd guess that he just wasn't concentrating on perfectly repeating his motion with each pitch, leading him to be a bit wild. Part of that could be due to the fact that he was making his return to the big leagues. In the end, it doesn't matter -- Liriano did exactly what he needed to do today, and gave we fans a legitimate reason to dream about the post-season.
2.) Over the next week, the Twins play 3 games in Seattle and 3 in Kansas City. While it's always tough to play well on the road, the Twins need to take advantage of these series to try to put some distance on the White Sox. Chicago is at home with a 3 game series against the Tigers and 4 against the Red Sox. Even with the road/home difference, it's a far easier week for the Twins. Let's hope they take care of business.
3.) Mike Lamb looked a little rough at 1B a couple of times, but the swipe tag (I think it was in the 4th, but I could be misremembering) that he made at the end of an inning was nicely done. Still, it makes you appreciate Justin Morneau's glove -- and five years ago, who would have thought that we'd be saying that about Morneau? It's another reason to appreciate the big guy; he's worked hard to make himself a very good defensive player.
4.) Any guesses on the odds that the Twins will make it a clean sweep by getting rid of Adam Everett and Mike Lamb before the end of the season? I'm going to say no more than 5%, because I don't think the club will cut Lamb -- but then again, I didn't think they'd cut Hernandez either so my psychic powers are apparently a bit out of whack.
5.) Just an update on the "First Half Grades" posts. The last week of moving made it impossible to get anything else done with that series, and now there's less than a month left in the minor league season. As a result, I'm going to hold off to the season's done and just cover that material in a season-in-review type fashion. My apologies to anyone who was waiting for those posts.
Labels: Nightly Notes