Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nightly Notes: Game #124

I wish there were better news to discuss, but the Twins are once again in second place (barring something ridiculous happening in Chicago) after not doing a whole lot against the A's today. Here are a few notes:

1.) This doesn't really belong up top, but it stuck in my mind the most so that's where it's going. I agree with Nick Punto that he shouldn't have been wrung up by the ump in the 6th inning. However, you're Nick Punto. Get over it. I'm a Punto defender, but far too often he just sits back and watches strikes float on past him (this is especially irritating when he's hitting in an important situation with men on base). Punto needs to learn that with two strikes, he simply should not trust his eye -- because it isn't very good. That pitch looked fairly nasty, so he might not have been able to do anything with it even if he'd swung. However, I'd be thrilled if he just adopted a uniform policy to try to foul off any pitch within a foot of the strike zone when he's got two on him already. For that matter, Brendan Harris should have done the same thing at the end of the game. You can't sit back and hope a pitch is a ball.

2.) Tonight didn't feel for me like Nick Blackburn was pitching well, but the bottom line is that he turned in a very solid performance. I will never complain about an eight inning, 3 earned run performance. Blackburn also gave up just 6 hits and 2 walks, so his WHIP was a perfectly acceptable 1.00. Tonight was frustrating because the offense didn't get anything done, and that sort of carried over to my feelings about Blackburn while he was actually pitching. This was just one of those nights when perception and reality differed, at least for me. I will say that I probably wouldn't have sent him out for the eighth inning, but I understand where Gardy was coming from -- with the bullpen struggling so much recently, he really did need every out he could get from Blackburn.

3.) I know there are some folks who are really pleased about Delmon Young's progress defensively -- but tonight just seemed like a major regression in his skills. I don't know, he just never really seems all that fluid out there to me. That's not the most important thing in the world to me; for the most part, Young is plenty good enough out there for me, especially if he hits. It's just a little frustrating at times.

4.) I never want anyone to get hurt, but the Adam Everett injury may provide the opening necessary for the Twins to get Alexi Casilla back on the roster without cutting someone or sending down a player who shouldn't be sent down. It sounded earlier today in an ESPN article like Gardy was suggesting that Everett would still be around when Casilla was back -- which would seem to indicate that Randy Ruiz was the most likely player to be sent down in a couple of days. That would be a mistake; Ruiz provides a thumper from the right side (although he has no big league homers at this point, I don't doubt that with his swing and his frame, it's just a matter of time), while Everett provides . . . what? At the same time, if Everett goes on the DL for a couple of weeks, the Twins could keep him on the roster in September. It wouldn't hurt to still have him available in case of an injury or as a late inning defensive replacement.

5.) On a completely non-baseball related note, I saw advertising tonight for "The Scorpion King 2," which seems to be coming out direct-to-DVD. I have no problem with cheesy sequels -- they obviously make money, or they wouldn't be made. What's completely non-sensical to me about this particular movie, however, is that it's not actually a sequel -- it's a prequel. Does it make any sense whatsoever to call a PREQUEL "The Scorpion King 2"?

6.) Nice to see that little league homers are possible in the big leagues too -- too bad that one won't count on the stat sheet for Mauer.

7.) I approved when the Twins claimed Craig Breslow, and I was pleased to see him bail out Jesse Crain tonight. He hasn't been perfect, but he's really only had one outright BAD outing as a Twin -- back on July 9, he gave up 2 earned runs in just a third of an inning off of a hit and a walk. Sure, he's allowed some inherited runners, but the Twins are much better off with Breslow than they would have been with Juan Rincon.



  • At Mon Aug 18, 09:45:00 PM , Anonymous Twins Fix said...

    Great notes tonight, but this was easily the best thing you said:

    "...he [Punto] simply should not trust his eye -- because it isn't very good."


  • At Mon Aug 18, 11:57:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Right on. It's hard to trust Breslow in close/late situations since he hasn't had a lot of major league experience that suggests he's lights-out, but he's done well. He has provided a lot more value than Rincon, Bass and Bonser. Still pretty small sample size, but his near-1.000 WHIP through 23+ innings has been useful.

    Twins relievers according to win probability added:

    Joe Nathan 4.05 !!!
    Bobby Korecky 0.60 (only 9 games)
    Dennys Reyes 0.39
    Craig Brewslow 0.24
    Jesse Crain 0.07
    -- some other guys --
    Boof Bonser -0.04
    Juan Rincon -0.75

  • At Tue Aug 19, 08:42:00 AM , Anonymous SethSpeaks said...

    what's Guerrier's WPA?

    And, what was frustrating about Delmon's Defense last night? It isn't necessarily pretty but he has been much improved. Are you talking about the blooper between he and Everett that was spinning really sharply? Or are you talking about the ball in the corner that he went about 75 feet for an it hit off the end of his glove?

  • At Tue Aug 19, 09:13:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Seth, it's more a style points issue for me I guess. I watch Delmon chasing balls and it doesn't seem like he does it efficiently. I can't remember when in the game either moment was, but there were at least two times when it was just a little frustrating watching him track and/or chase after balls. It seems to me that he doesn't always take good angles to get to balls that get by him. I want to be clear that I am NOT suggesting that Delmon shouldn't be playing, or that he should be confined to the DH spot, or anything like that. I just get a little uncomfortable when anyone hits a ball behind him. I should also be fair an acknowledge that I don't think he's cost the Twins any extra bases beyond what any other outfielder would have given up (i.e. he doesn't turn doubles into triples or anything like that). And, I acknowledge that he has a good arm. Without something more substantive I probably should have just not commented on it, but I was reminded of it last night and included it.


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