Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nightly Notes: Game #144

What a huge day for the Twins! After what seemed like weeks of running in place, and then the rather precipitous fall of late last week, the Twins got a whopping game and a half back in the standings today thanks to the suddenly tenacious Blue Jays. Here are some notes:

1.) The Royals can be pesky at times, but Brian Bannister hasn't had a particularly good year, with an ERA of 5.56 coming into the game. The Twins did exactly what they had to do against a pitcher with a line like that -- they clobbered him, scoring 7 runs off of 10 hits and a walk in the 3.2 innings that Bannister pitched. The fact that they couldn't get any offense going against a poor cast of relievers wasn't inspiring, but I'll take the solid 7 runs that started things off.

2.) This is the Nick Blackburn that I hope we see consistently next year. Looking at his game-by-game log on the season, there are too many sub-5.0 inning starts -- but when he's on, he pitches like he did tonight. Even with those occasional poor outings, you simply can't complain about what he's done this year. Just thinking about how good the Twins starting five could be in 2009 gets me incredibly excited. Maybe we can even get them a real bullpen to back things up!

3.) OK, that was admittedly a cheap shot on a night when the bullpen went 2 scoreless innings. However, they were facing the Royals, and they darned well better be able to take care of business against KC.

4.) Maybe Brian Buscher's 3-for-4 will ensure that he doesn't lose any playing time to Matt Tolbert. I like Tolbert, but he shouldn't be starting at all when there's a righty on the mound. Even though Buscher can sometimes be a butcher at 3B, I still much prefer having his offense in the game.

5.) A five run lead probably was a little close to do it, but I still can't wait to see Jose Mijares make his debut. The blowout the other night was the perfect chance, and I still don't know Gardy used Matt Guerrier instead in that situation. It appears that anyone who hoped Mijares would step in and be an instant contributor was misreading the Twins plans for him -- but to this point I can't for the life of me say what that role is. Maybe all will become clear in time!

6.) Gotta love the fact that the White Sox have to face Roy Halladay tomorrow night while the Twins face Kyle Davies. In a span of 48 hours the Twins could easily go from being 2.5 back to tied. Of course, I'm counting my chickens here before they hatch, but this seems entirely plausible. Amazing how much baseball can mess with your mind.

7.) I personally loved the Fringe premiere tonight, but J.J. Abrams is one of my favorite people in the world of entertainment so I was predisposed to like it. The critics were more evenly split on it, with many saying it was promising but that it didn't quite deliver. If you didn't see it, but you're a fan of shows like the X-Files or Alias that have some interesting mythology backing up the stories, I suggest you check it out when it repeats on Sunday night (or go to Fox.com and stream it).

8.) I realize that guys get hurt in the NFL every year, but doesn't it seem like there are a lot more high profile season-ending injuries occurring so far this year? Maybe it's just that Tom Brady's injury was so incredibly shocking that it feels like the impact from injuries has been more significant than normal. I guess in one sense this season has had a bigger impact from injuries, because Tom Brady's injury all by itself is more significant than the other injuries we've seen combined. All of a sudden, the Patriots don't look like a sure thing Super Bowl team -- and the entire AFC has been shaken up by it. My feelings on the injury are a bit complicated. I don't like the Patriots, but I also don't hate them like I hate the Yankees. I don't want to see the Patriots lose because Tom Brady is hurt, I just want to see people beat them! The one good thing about this is that it makes the NFL season even more interesting, and from the standpoint of someone who is interested in the stories that come from sports, that's a dream scenario.



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