Saturday, March 31, 2007

Twins Recap; Twins 6, Pirates 4

The Twins played their last pre-season game of the season and made sure it ended on a good note with a 6-4 win over the Pirates. The game was important for a number of reasons. First off the game saw the return to major league action of both catcher Joe Mauer and third baseman Nick Punto. Mauer and Punto who have both had poor pre-seasons at the plate combined to go 1-5 at the plate with Batting Champ delivering the only hit, a bases clearing double in the third that tied the game. Also having good nights for the Twins with the stick were Rondell WhiteJason Bartlett also went 2-2 with a pair of singles raising his spring average to .302. With Punto hitting this season like he hit the rest of his career I could see Bartlett becoming a strong option to replace him at #2 in the order if he can just increase his patience at the plate. Also worth a mention is Brock Peterson, who I made mention of in the Twins recap a couple days ago. He went 2-2 with a homer to raise his spring batting average to ' who's hot hitting this spring has me thinking we are definitely getting both the guy we signed and the guy who hit so well over the second half last year as he went 2-2 with a pair of singles to raise his spring average to .340. 'respectable' 1.000 perhaps MVP needs to be worried. Not likely.

On the mound for the Twins Sidney Ponson made his final start of the season and got roughed up a bit giving up four runs (three earned) over five innings while giving up ten hits and a walk while striking out three. I have sort of a mixed review of his performance. As a sinkerballer you want to see him inducing ground-outs which he did well with a 9-3 GBo-FBo ratio, but he also gave up four doubles which means he probably left a few up in the zone and when sinkerballer's do that the sinker doesn't move and it gets hit hard. So I suppose he was both good and bad. I expect we'll see a number of performances like that from him this year but as long as he can scatter the hits and keep the ball on the ground he should induce enough double plays to stay away from big innings and be able to keep the club in the game as he did today. Rincon also had a good frame today striking out two. Twins prospect Eduardo Morlan also made an appearance today in the ninth giving up a hit, walking one, and striking out a pair.

Twins-Pirates Boxscore 3/31/2007

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