Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Recap 4/17/2007 Twins 11, Mariners 2

Booyah. I've said it before and I'll say it again but these are the types of posts I love to write and I know you love to read.

Tonight the Twins began a three game set against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Taking the mound in the first game was Ramon Ortiz. In his first two starts of the season Ortiz turned a lot of heads as he not only started the season without getting shelled, he shut people down. In his two games against the Orioles and Yankees he went 15 innings while surrendering just three runs, while striking out eight and walking just two. Coming into the game its safe to say people were genuinely beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe the Twins had found a diamond in the rough. Ortiz didn't disappoint as he delivered another seven sterling innings allowing just two runs, both on solo homeruns. One to Ichiro on the very first pitch of the game and the other to second baseman Jose Lopez. For as well as he pitched Ortiz wasn't completely dominating as he did begin to allow a number of base hits in his final couple innings but labored through and finished strong. His start tonight once again provided the bullpen with some much needed rest.

On yet another positive note the Twins offense which has been quiet most of the year broke out in a big way tonight with fifteen hits, ten of which were for extra bases. Every starter save for Justin Morneau had a hit this evening and Mauer, Tyner, Cuddyer, Bartlett, and Hunter each had multi-hit games. Of course the biggest blow came in the fifth. With runners on second and third the Mariners decided to intentionally walk Morneau to get to Hunter. Bad decision, after his first patient (he took three pitches) at-bat of the evening Hunter delivered a 2-1 pitch to left for a grand slam which broke the game open 7-1. The one piece of bad news for the Twins was that Hunter would later leave the game in the 6th with a bruised shoulder.


- Jason Tyner has continued to be a God-send for the Twins in the two hole replacing the injured an utterly ineffective Nick Punto. In his three games as the #2 hitter in the lineup Tyner has gone 7-14 with four doubles and very nearly his first homerun. Not surprisingly the two games the Twins offense has gotten going this year Tyner has had three hits. I've said it before and I'll continue, Nick Punto has been killing this team. If he comes back and gets the two hole before he's proven he's remember how to hit, I'll be furious.

- Joe Mauer had another yawner day going 3-4 with three double, two runs and three RBI's.

- Despite striking out twice with runners in scoring position early in the game Cuddyer still had a decent game tripling in a run in the first and then singling in two more in the eight.

- Jason Bartlett seems to be getting better going 2-5 with a single and double.

- Even though he's not doing fantastic Luis Rodriguez has still been hitting .238, whats that, a full.100 over Punto? As a big added bonus he was great over at third tonight stopping anything that came his way (which was a lot).

- Jason Kubel just keeps hitting the ball on the screws. A 1-5 noght but he hit most everything hard and didn't strikeout.

- The Bullpen. Neshek and Reyes each pitch scoreless frames.


- Justin Morneau was 0-3 with two walks. We really need him and Hunter to start delivering more consistently.

***My bad***

I made a prediction on N^2 that the Twins would be three hit and shut out by Weaver. Talk about your all-time bad calls.


Ray Felix, III said...

You may only be one day off on your prediction: King Felix tonight!

I think Silva will be average tonight, he can't keep up the miniscule average with runners on, and I think with the veteran hitters on the Mariners (Beltre, Sexson, Ichiro, etc.) they'll be smart enough to realize Silva will give them pitches to hit. The Seattle offense hasn't been good this year, but a couple of guys (Lopez, Johjima) look to be turning it around.

Final prediction: 5-2 Mariners (Silva - 5.1IP, 5R, 9H, 1K). Then we get the series win tomorrow behind Santana.

Corey Ettinger said...

I was thinking the same thing. However, IMO when your talking about Silva, or any other sinker baller pitcher not named Webb for that matter, a high WHIP is going to be part of the equation. Their job is to pitch to contact and doing so generally does lead to a higher percentage of hits. It also leads to a higher percentage of DP's and a lower percentage of HR's. Silva certainly has always had good control in terms of pitching in the zone, as he has an absurdly low walk rate throughout his career its simply a matter of where the pitch ends up in the zone. Last year the sinker stayed up where it refuses to break, this year he's done a better (but not great) job of keeping it down. It's also helped this year that he's willing to mix up his pitches more as well as using his changeup. Last year he was a little too, fastball, sinker oriented.

Overall though I like your prediction if only because Silva is due for one to go against him. Now let me ask you this, if Silva were to spend the season swapping a good game for a bad game and going .500 rest of the way would that be ok? The way I see it, it would, even if it means ending up with an ERA of around 5.

Ray Felix, III said...

I agree with your point about high WHIP for pitchers like Silva who don't have high K-rates. However, sometimes Carlos gives up one, and only one, hit every inning (his first 2 starts), other times it's retiring the side in order followed by 4 hits in one inning (most of 2006). So far he has pitched ridiculously well with runners on base (.105 BAA vs. .385 with the bases empty), and I just don't see that continuing forever.

To answer your question, I would be very happy if Silva gave us 60-65% quality starts. By quality start, I don't mean the bogus 6IP, 3ER stat, but starts that give the team a chance to win the game. So far he's 2 for 2 in that category. So if tonight gets out of hand, he's right on track.

I think if Carlos posts an ERA under 4.75 I would consider this year a success regardless of win-loss record. (Note: 2006 is the only season Silva's era was over 4.50)

Now a question for you. What is your reaction to Joe Mauer's sacrifice bunt last night? He stated in the NY series that he bunted because he didn't feel like he was seeing the ball well. Is that still the case? Or is this a case where we should all just trust in Joe? (after all it worked out last night)

Corey Ettinger said...

You may not believe it but some people call him "baby Jesus" I think its because he can do no worng in most peoples eyes. As for me, I'd be worried if Im the other teams. Seriously if he's hitting .350 when he's not comfortable whats going to happen when he is? And yeah, I guess if he thinks the bunt is the right play who can say anything? After all he did have 3 doubles last night.