Friday, April 13, 2007

Recap 4/13/2007 Twins 2, Devil Rays 4

Boxscore 4/13/2007 Twins 2 - Devil Rays 4

With Johan Santana taking to the mound this evening I thought the Twins would be able to take away a win, even against a tough lefty in Scott Kazmir. Thats mostly because the Twins hadn't lost a game in the Dome that he started in his last 24 attempts. Santana pitched well enough to win as he went seven innings allowing six hits, one walk, and striking out ten over seven innings while allowing four runs. One of those runs however was on a terrible play by Josh Rabe in left who let a ball get by him and roll all the way to the wall allowing Carl Crawford an inside-the-park homerun. So really, three runs. Santana once again looked like he was in mid-season form in early April, something most baseball fans aren't accustomed to and opposing teams must be terrified about. However the offense was (I'm feeling like a broken record here) once again absolutely terrible and has cost us yet another game. Honestly, this team should probably be 8-2, not 6-4.

Also, it speaks to the state of the bullpen and more importantly perhaps the health of Jesse Crain that in the eighth and ninth innings of a two run game the Twins didn't turn to their usual middle and short relievers but to long reliever Matt Guerrier and starting prospect Glen Perkins. Jesse Crain it was reported a couple days ago was suffering from tendinitis and now in a situation where he normally would have pitched and being well rested after not pitching last night, he sat on the bench. Cause for concern? It wouldn't be if Juan Rincon and Dennys Reyes were looking as good as they did last year, but they aren't. The only two reliable arms the Twins have had so far have been Pat Neshek's and Joe Nathan's, and Neshek has historically struggled mightily with lefties.

As for the offense, well I called last night Nick Punto's immediate benching. I think after yet another 0-4 game with four more runners left on base we might be better off sending him back down to low A ball. Ok, that might be a little extreme but his plate appearances have been just about that bad. In his first three plate appearances tonight he saw a took a total of three pitches before finally milking a count in his last at-bat, getting up 3-1. If nothing else get him out of the two hole.

Joe Mauer also had an uncharacteristically bad game going 0-4 with two strikeouts. I can't remember the last time he struckout twice in a game. Cuddyer also was an o-fer going down four times and twice on strikes as well. I'm not nearly as concerned about those two however as they are each hitting .324 for the season, not .132 like someone I wont name (Punto)... On a positive note Jason Bartlett got the nod at short and not only played an error free game at short but also had a base hit raising his average to a solid. 089. Seriously though, he did a good job getting deep into counts, made contact, and got a base hit, good for him.

The one real bright spot for the Twins tonight was Justin Morneau who hit his fourth homerun of the season, a ball which I believe pierced the roof of the Metrodome and is currently in low-earth orbit. In all sincerity, there wasn't a millimeter of that ball he missed... completely crushed. He also added a double in the ninth. Its good to see him get going again after a bit of a slump since the Baltimore series, hopefully he carries it over.


Nate Rowan said...

The Twins left field woes continue. Hate to say it, but Rondell was playing solid in left before he was sent to the DL. First Kubel (who has no business in the field with his bum knees) and now Rabe make huge mistakes in the outfield. Both were at critical times during the game and possibly changed the outcome. The Yankees did win big when Kubel made his mistake, but things would have been different.

Corey Ettinger said...

Rabe did make a bone-head play last night but I still think defensively he's probably the best combination of range, arm, and glove we have. Everyone else has a major drawback.

Kubel has no range and a mediocre arm.

White has no range.

Tyner has good range but throws softer than my 12 year old sister.

Also, I'm not certain either of their fielding gaffe's, bad as they were cost us any games. Kubel's obviously didn't matter, we got shelled. Perhaps we would have spared ourselves a run or two but seriously... we got hammered.

In Rabe's case the game would have been closer but his run was still the final, and not the deciding run. His homer made it 4-2 whereas it would have been 3-2 without it. Last time I checked a lose by 1 counts the same as a lose by 2.

Thats not to say that you don't have a legitimate point, you do. If the fielding at that position continues as it has, it could end up costing us a game or two. However I think the team has bigger fielding fish to fry, Jason Bartlett, 4 errors in 7 games for a fielding percentage of .857 at arguably the most important defensive position in baseball.

Corey Ettinger said...

when I say "lose by" I clearly mean "loss by"... oh man...