Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Recap 4/11/2007 Twins 5, Yankees 1

Boxscore-4/11/2007 Twins 5, Yankees 1

I came into this game essentially resigned to the belief that the Twins were going to face down Tampa Bay with a 4-4 record. I justified my pessimism with the "knowledge" that Ortiz, a fly ball pitcher would get slaughtered worse than either Sidney Ponson or Boof Bonser. Even if Ortiz did have a good game (ie: less than 5 runs in 7 innings) the anemic Twins offense would surely spoil the opportunity. Well, proving all things in life are possible I was wrong. Don Imus type really wrong. Last night Ortiz delivered not just the best start of this series but perhaps the best start of the season, with the exception of Santana's gem against the White Sox and it came at an important time. Certainly I think its unreasonable for fans to assume that Ortiz will continue to be this good throughout the year, however if he can pitch even half as good as he has so far, while continuing to eat innings and deliver quality starts Terry Ryan will once again prove why he is perhaps the best GM in all of sports.

There are simply not enough ways to describe how good Ortiz was tonight. While he'll never strikeout hitters the way Johan Santana or Fransisco Liriano will, his game tonight was almost vintage Greg Maddux. He didn't have the same type of pin-point control as Maddux but he did a phenomenal job of working the strikezone in, out, up and, down all while mixing in all of his pitches. For the night he threw 95 pitches in eight masterful innings of work with 53 for strikes and 38 balls. Things were going so well tonight he even struck out long time nemisis Alex Rodiguez twice as well as Robinson Cano. The career fly ball pitcher lived up to his reputation with 7 ground outs to 13 fly outs but most were harmless pop flys in the infield or cans of corn to the corner outfielders.

The other big story of the game was the re-emergence of the Minnesota Twins offense which had been in hibernation for the first two games of this series and both games against the White Sox. On the night the Twins put up 11 hits, including two each from Cuddyer, Hunter, and Luis Rodriguez who got the start as the DH and delivered. More importantly the Twins started hitting with runners in scoring position. They came up short through the seventh inning with just one hit in seven opportunities but broke through in the eighth with four hits bringing in four Twins runs.


- Nick Punto hit a double and walked. More encouraging though were the quality of his at-bats as he started laying off pitches down in the zone and worked the count.

- Michael Cuddyer had two more singles in four at-bats driving in two runs with players in scoring position.

- Torii Hunter also went 2-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. He drove the ball to the opposite field and at least saw a few pitches in each at-bat.

- Jason Kubel, who was 2-4 with a pair of RBI singles the past two nights picked up where he left off going only 1-4 but was robbed by Robinson Cano on a ball I was certain was on its way to right-center.

- Luis Rodriguez went 2-4 with a pair of singles in a rare start.

- Alexi Casilla looked good at shortstop going 1-3 at the plate but putting the ball in play all three times. He was also robbed on a lined shot down the first base line by a diving Doug Mientkiewicz which could well have been a triple.


- Nothing really, but if pressed I'd say that the M&M boys didn't have great games going 2-7, but they did each drive in critical runs in the eighth. But still, 2-7 with a couple RBI's isn't bad.

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