Saturday, April 28, 2007

Recap 4/28/2007 Twins 11, Motor City Kitties 3

Man did the Twins need this. It's not just the win, but this sort of win has got to do a lot to lift up what must have been a demure locker-room.

For the second night in a row the Twins rose to meet the level of play of their opponents. While the team spent the past two nights struggling to produce against a weak Royals team, they have now risen to the occasion against pitchers such as Joel Zumaya, Nate Robertson, and Justin Verlander. The Twins also received another solid performance from starter Carlos Silva who skirted disaster all game, allowing ten hits in six innings, but allowed only three early runs earning another quality start. But the story of the game was clearly the offense.

Last night the Twins scored five runs off Nate Robertson and Joel Zumaya, two quality pitchers after having scored only seven the previous three games combined. Today the Twins really came out strong against Verlander, the same guy who went 3-0 allowing only 2 runs in 22 innings last year. In three innings they pounded out 8 of their 17 hits against Verlander chasing him from the game after allowing 5 runs, 3 earned. The bats didn't let up their though as they continued to hammer the Detroit relievers scoring six more runs on nine more hits and four more walks. Clearly with 17 hits, lots of guys had good days but of all the guys out there, no one could have had a better day, especially with how things had been going, than Justin Morneau. For the day Justin was 3-4 with his sixth homerun, a double and a walk.

And, since everything was going right today, its only fair that I mention the Twins relievers who I called out in my post last night for being less-than-effective this season. Today the team got no hit innings from both Dennys Reyes, who desperately needed to have some success, and Glen Perkins who pitched a perfect ninth. Also having a scoreless inning was Pat Neshek who is looking better and better with every appearance. I for one don't think I could ever see Neshek as a closer or even a setup guy, but his dominance this year has been incredible. Against righties
he's been his usually stellar self, allowing just a .133 BAA, but the real story has been how successful he's been against lefties, allowing just a .154BAA. His 2.45 ERA also certainly looks good, but his .91 WHIP is insane.


- The top of the lineup. This is probably one of only two or three games where this has been true all season, but the combination of Jason Tyner and Nick Punto went 4-9 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt. They set the table and moved guys along. If we can start getting this sort of production consistently, it would go a long ways to solving our offensive woes.

- MVP and Batting Champ. The two guys who get all the attention dished out plenty of punishment going 6-9 with two walks, five runs, and two RBI's, and each had a solo homer. They raked.

- Torii Hunter. Two more singles added to his hot start. Torii's always been a streaky guy so it will be interesting to see how long his bat stays hot. He also gets delayed Kudos from me for taking one to the face and playing the next day.

- Michael Cuddyer. He was terrible at the plate, failing with runners in scoring position once again, but he sure brought the biggest cannon to the gun show, throwing out two more runners including Gary Sheffield at home in support of Carlos Silva.

- Jason Kubel. His .262 average this season may not seem impressive, but I think nearly anyone who follows this team closely could tell you he's been hitting the ball hard all year. If he keeps it up that average will come way up. He's doing a good job of working the count and seems to hit the ball hard nearly every at-bat. If he keeps this sort of approach, expect big things before this year is out. Oh yeah, he went 2-5 today with two big singles and three RBI.

- Carlos Silva. Depending on which part of the final line you look at, he either had a good day or a bad one. I look at the only line that matters, the runs allowed, and it was three in six innings. However you'd be foolish to overlook the fact that in those six innings he allowed 11 baserunners over those six frames, nearly two an innings. He's certainly lived dangerously this year, allowing 37 hits and 7 walks in only 29 innings of work, but he has somehow parlayed that into a 2-1 record with a 3.10 ERA which is way more than anyone would have predicted. A WHIP as high as his will catch up to him eventually, but for now I'm glad to enjoy his success.


- When every starter in the lineup has a hit, the D is rolling, your starter gives you six good innings, and the bullpen is on lock-down, what could be wrong?

Stat of the day

- Twins against Righties: .288/.361/.413
- Twins against Lefties: .235/.273/.352

Think we needed Cirillo and White back? I'd say so.

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