Monday, April 20, 2009

Game #14 - Perkins Headlines Sweep

The Twins scored their first home sweep against the Angels since 1996 with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

Glen Perkins was spectacular again, going 8 innings and giving the Twins their third consecutive quality start against the Angels (following Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey the previous two nights). He survived getting hit by Bobby Abreu's wicked line drive in the 7th inning - Brendan Harris made a fine play at third to record the out - and completed the inning. He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, pounded strike one almost all the time, and picked up his first win of the year. His final line: 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, and 4 strikeouts. Joe Nathan finished up for his 3rd save.

Perkins and Nathan allowed just 2 Anaheim baserunners after the 3rd inning. It was refreshing to see three solid starting pitching performances out of the Twins in this series after the debacles seen in the season's initial week and a half. The Twins finished the 7-game homestand 4-3 and are now back to the .500 mark at 7-7.

At the plate, Carlos Gomez had 3 infield singles for the Twins, and Jose Morales had 2 hits, including his first MLB RBI. For Gomez, he was desperate for a hit and did what he does best - hitting the ball on the ground and utilizing his speed - three times. Delmon Young singled and walked (his second in two games!) and the Angels finally figured out how to get Jason Kubel out. Although he was 0-4. Kubel hit the ball hard all four times.

I feel a lot better about this team after this series than I did three days ago, especially since the rotation has looked more like last year's unit. Now, if only Gomez, Casilla, Young, etc. can get going. The Twins may be nearing a decision point on Casilla who continues to look lost at the plate (his defense remains ok, however), and Brendan Harris is poised to get a lot of at-bats until Casilla figures it out, or until the Twins send Casilla down. I think he should go down to get straightened-out, re-focus, and come back with a better approach at the plate. It worked for Torii Hunter in 2000, for Denard Span and Casilla last year, and cannot hurt this year.

Twins Misc.:
  • LaVelle E. Neal III reports that the Twins are looking to get 50 ABs from Joe Mauer before his activation, starting Monday. The bulk of the ABs will come in extended spring training games initially and then he'll be with the Ft. Myers Miracle by the end of the week if all goes well. Look for a May 1 activation of the catcher, and Donny Puck will be counting the days.
  • Each of the Twins' 7 victories have been from the come-from-behind variety.
  • After two full weeks of MLB play, the Twins statistics are here. They certainly don't look as bad as they did three days ago.
  • Monday is the first scheduled day off for the Twins - the last team in the MLB to get one. The quick two-game series will get underway in Boston on Tuesday, with the Twins scheduled to pitch Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano against Tim Wakefield and Brad Penny.

Around the AL Central:

  • NY Yankees 7, Cleveland 3 - The Yanks scored 3 runs in each of the 7th and 8th innings off the Cleveland bullpen to gain a split with the Tribe in the first series at the new Yankee Stadium. Carl Pavano was very good for Cleveland, giving up just 4 hits and 1 run over 6 innings. The Yanks' runs came off Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, and Rafael Betancourt. Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Garko homered for Cleveland, which managed just 4 hits off A.J. Burnett and 3 relievers.
  • Texas 6, Kansas City 5 - The Rangers scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th to tie the Royals at 5 and Michael Young's solo shot off Kyle Farnsworth won it in the bottom of the 9th. Kyle Davies was strong in his start, going 6 innings, giving up 3 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks, and 8 strikeouts. The KC bullpen of Ron Mahay and Jamey Wright could not hold the lead in the 8th. David DeJesus had 3 hits, including his first HR of the season, and Mike Jacobs also homered for KC.
  • Chicago White Sox 12, Tampa Bay 2 - The White Sox pounded out 17 hits and spanked the Rays. Gavin Floyd was solid through 7 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Quentin (#7), and Jim Thome homered for Chicago.
  • Detroit 8, Seattle 2 - The Tigers won the series behind a balanced hitting attack and strong starting pitching from Rick Porcello. The youngster went 7 innings, allowing just 5 hits and 1 run. Ramon Santiago was 2-3 with 5 RBI, and Miguel Cabrera continued his torrid start with 2 more hits (now hitting .489).

Around the Minors:

  • AAA - Scranton/Wilkes Barre 7, Rochester 2 - The Yanks scored the sweep over the Red Wings and remained undefeated on the season. The Wings managed just 5 hits on the day, two from David Winfree, including his 2-run homer. Jason Jones started and went the first 5 for Rochester, giving up 7 hits and 4 runs. Mike Gosling went the last 3, giving up 3 runs. The Red Wings are now 5-5.
  • AA - New Britain 12, New Hampshire 2 - The Rock Cats put together an 11-run 6th inning to blow out New Hampshire. Erik Lis had 3 hits, and Brian Dinkleman, Whit Robbins, and Rene Tosoni each had 2 hits. The Rock Cats also drew 8 walks in this game. Jeff Manship started and was strong, going 5 innings and giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. Rob Delaney got the win in relief and threw 2 scoreless innings. Jose Lugo finished up with 2 scoreless innings of his own. New Britain improves to 3-8 with the victory.
  • High A - Ft. Myers 4, St. Lucie 2 - The Miracle scored 3 runs in the top of the 9th to come back on St. Lucie for the victory. Ben Revere was 2-3 with a double and 2 walks in the game, and Chris Cates had a perfect 3-3 day at the plate. Steve Hirschfield picked up the win in relief and Alex Burnett finished up for his 2nd save. Ft. Myers improved to 6-4 with the win.
  • Low A - Burlington vs. Beloit - Postponed due to rain. The Snappers remain at 3-6 on the season.


  • Take a look on the left side of the blog where I have posted my first poll question of the week. I'll try to keep this somewhat updated, so please treat it like Chicago politics and vote early and often.
  • I've also started a Twitter account. I'll try to get this going once I figure it all out, and you can follow me on Twitter from this site.
  • Music today is courtesy of The Flys in a flashback to the mid-to-late 90's and a time when Katie Holmes was rockin' Dawson's Creek.

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