Friday, April 24, 2009

Game #17 - Hopefully, A Sign of Things to Come

Twins' Territory can rest easier as Minnesota defeated Cleveland on Friday night, 5-1 at Progressive Field.

The story of the game was Nick Blackburn. The starter went 7 strong innings, allowing 6 Cleveland hits, 1 run, walking nobody, and striking out 6 to pick up his first win of the season. Jose Mijares and Joe Nathan each pitched scoreless innings.

At the plate, Justin Morneau homered and batted-in 2 runs. Jose Morales and Denard Span had 2 hits each, and Jason Kubel hit his 5th double of the season. The Twins got to Fausto Carmona early with a run in the top of the 1st inning, making the 8th win of the season the first one to not be of the come-from-behind variety.

I had heard from Twins' fans over the past two days who were completely distraught after they were swept in Boston on Wednesday. Comments included:

  • The middle relief corps suck
  • Trade Cuddyer
  • Delmon sucks
  • Ayala sucks
  • Casilla needs to go to AAA - so does Gomez
  • Let's just tread water until Mauer returns

One "Twins-style" win will cure that. They doinked a few hits here and there, received a bomb from Morneau, and rode solid starting pitching to victory. Let's make it two in a row on Saturday with the Slow-Man.

Around the AL Central:

  • Kansas City beat Detroit 6-1 behind Zack Greinke. The right-hander improved to 4-0 and actually gave up a run - but it was unearned, keeping his ERA at 0.00. He pitched a complete game, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 10. This is an amazing start. The numbers are amazing: 4 starts, 4 wins, 2 complete games, 29 innings, 19 hits, 0 earned runs, 6 walks, 36 strikeouts, 1.05 WHIP. I believe I predicted a turnaround year for Greinke, but who would have thought he'd be this good, this early?
  • Chicago - Getting killed by Tampa Bay, enough said.

Around the Minors:

  • AAA - Scranton/Wilkes Barre 6, Rochester 2 - The Yankees continued their great start with their fourth win over Rochester. Trevor Plouffe had 2 hits for the Red Wings, including a double and an RBI. Matt Macri tripled in the game and had the other RBI. Anthony Swarzak started and lost for the Wings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs in 6 innings. He is now 0-3 with a 1.59 ERA on the season. Rochester is now 5-8 and has dropped 7 straight.
  • AA - Trenton 6, New Britain 3 - The Rock Cats' early season struggles continue with a loss to Trenton. Danny Valencia had 3 hits (single, double, triple) and 2 RBI. Yancarlos Ortiz and Wilson Ramos had 2 hits apiece. Cole de Vries started and went the first 4.2 innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. Jose Lugo was roughed-up for 3 hits and 3 runs in 0.2 innings. The Rock Cats are now 4-10 on the season.
  • High A - Ft. Myers 3, Jupiter 1 - Mike McCardell was outstanding in his start, surrendering just 1 hits in 6 innings of work, while striking out 6. Joe Mauer was 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI as his rehab continues. Chris Parmelee had 2 hits and the other RBI for the Miracle, which improved to 10-4 with the win.
  • Low A - Beloit 7, Quad Cities 5 - The Snappers scored 4 unanswered runs to defeat the Swing. Alexander Soto had a perfect night at the plate, going 4-4 with a homer, double, and 3 RBI. The bullpen was solid, going 5 scoreless innings to preserve the victory. Beloit is now 4-8 on the season.

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