GameChat – Twins @ Nationals, 3:05pm

My apologies but I’m not going to be around during game time so if someone happens to come by that can give you our fancy lineup chart, then we’re all go and if not, at least you all have a place to gather and chat!

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It sure took these guys a long time to figure out their lineups and get them posted!

Ryan Doumit hitting 3rd for the Twins. That’s different.

Of course, we get to say hello to an old friend today in Denard Span.

I’ve got a wedding reception to go drink at this afternoon, so I won’t be around after the first couple of innings, but hopefully we’ll see some of the Twins’ historic inter-league success today. – JC

TWINS

@

NATIONALS
Carroll, 3B Span, CF
Mauer, C Werth, RF
Doumit, RF Zimmerman, 3B
Willingham, LF LaRoche, 1B
Morneau, 1B Desmond, SS
Hicks, CF Rendon, 2B
Dozier, 2B Bernadina, LF
Florimon, SS Suzuki, K, C
Correia, P Gonzalez, Gi, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

R

H

E

Minnesota

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

11

0

Washington

0

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

3

10

1

well hot damn!

A Win is great! A Win after 11 innings is a blessing!  This is going to be a long weekend of ball for the boys since they have a double header tomorrow to make up for last nights postponement.

At any rate, the boys actually fought hard and this time, whenever they gave up a run, they came back and got another one – this game was tied from most of the 4th inning on  - hard fought baseball.

It’s hard to decide on BOD today but the vote eventually went to Doumit for hitting the winning RBI. Congratulations Ryan.. again. :)

Ryan Doumit

Ryan Doumit

GameChat – Twins @ Royals #3, 7:10pm

Ok, we let the Royals break their home losing streak.. can we go back to winning now?

I won’t be able to be there for the game – unless of course it’s still going when I get home from a 3 hour choir rehearsal… [I'm looking at you, Pelfrey]

Minnesota

@

Kansas City
Carroll, 3B Gordon, A, LF
Mauer, DH Hosmer, 1B
Willingham, LF Perez, S, C
Morneau, 1B Butler, B, DH
Doumit, C Moustakas, 3B
Parmelee, RF Cain, L, CF
Thomas, C, CF Lough, RF
Dozier, 2B Getz, 2B
Florimon, SS Escobar, A, SS
  Pelfrey, P   Davis, W, P

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 1
Kansas City 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 4 x 7 11 1

How do you go from a 3-3 tie in the 7th inning (the last time I checked the score while the game was still going on) to getting beat 7-3? I thought the bullpen was supposed to be the one area that was actually working well for the Twins.

It appears it was a relatively nice outing for Mike Pelfrey, anyway, so that’s a good thing. But five lousy hits? Ugh. – JC

GameChat – Twins @ Royals #2, 7:10

I’m going to brave the elements a bit and head to the Kernels game tonight and MLB has not yet posted the Twins/Royal;s lineups. If another one of the Knuckleballs crew stops by after they’ve been posted, perhaps they’ll be able to add them here.

In the mean time, I’m going to open up the Chat window for anyone inclined to stop by for conversation during the game as the Twins go for their third straight shutout! – JC

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1
Kansas City 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 4 8 0

Well, the Kernels won 14-5 and Byron Buxton went 5-6 with 2 singles, a double and 2 triples. I have NO idea how the Twins performed, but looking at the box score, I see PJ Walters gave up 3 runs and none of them were earned runs. That is not usually good.

Go get ‘em tomorrow, boys. – JC

Who Will Lead Kernels in 2014?

I’ve never been someone that pays an enormous amount of attention to the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Most years, I would glance at a few writers focusing on who the Twins might draft in the first round, but the draft itself just held little interest for me.

I suppose, like many people, it just seemed to me that it was going to be several years before I would ever see any of the young players drafted in a given year put on a Twins uniform, so there was little point in spending much of my time on the draft.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton

I’m coming around, though, and, yes, it has a lot to do with the Twins now being affiliated with my local minor league team, the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

During their last several years as an Angels affiliate, it just seemed to me that the parent organization seldom sent many of their top prospects to Cedar Rapids right away (if at all). That may be unfair, I don’t know. I honestly never looked up whether my perception of things was backed up by facts.

But I do know this: Players drafted by the Twins in the 2012 First-Year Draft have played critical roles in putting the Kernels atop the Midwest League Western Division Standings with less than two weeks before the end of the first half of the season.

How critical? I”m glad you asked.

Infielder Joel Licon, who joined the team from extended spring training just this week, and pitcher Christian Powell, who is expected to join the Kernels Wednesday from extended spring training, are the ninth and tenth players drafted last summer to suit up for the Kernels this season. While Kernels fans haven’t had a chance to get to know Licon and Powell yet, the other eight members of the 2012 draft class have made significant impacts. Consider:

Byron Buxton (1st round)): .333/.435/.545 (.980) 11 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 7 HRs
Adam Brett Walker (3rd): .270/.321/.530 (.851) 12 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 10 HRs
Dalton Hicks (17th): .299/.376/.485 (.861) 17 2Bs, 7 HRs

I’m not sure where the Kernels would be without those bats this season, but they’d have been a lot less fun to watch. But if that’s impressive, check out these pitchers:

Jose Berrios (Supp 1st round): 4-2, 39 IP, 2.54 ERA, 44 Ks, 1.28 WHIP
Mason Melotakis (2nd): 5-2, 51.1 IP, 3.68 ERA, 42 Ks, 1.52 WHIP
Tyler Duffey (5th): 3-2, 58.1 IP, 2.78 ERA, 47 Ks, 0.94 WHIP
Taylor Rogers (11th): 0-1, 10 IP, 7.20 ERA, 10 Ks, 1.80 WHIP
Alex Muren (12th): 3-0, 15.2 IP, 2.87 ERA,  10 Ks, 1.21 WHIP

Clearly, anyone who might want a sneak peek at who is likely to be playing big roles for the 2014 Cedar Rapids Kernels should pay close attention to who the Twins pick with the 4th overall pick in the first round of the draft on Thursday and any college age players drafted in the following 15 rounds or so.

Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios

Of the ten players listed above, only first round picks Buxton and Berrios were selected following their senior seasons of high school baseball. The others all had at least some amount of college experience prior to being selected and signed by the Twins.

The Twins’ brass have their work cut out for them to replace that kind of productivity with the Kernels from the draft class of 2012.

Of course, most players drafted this week won’t wear a Kernels uniform next year. More will likely arrive in Cedar Rapids the following year during the 2015 campaign.

Eleven of this year’s Kernels were selected by the Twins in the 2011 draft. That list includes third baseman Travis Harrison, catcher Tyler Grimes and eight pitchers who have toed the rubber at some point during the season as a member of the Kernels pitching staff.

With the addition of Powell, 21 of the 33 players who will have worn a Kernels uniform this season were drafted by the Twins in the past two years and several more could still arrive in Cedar Rapids this summer as promotions and injuries create roster openings.

Of course, Kernels fans may not have to wait until 2014 to get a look at some of this year’s draft talent. Under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, players with college eligibility remaining must be signed by July 15. That’s much earlier than under the agreement in place before last year, which makes protracted contract negotiations almost impossible.

As a result, some of the players selected in this week’s draft may have an opportunity to be assigned to Cedar Rapids before the end of this season. Last year, the Twins sent a handful of pitchers from their 2012 draft class to their Midwest League affiliate, the Beloit Snappers, to help the Snappers during their playoff run.

The first and second rounds of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft will be broadcast on the MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com Thursday evening, beginning at 6:00 CT. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed on MLB.com beginning Friday afternoon and rounds 11-40 will be streamed on MLB.com beginning Saturday afternoon. – JC

GameChat – Twins @ Royals, 7:10pm

Ok, let’s see if the boys can take on whatever Mr. Brett has been able to do with the somewhat fading Royals’ bats.

Minnesota

@

Kansas City
Carroll, 3B Gordon, A, LF
Mauer, C Escobar, A, SS
Willingham, LF Hosmer, 1B
Morneau, 1B Butler, B, DH
Doumit, DH Cain, L, CF
Parmelee, RF Moustakas, 3B
Dozier, 2B Perez, S, C
Hicks, CF Lough, RF
Florimon, SS Johnson, E, 2B
  Deduno, P   Mendoza, P

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3 10 0
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0

It wasn’t exactly an overpowering offensive explosion in Kansas City, but Ryan Doumit’s solo home run and some timely hitting by Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham and Doumit (again) were all Sam Deduno and the bullpen needed.

That’s a shutout folks. Yes, it IS possible for the Twins to participate in one of those where the OTHER team scores no runs. And for his part in leading that endeavor, Deduno is our BOD!

Sam Deduno (Photo: John Swol/TwinsTrivia.com)

Sam Deduno (Photo: John Swol/TwinsTrivia.com)

Off-Day Weather-Related Baseball Entertainment

So.. remember that fairly hilarious thunderstorm that the Twins and Rangers that flattened Willingham and sent Doumit running for shelter?

Well it turns out that the Yankees & Red Sox had a similar event yesterday and it was pretty much just as funny!! It seems thunder and outdoor stadiums are made for comedy.

 

GameChat – Mariners @ Twins #3, 1:10 pm

Still no Justin Morneau in the line up today. Joe Mauer takes a turn at first base.

I’m hopeful that we’ll start seeing the Scott Diamond we all hoped we would see one of these starts and it would be nice if it came soon… today would be good.

Let’s see if our guys can salvage a series win over the M’s.

I’ve got some chores to take care of this afternoon, but I hope to be back to catch at least some of the game. – JC

MARINERS

@

TWINS
Saunders, M, CF Escobar, E, 3B
Bay, LF Mauer, 1B
Seager, 3B Willingham, DH
Morales, K, DH Doumit, C
Ibanez, RF Parmelee, RF
Liddi, 1B Herrmann, C, LF
Triunfel, 2B Dozier, 2B
Sucre, C Hicks, CF
Ryan, SS Florimon, SS
Bonderman, P Diamond, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Seattle 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Minnesota 0 3 0 2 2 1 2 0 x 10 16 0

Wow. It’s so much more fun to be on the side administering the beating than the one on the receiving end, isn’t it?

I admit my attention was elsewhere during most of this game, but it seemed like whenever I checked in someone was getting an extra-base hit for the Twins!

It does make for a bit of a challenge to decide who the BOD should be. Six Twins hitters had multiple hits. Three different guys doubled and four guys homered. There was even a triple thrown in there.

Then on the other hand, Scott Diamond and the bullpen throw a shutout!

It was all way too much to sort through so I just decided to go with Brian Dozier. Don’t ask me why, but 3 for 4, a double, a home run, a couple of runs scored and a pair of ribbies isn’t a bad day’s work.

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

 

GameChat – Seattle @ Minnesota #2, 12:10pm

Sorry for the late start folks – my computer was not cooperating today so it took far longer than I thought to get this going.

Quick note about the lineup today: Morneau arrived to the park with flu-like symptoms so we get to see Colabello at 1B. I have to admit that while I am going to be listening to this game rather than watching for the most part, I will definitely have to take the opportunity to see how he does for at least a portion of the game.

Seattle

@

Minnesota
Chavez, En, RF Escobar, E, 3B
Bay, LF Mauer, DH
Seager, 3B Willingham, LF
Morales, K, 1B Doumit, C
Ibanez, DH Parmelee, RF
Franklin, 2B Colabello, 1B
Saunders, M, CF Dozier, 2B
Shoppach, C Hicks, CF
Ryan, SS Florimon, SS
  Harang, P   Correia, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Seattle

2

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

4

10

2

Minnesota

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

3

5

7

1

So I spent the majority of the game cleaning out my car and listening on the radio – because yes, I can actually GET the Twins station in my car, just not in the house and yes, it did take well over 2 hours to clean out my car…

Fortunately, most of the game wasn’t worth paying my full attention to anyway so I could work away and not worry about missing anything.

But! I finished just before the 9th inning and came in to sit and watch the last inning on the TV.. HOLY CRAP AM I GLAD I DID!!!

Who knew that their closer would absolutely fall apart and WALK 3 consecutive batters (Florimon, Escobar and Mauer) and just set up the bases loaded for the heart of our hitting order. Florimon scored on a sac fly from Willingham who still practically scuffed the dirt with his shoes because he really really really wanted that sucker to go out of the park and it almost did but not quite. And then Doumit… runners at first and second and Doumit up hitting lefty against the right-hander who couldn’t keep balls where he wanted them.. Doing a little math for myself and realizing just a good liner ties up the game and a solid double wins it since Mauer isn’t the FASTEST guy on the team but he can move and score from 1st if necessary. And that is exactly how it played out.. Accordingly, Doumit was the team hero AND got himself shaving creamed during the post game interview.. he deserved it I’m sure and he deserves today’s BOD! Congrats!

Ryan Doumit

Ryan Doumit