GameChat – Are You Watching the Home Run Derby?

Since there is enough going on with the Derby tonight to include Twins and former Twins, figured I might as well put up a chat to see whoever ISN’T in Minneapolis a chance to socialize. Given that tonight’s weather is not exactly Minnesota Summer even though a lot of the out-of-state visitors probably think this is what the frozen north is always like in the summer. That being said, the ball is NOT going to carry tonight like it could otherwise.. low humidity and lower than normal summer temps mean that this is going to be a REAL challenge to get that ball out of the park – not to mention that the wind is blowing in (most of the time) so it’s going to have THAT added difficulty as well.

Here’s tonight’s bracket of competitors:

2014_mlb_hrd_bracket

It was lovely to have Dozier in the derby and to get such a great crowd response since he would never have gotten that loud a cheer in any other park so it made for a great time for him. And it was equally heart-warming to have Morneau back in Target Field. I’m sure the ovation he received was a great reminder of his time here and provided some alternative joy since both he and Dozier didn’t advance past the first round. He did get a “swing off” with Todd Frazier who ended up putting on a temporary show and got further than even he expected.

The benefit of being a Minnesota fan meant that I had other things that made last night interesting but especially after the rain delay, it was a bit of a snoozer of an event. For me, literally, since I fell asleep before it was finished. That being said, I will qualify that with the fact that I’m not a huge Derby fan to begin with so it doesn’t take much for me to lose interest if there isn’t a great baseball story being written. The wunderkind, Puig, came up with a big fat 0 which was a pretty big disappointment to a lot of people expecting a big show from him but even so, I think all should be glad that he shows pur season games.  The “last minute” assignment of Cano, the Elder, as his pitcher probably didn’t help all that much given that their batting practice time was cut so short by the rain.

Giancarlo Stanton put on a seriously impressive show hitting a couple that challenged even the distance Jim Thome put out while in Target Field. He hit one so far up into the the third deck that it really made me wonder what would have happened if the weather had been the much more regular hot and humid MN summer day.

But when it came down to the final, it was only YoYo who basically stood alone and captured the Derby title for the second year in a row.

 

GameChat – Twins @ Rockies #3, 3:10pm

Am I the only one wondering, “who the heck has time for baseball??”

For the record, I think that is officially the mark of “too busy” and I’ve well and truly passed it.

*sigh*

Minnesota @ Colorado
Dozier, 2B   Blackmon, CF
Suzuki, K, C   Gonzalez, C, RF
Morales, K, 1B   Tulowitzki, SS
Plouffe, 3B   Morneau, 1B
Parmelee, RF   Arenado, 3B
Willingham, LF   Dickerson, LF
Escobar, E, SS   Rosario, W, C
Fuld, CF   LeMahieu, 2B
Hughes, P, P   Anderson, B, P

GameChat – Twins @ Rockies,

Goodness there are a lot of familiar faces wearing the wrong colors tonight.. it’s going to be fun to see how this series goes!

Minnesota @ Colorado
Dozier, 2B Blackmon, LF
Suzuki, K, C Stubbs, CF
Morales, K, 1B Gonzalez, C, RF
Plouffe, 3B Tulowitzki, SS
Arcia, O, RF Morneau, 1B
Nunez, LF Arenado, 3B
Escobar, E, SS Rosario, W, C
Fuld, CF LeMahieu, 2B
Johnson, K, P De La Rosa, J, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 10 0
Colorado 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 x 6 11 0

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GameChat – Twins @ Mariners #4, 9:10pm

Tonight could be interesting for the Mariners – their pitching is going to have to pull a pretty heavy load tonight. Let’s see if our boys can do their job and get the hits we need to give the new kid some support. He did a great job the last time – let’s see if he can’t pull it off again!

Minnesota @ Seattle
Dozier, 2B Chavez, En, LF
Suzuki, K, C Jones, J, CF
Parmelee, 1B Cano, 2B
Morales, K, DH Seager, 3B
Willingham, LF Hart, DH
Arcia, O, RF Morrison, 1B
Plouffe, 3B Saunders, M, RF
Escobar, E, SS Zunino, C
Fuld, CF Bloomquist, SS
  Pino, P   Wilhelmsen, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
Seattle 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 12 1

No, I didn’t make it the end of the game. I’m getting old; I am a wuss; I get up too early; whatever excuse works for you, the fact is that I decided sleep was more important than this game.

However, we WON and I think I saw all the important stuff because not much changed after the 7th inning. Pino continues to do a good job if not eye-broadeningly spectacular (pretty sure I just made up that term). Could the team use that spark if he was? yes. Do I need it to have confidence in his ability? no. I like that he is continuing to build on previous experience and do well when he’s out there. He’ll go deeper into games as he becomes more efficient with his pitches in each at bat. But he’s doing well in my book.

Last night’s win seems to fall on the shoulders of Kendrys Morales who is stepping up his game the way we had hoped he would be able to! It’s still in the early stages of the performance ability he likely expects of himself in this return to baseball but that boy can sure hit the ball and I hope to see a LOT more like it. For that, he is the BOD!

Photo Courtesy of: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy of: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

GameChat – Twins @ Mariners #3, 9:10pm

I think I like the idea of a win streak.. but yeah, gotta admit that staying up late for the end of these games when my mornings are earlier than ever? yeah, that’s rough. But I like seeing a winning boxscore regardless. Make it happen boys!

Minnesota @ Seattle
Dozier, 2B Chavez, En, LF
Nunez, SS Jones, J, CF
Plouffe, 3B Cano, 2B
Morales, K, DH Seager, 3B
Willingham, LF Morrison, 1B
Arcia, O, RF Hart, DH
Suzuki, K, C Saunders, M, RF
Colabello, 1B Zunino, C
Fuld, CF Miller, B, SS
  Gibson, P   Elias, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 1 4 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 8 9 0
Seattle 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 12 1

Nice win for our guys. Jumped on the M’s right from the beginning and didn’t let up.

Good to see Morales do some damage in front of a crowd that apparently isn’t shy about booing the former Mariner.

Kyle Gibson perhaps wasn’t as dominant as it may have appeared, but you can’t do a lot better than not allowing opponents to score. For that, he’s our BOD.

Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen

Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen

GameChat – Twins @ Mariners #2, 9:10pm

ah, West Coast baseball… the bane of the working mid-westerner’s existence. Oh well. I guess there is still something to look forward to…

birthday cake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM CRIKKET!!

Maybe the Twins can figure out how to win a game for you since they seem to be lacking in other motivation.

Congrats to Brian Dozier on getting into the Homerun Derby… I’m sure I’m not the only one giggling but I’m sure he’ll have a fantastic time regardless and have a whole heck of lot less pressure on him due to lower expectations. Have FUN Bull Dozer!

Minnesota @ Seattle
Dozier, 2B Saunders, M, RF
Nunez, 3B Jones, J, CF
Suzuki, K, C Cano, 2B
Morales, K, DH Seager, 3B
Willingham, LF Morrison, 1B
Arcia, O, RF Hart, DH
Colabello, 1B Ackley, LF
Escobar, E, SS Zunino, C
Fuld, CF Miller, B, SS
  Hughes, P, P   Young, Cr, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 8 0
Seattle 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0

Well the Twins did, indeed, come through with one heck of a performance for my birthday!

Sam Fuld was 3 for 3, including his first home run in a Twins uniform, and Casey Fien & Glen Perkins combined for 1.2 innings of shutout relief work.

But 7.1 innings of 8-hit, 8-K work from a starting pitcher is something to really celebrate and that earns Phil Hughes our BOD award.

Hopefully, our guys won’t wait all the way until my next birthday before doing this kind of thing again. – JC

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

GameChat – Yankees @ Twins #4, 1:10pm

Today isn’t quite hot yet but it’s soooo humid and the heat is coming. Going to be tropical at Target Field today so let’s hope Nolasco can get his butt in gear today and keep things held down.. too much running around that field is going to add up for everyone.

NY Yankees @ Minnesota
Gardner, B, LF Dozier, 2B
Jeter, SS Nunez, SS
Ellsbury, CF Parmelee, 1B
Teixeira, 1B Willingham, LF
McCann, C Arcia, O, RF
Beltran, DH Suzuki, K, C
Roberts, B, 2B Plouffe, 3B
Suzuki, I, RF Colabello, DH
Johnson, K, 3B Fuld, CF
  Kuroda, P   Nolasco, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees 2 4 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 9 14 2
Minnesota 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 1 1 7 13 0

I really hate losing to the Yankees.

Not the kind of performance we’ve hoped for and needed out of Nolasco. Good to see the hitters not giving up, though, I suppose. – JC

GameChat – Twins @ Yankees #3, 1:10pm

Today is a bit warmer.. if you’re one of the folk sitting in the sunshine, be prepared for frequent trips to restore your hydration – and be glad you’re there today rather than tomorrow. But the sun and summer is hard to argue with and is obviously a moment to enjoy to the fullest.

Let’s hope that the new kid is able to improve on his previous outing. (I always think that)

NY Yankees @ Minnesota
Jeter, SS Dozier, 2B
Roberts, B, 2B Suzuki, K, C
Ellsbury, CF Parmelee, 1B
Teixeira, 1B Morales, K, DH
Beltran, DH Willingham, LF
Suzuki, I, RF Arcia, O, RF
Soriano, A, LF Plouffe, 3B
Cervelli, C Escobar, E, SS
Wheeler, 3B Fuld, CF
  Phelps, D, P   Pino, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
NY Yankees 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 7 1

woohoo!!!  Ladies & Gentlemen, we have a WIN! That sure feels good. Pino did an EXCELLENT job in his 6 innings and while he does not yet have his first official MLB win, he deserved it. As it was we ended up with a LOT of extra baseball and he only pitched about half the game but I can’t imagine having to go the extended innings we did today if he had only gone the two innings that Gibson did yesterday. Still a good performance out of the bullpen again today. Especially since the strike zone was RIDICULOUS and resulted in Gardy getting booted early in the game.

Chris Colabello is also making a good show in his return to the big league lineup. He ALMOST got one out in the exact same place that he sent one long yesterday. If he had gotten that extra foot, he would have won the game in the 11th with a walkoff home run. As it was, that inning put a lot of people on base for the eventual win.

However, for making the extended game even possible and crossing the plate with the winning Run, Josh Willingham is today’s BOD! Thanks Hammer!

WillinghamST2012a