GameChat – Twins @ Rays #3, 12:10pm

I think the whole team as well as the fans are hoping for a good start from Nolasco – especially the bullpen.

The Twins have themselves in a nice position to win another series. I’d like that; how about you?

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Dozier, 2B   Zobrist, 2B
Mauer, 1B   Jennings, D, CF
Plouffe, 3B   Joyce, LF
Colabello, RF   Longoria, 3B
Pinto, DH   Loney, 1B
Suzuki, K, C   Myers, RF
Fuld, LF   DeJesus, DH
Hicks, CF   Escobar, Y, SS
Florimon, SS   Molina, J, C
  Nolasco, P     Bedard, P

GameChat – Twins @ Rays #2, 6:10pm

So I meant to bring this up yesterday but I forgot: looks like GoGo is STILL a fireball and is paying the price with a 3 game suspension – and he’s not alone. There was a pretty good bench clearing brawl a few days ago sparked by a difference of opinion between the pitcher and the hitter about how long it’s appropriate to watch a long ball that isn’t a homerun. It’s still a triple though so.. yeah.

 The video makes for a good watch.

But about tonight’s game, I hate to admit it but just like last season, I really don’t feel all that optimistic about any game with Pelfrey as the starter.. *crossing fingers anyway*

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Dozier, 2B Zobrist, LF
Mauer, 1B Jennings, D, CF
Plouffe, 3B Joyce, DH
Colabello, DH Longoria, 3B
Kubel, LF Loney, 1B
Pinto, C Myers, RF
Herrmann, C, RF Forsythe, 2B
Escobar, E, SS Escobar, Y, SS
Fuld, CF Hanigan, C
  Pelfrey, P   Odorizzi, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 12 1
Tampa Bay 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0

I could go on and on about all the stuff that happened in this game, but frankly it just went on way too long. (four hours and 48 minutes? Seriously?)

Let’s just say the bullpen did a great job and Chris Colabello came through big time with the bat.in the 4th inning and again in the 12th. And that makes him our BOD. – JC

Chris Colabello

Chris Colabello

GameChat – Twins @ Rays, 6:10pm

I hate to start a post with bad news but it seems like something you guys should know but it’s not one of those things that gets a “breaking news” alert, more’s the pity.

Darin Mastrioanni was taken off of waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.. *sigh* Interestingly enough, that is the team that we claimed him from when we first got him so he’s kind of gone full circle but clearly this was our loss and I can’t help but feel like the whole situation with Jason Bartlett is to blame. I don’t feel very good about Jason right now. :(

Let’s just hope that Gibson can continue his success against Tampa Bay.

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay
Dozier, 2B Zobrist, 2B
Mauer, 1B Jennings, D, CF
Plouffe, 3B Joyce, DH
Colabello, RF Longoria, 3B
Kubel, LF Loney, 1B
Pinto, DH Myers, RF
Suzuki, K, C DeJesus, LF
Hicks, CF Escobar, Y, SS
Florimon, SS Molina, J, C
  Gibson, P   Price, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 1
Tampa Bay 3 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 x 7 12 0

The good news is there was one inning of offense against Price. The bad news is that Kyle Gibson showed he’s not perfect yet. He didn’t get a ton of support, granted, but Tampa had no problem hitting him either. Ah well. – JC

GameChat – Twins @ Royals #3, 1:10pm

Happy Easter!

Clearly the holiday has all of us Knuckleballers with our attention focused elsewhere but now that I have services done, brunch with the inlaws and the turkey in the oven, I can actually spend a little time with baseball – and feeding baby.

A quick roster update that happened just before the game started: the Twins have claimed Sam Fuld off of waivers from the A’s and DFA’d Darin Mastrioanni – which leaves the Twins a little short on the bench today but that is what happens when you need room on the 40 man.

Minnesota @ Kansas City
Dozier, 2B Aoki, RF
Mauer, 1B Infante, 2B
Plouffe, 3B Hosmer, 1B
Colabello, RF Perez, S, C
Kubel, LF Gordon, A, LF
Pinto, DH Butler, B, DH
Suzuki, K, C Moustakas, 3B
Hicks, CF Maxwell, CF
Escobar, E, SS Escobar, A, SS
  Hughes, P, P   Ventura, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 2 0 0 1 2 0 3 0 0 8 13 0
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 11 1

I started listening to the game about the time Phil Hughes was exiting, so I’m going to assume his first six innings of work were better than his last 2 hitters in the 7th inning.

In any event, the Twins move back up to .500 on the season with a 9-9 record, so I’ll take that performance from Hughes and the bullpen.

The story of the day looks like it was offense today, anyway, and a brief scan of the boxscore shows Trevor Plouffe with two doubles and a triple, as well as some RBI. Sounds like BOD material to me! – JC

Trevor Plouffe (photo: Jim Crikket)

Trevor Plouffe (photo: Jim Crikket)

GameChat – Twins @ Royals #2, 1:10pm

So the boys are up against Bruce Chen again.. last time it seemed as though we had finally figured out how to hit an 84 mph fastball. I hope they remember what they did because it would be a LOT of fun to do it again.

Minnesota @ Kansas City
Dozier, 2B Aoki, RF
Mauer, 1B Infante, 2B
Plouffe, 3B Hosmer, 1B
Colabello, RF Perez, S, C
Kubel, LF Gordon, A, LF
Pinto, C Butler, B, DH
Suzuki, K, DH Moustakas, 3B
Hicks, CF Maxwell, CF
Florimon, SS Escobar, A, SS
  Correia, P   Chen, B, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 4 8 1
Kansas City 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 x 5 10 0

this was not a GREAT day for Correia but today was really not his fault.. This loss was all on the Twins defense… absolute crap.

GameChat – Blue Jays @ Twins #3, 6:10pm

Ok, here’s our makeup game from last night.. it’s a whole 8 degrees warmer than it was during last night’s game time but at least this time there is no active snow!

Toronto (and even maybe the Twins) is going to feel seriously gypped by this whole circumstance when Minnesota is enjoying weather in the 60′s this weekend after they had to suffer through this ridiculous homestand.

I sure hope that Pelfrey can pull together a good start. *crosses fingers* And Twins fans, let’s welcome Eduardo Nunez who is up just for this evenings game… I’ll be interested to see how he does!

Toronto

@

Minnesota
Cabrera, Me, LF Dozier, 2B
Rasmus, C, DH Mauer, DH
Bautista, RF Colabello, 1B
Encarnacion, 1B Kubel, LF
Navarro, D, C Pinto, C
Lawrie, 3B Herrmann, C, RF
Gose, CF Nunez, 3B
Goins, 2B Hicks, CF
Diaz, J, SS Escobar, E, SS
  McGowan, P   Pelfrey, P

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Toronto

2

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

5

8

0

Minnesota

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

6

x

9

8

2

Ok, that was a mildly odd and sometimes frustrating baseball game – typical Twins … until the 8th inning.

The 8th inning is not something that is easily described.. wow.. simply put, the Blue Jays whole bullpen fell apart: eg 6 runs on one hit, 8 BB’s, 3 consecutive scoring WP’s. Yeah, I can honestly say I have NEVER seen an inning like that. I’m going to give you the MLB Play by Play text for the bottom of the 8th just you can see how it all came down:

THE 8th  
AB# Play String Play Play by Play
73     Pitching Change: Steve Delabar replaces Brett Cecil.
73 ..BBCBCFB W Josmil Pinto walks.
74 .*BBCB*B W.1-2 Chris Herrmann walks. Josmil Pinto to 2nd.
75   Coaching visit to mound.  
75 .LLX 34/SAC/BG.2-3;1-2 Eduardo Nunez out on a sacrifice bunt, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to second baseman Ryan Goins. Josmil Pinto to 3rd. Chris Herrmann to 2nd.
76     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Trevor Plouffe replaces Aaron Hicks.
76     Pitching Change: Sergio Santos replaces Steve Delabar.
76   Coaching visit to mound.  
76 …BBBC*B W Trevor Plouffe walks.
77     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki replaces Eduardo Escobar.
77 ..B. WP.3-H;2-3;1-2 With Kurt Suzuki batting, wild pitch by Sergio Santos, Josmil Pinto scores. Chris Herrmann to 3rd. Trevor Plouffe to 2nd.
77     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Pedro Florimon replaces Trevor Plouffe.
77 ..B.B.CBB W+WP.3-H;2-3 Kurt Suzuki walks. Wild pitch by pitcher Sergio Santos. Chris Herrmann scores. Pedro Florimon to 3rd.
78     Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Darin Mastroianni replaces Kurt Suzuki.
78 ..>B. SB2 With Brian Dozier batting, Darin Mastroianni steals (1) 2nd base.
78 ..>B.S*B*BCB W+WP.3-H;2-3 Brian Dozier walks. Wild pitch by pitcher Sergio Santos. Pedro Florimon scores. Darin Mastroianni to 3rd.
79     Pitching Change: J. A. Happ replaces Sergio Santos.
79   Coaching visit to mound.  
79 ..B>B. SB2 With Joe Mauer batting, Brian Dozier steals (5) 2nd base.
79 ..B>B.BCB W Joe Mauer walks.
80 .BBC*BSB W.3-H;2-3;1-2 Chris Colabello walks. Darin Mastroianni scores. Brian Dozier to 3rd. Joe Mauer to 2nd.
81 .CE S9/L.3-H;2-H;1-3 Jason Kubel singles on a line drive to right fielder Jose Bautista. Brian Dozier scores. Joe Mauer scores. Chris Colabello to 3rd.
82 .SBBBB W.1-2 Josmil Pinto walks. Jason Kubel to 2nd.
83 .SSC K Chris Herrmann called out on strikes.
84 .FSBBX 53/G- Eduardo Nunez grounds out softly, third baseman Brett Lawrie to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Seriously.. I don’t know quite what I would have done if I was that manager..

But given that we can’t exactly give the Blue Jays’ bullpen BOD, it was voted in the room to give it to the red hot Chris Colabello – again. Gotta say I’m liking him a LOT.

Chris Colabello

GameChat – Blue Jays @ Twins #2, 12:10pm

ok, they are actually going to play ball.. no clue how much snow they got at Target Field because the amounts were extremely variable.. I got nothing. I bet they got plenty.

I’m also fairly sure that the rest of the Knuckleballers here are as romantically fond of having a knuckleball pitcher in the game as I am – but especially we would like to welcome R.A. Dickey back to Minnesota! Sorry about the weather, man..

Toronto

@

Minnesota
Cabrera, Me, LF Dozier, 2B
Kawasaki, 2B Mauer, 1B
Bautista, CF Plouffe, 3B
Encarnacion, 1B Colabello, RF
Rasmus, C, DH Kubel, LF
Lawrie, 3B Pinto, DH
Sierra, RF Suzuki, K, C
Thole, C Hicks, CF
Goins, SS Florimon, SS
  Dickey, P   Gibson, P

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Toronto

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

2

Minnesota

0

0

0

0

5

2

0

0

x

7

10

2

Well that was actually an interesting game – odd, but interesting – to watch, at least on TV.. I don’t think I would have been dying to be in the stands at 32 degrees but a win is a win so for those who were there, I’m glad they got that benefit! RA Dickey didn’t get that benefit. He had the same cold and not nearly as much good feeling about it all. He was pretty pissed.

As for this afternoon’s BOD, wow, that is hard to come up with. The room was empty before I could remind people to vote so .. yeah, today’s decision is unilateral – but still hard. There was so much all-around effort from our boys and a good result that it’s hard to narrow down. But I keep going back to the one thing that I am looking for out of every game and never know if I’m going to get – good starting pitching. Today, we got excellent starting pitching against a team that KNOWS how to hit the ball.. so I grant BOD to Kyle Gibson.. again!

Kyle Gibson (Photo: Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com_

Kyle Gibson (Photo: Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com_

Episode 79: Brian Dozier is Robinson Cano and Other Lies

Happy birthday to our very own Jay Corn!  As a birthday present to Jay, Paul skipped the show!  Without him Eric is free to heap all of the praise in the world on Brian Dozier, and he does. You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.

Dozier at bat

Jay Corn revisits his prediction that Josmil Pinto will hit 25 home runs (which is not looking so bad right now), and we wonder what might happen to Pinto’s playing time when Josh Willingham and/or Oswaldo Arcia return from the DL and Chris Herrmann goes back to AAA.  The jabbering continues with Logan Darnell, one of three AAA Left Handers in the Rochester starting rotation.  Lots of beer talk this week, and Eric is a little over excited about his “bready beer” and then the gang goes Around the League.

Enjoy the show!

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) and read his writing at PuckettsPond.com, and you can find Mr. Jay Corn on Twitter (@Jay__Corn)!

If you enjoy our podcast, please take a couple extra minutes and rate and review us on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are like syrup for our metaphorical banana walnut pancakes.

GameChat – Blue Jays @ Twins, 7:10pm

umm… yeah. It’s cold out there folks. It happens in this state in the Spring but none of us like it. At least Toronto is a “northern” team so they should be used to it right??

It will be interesting to see how the teams handle the game.. before the snow moves in for tomorrow. :(

Toronto

@

Minnesota
Cabrera, Me, LF Dozier, 2B
Kawasaki, 2B Mauer, 1B
Bautista, CF Plouffe, 3B
Lind, DH Colabello, RF
Encarnacion, 1B Kubel, LF
Navarro, D, C Pinto, DH
Sierra, RF Suzuki, K, C
Lawrie, 3B Hicks, CF
Goins, SS Florimon, SS
  Morrow, P   Hughes, P, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 4 9 14 1
Minnesota 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 1

I didn’t see or hear any of tonight’s Twins game, so I have no idea what happened beyond what I can see in the box score. But that’s enough to know it was ugly.

I do see Chris Colabello had three hits and Trevor Plouffe put up home run number 1 on the season, so I guess that’s something. Oh, and Phil Hughes had 7 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work and, from what some people seem to think, that’s a good thing. I personally think it’s not as good as it would have been without giving up the four runs, but what do I know? – JC