GameChat – Twins @ Tigers #2, 3:08pm

This is one of those rainy (in MN) Saturday’s where I’m doing my best to get some outdoor work done despite the rain. Actually my whole weekend is like that so I’m REALLY glad I got to see that fantastic game last night. I’ll be checking in and catching as much as possible on the radio. Let’s do this!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 3 2 9 12 0
Detroit 0 0 7 1 2 1 1 0 x 12 19 1

Looks like the Twins’ bats woke up in the 7th, but it was too little, too late. – JC

GameChat – Twins @ Tigers, 6:08pm

I have to admit that I’m really interested to see how this series goes – it could be a bell-weather of the whole season. Both teams are kind of at a cross-roads with one on the upswing (I hope) and one sagging (so it appears).

Any predictions?

Roster update: Hicks is on the DL, Fuld is back and the Twins recalled Eric Fryer.

I’m also really interested to see how this new lineup order works AND how it gets adjusted when Dozier is back swinging a bat.

Minnesota @ Detroit
Santana, D, CF Kinsler, 2B
Suzuki, K, C Jackson, A, CF
Mauer, 1B Cabrera, M, 1B
Willingham, LF Martinez, V, DH
Morales, K, DH Martinez, J, RF
Arcia, O, RF Kelly, D, LF
Plouffe, 3B Castellanos, N, 3B
Nunez, SS Avila, C
Escobar, E, 2B Romine, A, SS
  Gibson, P   Smyly, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 1
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1

wow, that was actually a fun game to watch!

Of course it doesn’t hurt that we won but there were a lot of positives tonight – not the least of which is beating a division opponent and making progress back towards that .500 mark. We didn’t have a LOT of offense but getting that home run in the third from Escobar set up the win well. Only his 2nd HR of the year because he’s not a power hitter but I’ll take it regardless. And getting a walk off Joe Nathan in the 9th inning isn’t as hard as it used to be but it’s still nothing to sneeze at, especially when that walk sent in an additional cushion run! All your RBI’s are belong to Eduardo! I hope he enjoys the All-You-Can-Eat pastry buffet on us.

It turned out to be all that was necessary because Kyle really did a fantastic job tonight. And it wasn’t one of those “no one can touch him” kind of good jobs either. It was a night where he wasn’t perfect and figured out how to get the job done anyway – in some very big situations. He made life hard for himself in both the 5th and 7th innings and Gardy left him out there to figure it out. Had it all gone sour, we’d have been screaming that he once again left him in one pitch too long but I think it does a lot for a young pitcher to make it or break it on his own and we’ll be the better for it in the long run. This was an important game for Kyle because he statistically hasn’t done well on the road and he broke that “curse” tonight. With the 7 scoreless innings tonight, that is 15 consecutive for him without giving up a run. The bullpen was SOLID against this Tigers lineup with both Casey and Glenn putting out excellent innings but tonight was really all about Kyle and for that, he’s today’s BOD!

Kyle Gibson (photo: MiLB.com)

Kyle Gibson (photo: MiLB.com)

GameChat – Twins @ Blue Jays #2, 6:07pm

Another night where I don’t get to watch baseball.. I’ll be trying to catch scores and updates and plays during breaks and car rides.. wish I could enjoy the game since they didn’t do so well for the day I got to watch yesterday.. but I’ll take a win regardless tonight!

Let’s see how quickly Kendrys can settle in!

Minnesota @ Toronto
Santana, D, CF Reyes, SS
Dozier, 2B Cabrera, Me, LF
Mauer, 1B Bautista, RF
Willingham, LF Encarnacion, 1B
Morales, K, DH Lind, DH
Arcia, O, RF Lawrie, 2B
Nunez, 3B Navarro, D, C
Suzuki, K, C Francisco, J, 3B
Escobar, E, SS Gose, CF
  Correia, P   Happ, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1

Not having seen or heard the game, I’m going to simply give the BOD award to Brian Dozier for his first inning two-run home run, but four pitchers combining for a shutout of the Jays certainly warrants honorable mention! – JC

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

GameChat – Twins @ Blue Jays, 6:10

So much for the “Morales will need a few days to get in to playing shape” stuff, huh? Kendrys Morales is in the Twins’ lineup tonight as the DH and batting sixth.

Minnesota @ Toronto
Santana, D, CF Reyes, SS
Dozier, 2B Cabrera, Me, LF
Mauer, 1B Bautista, RF
Willingham, LF Lind, DH
Arcia, O, RF Encarnacion, 1B
Morales, K, DH Francisco, J, 3B
Plouffe, 3B Lawrie, 2B
Suzuki, K, C Thole, C
Escobar, E, SS Gose, CF

Looks like I neglected to include the pitching matchup in the lineups. It’s Nolasco, P  for the Twins and former Twin Dickey, P  for the Jays. – JC

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

Odd game. First two hitters go yard for the Twins and then pretty much nothing until the ninth when they rally to tie the game. Unfortunately, the bullpen coughed one up in the bottom of 9.

GameChat – Astros @ Twins #3, 1:10

I’m still over in Kane County with the Kernels this afternoon but the Twins will be looking to win their series with the Astros today.

The big news, of course, is the signing of Kendrys Morales and the subsequent DFA of Jason Kubel. Certainly an interesting move by a team in last place of their division, though certainly the Twins aren’t so far out of things they should be giving up. It’s just somewhat out of character, I guess. – JC

Here are today’s lineups:

Houston @ Minnesota
Fowler, CF Santana, D, DH
Altuve, 2B Dozier, 2B
Springer, RF Plouffe, 3B
Singleton, 1B Willingham, LF
Dominguez, 3B Arcia, O, DH
Grossman, LF Nunez, RF
Carter, DH Parmelee, 1B
Corporan, C Pinto, C
Villar, J, SS Escobar, E, SS
  McHugh, P   Deduno, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 1 1 3 0 0 4 1 4 14 13 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 5 10 2

The Twins haven’t really been blown out of as many games this season as they seemed to last year. Maybe that’s why seeing this kind of score brings back some bitter memories.

But it’s just one game, right? Forget it and move on. – JC

GameChat – Astros @ Twins #2, 1:10

I’m hopping in the car in a few moments to head over in the general direction of Chicago to catch prospect Lewis Thorpe’s first start with the Kernels, but while I’m motoring across northern Illinois, the Twins will be attempting to even their series with the Astros. No Oswaldo Arcia in the line up today after he hurt his ankle last night. Hoping it’s nothing serious. – JC

Houston @ Minnesota
Fowler, CF Santana, D, DH
Altuve, 2B Dozier, 2B
Springer, RF Mauer, 1B
Castro, Ja, C Willingham, LF
Dominguez, 3B Plouffe, 3B
Singleton, 1B Parmelee, RF
Presley, LF Suzuki, K, C
Grossman, DH Escobar, E, SS
Gonzalez, M, SS Hicks, CF
  Feldman, P   Gibson, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
Minnesota 0 3 0 4 0 0 1 0 x 8 7 0

So, while I wasn’t paying attention, not only did the Twins score a bunch of runs AND shut out the Astros, but they also signed Kendrys Morales! That should make for an interesting roster move or two in the next couple days.

As for the game, I have no idea what happened, but I can tell from the box score that Danny Santana had 4 hits and drove in 5 of the Twins’ runs. So, while the pitching staff certainly earned our respect with the shutout, Santana is getting our BOD.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a current picture of Danny in our Knuckleballs library, so the best I can do is go back in time and give you a look at Santana as a member of the Beloit Snappers a few years back. – JC

Daniel Santana

Daniel Santana

fsh

GameChat – Astros @ Twins, 7:10pm

This will be interesting to see if it stays dry throughout gameplay – let’s hope that the storms hold off long enough.

I think Arcia is still day to day and I hope that is fewer days than more.

Houston @ Minnesota
Fowler, CF Santana, D, DH
Altuve, 2B Dozier, 2B
Springer, RF Mauer, 1B
Castro, Ja, C Willingham, LF
Dominguez, 3B Plouffe, 3B
Singleton, 1B Kubel, RF
Carter, DH Suzuki, K, C
Grossman, LF Escobar, E, SS
Gonzalez, M, SS Hicks, CF
  Keuchel, P   Hughes, P, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 0 5 8 2
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 4 10 0

It’s unfortunate that these late comeback attempts keep falling just a little short. Need to start winning some of these. – JC

GameChat – Brewers @ Twins #2, 7:10

It’s turn back the clock night in Target Field with fans encouraged to wear their best 1980s garb to the game. Honestly, I can’t remember what kind of stuff I wore in the 80s. I was still trying to get over the 70s.

I’m going to imbed this just for your viewing pleasure: Last night, the Kernels and Timber Rattlers had a little bench clearing dust up in Wisconsin. 3 people on each team were ejected. Two players and a coach from Wisconsin along with two Kernels players and the Twins’ minor league hitting coordinator Bill Springman. Mostly a lot of jawing. Doesn’t appear to me like anyone got their fine money’s worth out of this deal. The two teams play again tonight and Friday, though, and these two teams have been knocking down hitters since last week’s series in CR, so things may not yet be settled.

Now here’s tonight Brewers/Twins lineup

Milwaukee @ Minnesota
Segura, SS Santana, D, CF
Braun, RF Dozier, 2B
Lucroy, C Mauer, 1B
Gomez, C, CF Willingham, LF
Ramirez, Ar, DH Arcia, O, RF
Davis, Kh, LF Plouffe, DH
Gennett, 2B Nunez, 3B
Reynolds, Ma, 3B Pinto, C
Overbay, 1B Escobar, E, SS
  Peralta, W, P   Correia, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 2 8 13 0
Minnesota 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 9 1

Not only a loss, but a potentially bigger loss as Oswaldo Arcia sprained an ankle and is “day to day”. Ugh.

Episode 86: Josh Willingham is Not Dead Yet

Jason Kubel strikes out when he says it, but “This is Talk to Contact.” You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or click here you can download the new episode, and if you want to add the show to your podcast player, this is the RSS Feed.

This week on the podcast we talk about the resurgence of Josh Willingham since his return from the Disabled List (being healthy is pretty important, I guess), we ramble on a bit about Aaron Hicks and the failure of the front office to have any sort of reasonable back up plan (has this rant been beaten to death yet? Yes?  Good, we’ll keep bringing it up), and we talk about all of the students Down on the Pond pitching for the Rochester Red Wings (Alex Meyer, Trevor May, Logan Darnell, Kris Johnson, Yohan Pino and the still terrible Scott Diamond).

We all drank excellent beers, answered a question from the internet, gave a shout out to our listener of the week, and talked all things baseball news going Around the League.
96 minutes of baseball joy.
Thanks for playing along!

Enjoy the show.

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) 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 our show on iTunes.   iTunes ratings and reviews are the sole reason that Josh Willingham is hitting home runs.