GameChat – Indians @ Twins #3, 12:10pm

Ok, rubber match time. It’s phenomenal baseball weather here in Minnesota so for all those fans lucky enough to sneak out of work for a little midday baseball, I hate you and I’m jealous.

Perhaps that is too harsh but maybe I will re-evaluate my feelings based on the result of today’s game?

Good luck to Anthony Swarzak who is leaving the bullpen however temporarily to make his first start in quite awhile. *crosses fingers*

Cleveland @ Minnesota
Kipnis, 2B Fuld, LF
Ramirez, Jo, SS Dozier, 2B
Brantley, CF Plouffe, 3B
Santana, C, 1B Morales, K, DH
Chisenhall, 3B Colabello, 1B
Swisher, DH Arcia, O, RF
Murphy, Dv, RF Nunez, SS
Perez, R, C Fryer, C
Dickerson, LF Santana, D, CF
  Bauer, P   Swarzak, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 x 3 8 1

WOOOHOOO!!! A series victory and redemption for all work-skippers.. Boy did the boys have a nice day to entertain MN fans. I just wish I had been able to be one of them.

For all around awesomeness that makes us look forward to boxscores in the future, Danny Santana is our BOD! (boy do we need to get a few more Knuckleballs pictures!)

Daniel Santana

Daniel Santana

GameChat – Indians @ Twins, 7:10pm

Time to see what the new kid has again.. against a team that nearly took out Detroit in a very solid way.

Cleveland @ Minnesota
Kipnis, 2B Santana, D, CF
Cabrera, A, SS Dozier, 2B
Gomes, Y, DH Plouffe, 3B
Santana, C, 1B Morales, K, 1B
Raburn, LF Willingham, LF
Swisher, RF Suzuki, K, C
Perez, R, C Colabello, DH
Chisenhall, 3B Parmelee, RF
Aviles, CF Escobar, E, SS
  House, P   Johnson, K, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 8 0
Minnesota 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 x 4 9 2

Finally got a post-All Star Game win!

Couldn’t manage to have the lead stand up to get Johnson the W before he gets sent back to Rochester to make room for Pino tomorrow, but at least it’s a win.

And that win comes thanks to our BOD, Josh Willingham and his 8th inning dinger. – JC

Josh Willingham

Josh Willingham

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 – 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

GameChat – Twins @ Rangers #3, 2:05pm

the baseball this weekend has been pretty disappointing. honestly. Let’s see if the Twins can’t do something to entertain us today. I may miss the beginning but I might actually get to WATCH some baseball today! It would be great if it was worth it.

Minnesota Texas
Dozier, 2B Choo, DH
Mauer, 1B Andrus, SS
Parmelee, CF Pena, C, 1B
Willingham, LF Beltre, A, 3B
Morales, K, DH Rios, A, RF
Arcia, O, RF Martin, L, CF
Escobar, E, 3B Chirinos, C
Fryer, C Choice, LF
Polanco, J, SS Odor, 2B
  Gibson, P   Lewis, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 0
Texas 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 0

so I was wrong… doesn’t happen often but there you go. I didn’t get to watch any of the game. *sigh*

And of course they WON!

Looking at the box score though, I have to make only one determination for BOD – I see that Gibson pitched 8 innings. That’s pretty rare these days so I’m taking it. Let’s hope they all get back to doing that again.

Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson

GameChat – White Sox @ Twins #4, 1:10pm

Can we do it? A four game sweep would be pretty amazing. Hopefully, we’ll have a window of dry long enough to get the game in but I think we should all cross our fingers.

I also think we have a chance for a good pitching start today with Hughes out there. It would be a real shame if we had three bad starts in a row – the bullpen would greatly appreciate a little bit less need or their abilities today.

Chi White Sox Minnesota
Eaton, CF Santana, D, SS
Beckham, G, 2B Dozier, 2B
Abreu, 1B Mauer, 1B
Dunn, A, DH Willingham, LF
Ramirez, Al, SS Morales, K, DH
Gillaspie, 3B Arcia, O, RF
Sierra, RF Suzuki, K, C
De Aza, LF Escobar, E, 3B
Flowers, C Fuld, CF
  Danks, Jh, P   Hughes, P, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 8 0
Minnesota 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 x 6 11 1
Kinda says it all, doesn't it!?

Kinda says it all, doesn’t it!?

Woohoooo!!

No, really.. a 4 game sweep of the White Sox! (that hasn’t happened in literally 20 years) Actually, if you take it as simply four home games, the Twins haven’t had a four game home win-streak since 2007. But it’s just that much more special that it was a four-game sweep of a division rival – that we don’t like very much.

There were several really good performances in today’s game (not that I saw any of it) but surprisingly, none of them was from Phil Hughes. And he readily admits it. I feel bad for the bullpen that had been leaned on heavily for the last couple games and it turned out that they were leaned on again today. Swarzak came in and pitched two innings and Fien did a share but since Perkins has had the ninth the last two games in a row, Burton went out there today to get the Save and he got it well. I think the whole team was feeling the pressure though and some really awkward pitch rulings from the ump had Gardy out in force for a little Show Time – and the much more rare ejection.

Sam Fuld was there doing a little bit of everything and Willingham was holding his own but once again, it was Mauer who seemed to carry the team today. It’s really good to have you back and we’ll give you the BOD gain!

GameChat – White Sox @ Twins #3, 1:10pm

Hello from Hrbek’s at Gate 14!!! JC and Babs (and Andrew, Baby Margaret and Molly) are enjoying a Happy Birthday celebration for KL!

It’s an absolutely stunning day for baseball and I hope that we’re able to gift KL with a sweep of the White Sox. Wouldn’t that be just the perfect birthday present? I think so.

Chi White Sox Minnesota
Eaton, CF Santana, D, SS
Beckham, G, 2B Dozier, 2B
Gillaspie, 3B Mauer, DH
Abreu, 1B Morales, K, 1B
Dunn, A, DH Arcia, O, RF
Ramirez, Al, SS Suzuki, K, C
Viciedo, RF Parmelee, LF
De Aza, LF Escobar, E, 3B
Nieto, C Fuld, CF
  Rienzo, P   Correia, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 9 0
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 x 4 9 2

man, what an absolutely beautiful day for baseball.. We all had a warm but wonderful time and the Twins were very generous to the series win for KL.

There was some really awkward ways to get on base today though. Walked in runs, hit batter walked in runs.. it was entertaining. It was a fun bit of small ball actually!

I think the most exciting inning of the game however was the 5th – and the return of Joe Mauer. He hit a patented double to knock in a pair of runs and then, crossed home plate himself on a single by Morales. That was all we needed to get the win – which is good because we didn’t get any more. The pitching kind of tried to give it up and Perkins made us all flash back to last night when he gave up one of the cushion runs but he held on and kept the Save instead of hoping they’d give him the Win. But since Josh Willingham’s kid as the Jr. PA didn’t actually improve the score and Mauer made the win possible, he is today’s BOD! I hope you’re actually back to stay this time.JOEMAUER

 

GameChat – White Sox @ Twins #2, 7:10pm

ok, it’s finally not raining in Minnesota!!! This is especially joyous for me as the carpet from my two basement bedrooms are currently laid out in my driveway hopefully drying enough to continue to be used as temporary floor covering until we decide what the permanent replacement will be. Oh yeah and everything else that was in those two rooms in now removed and piled elsewhere while we attempt to dry out..  Just so much water in this state right now.

All that being said, it’s a hot but beautiful day for baseball in Minnesota. Let’s see if the boys can make use of that hot, humid air to let some long balls carry a ways!

Chi White Sox @ Minnesota
Eaton, CF Santana, D, SS
Beckham, G, 2B Dozier, 2B
Gillaspie, 3B Mauer, 1B
Abreu, 1B Willingham, LF
Dunn, A, DH Morales, K, DH
Ramirez, Al, SS Suzuki, K, C
Viciedo, RF Arcia, O, RF
De Aza, LF Escobar, E, 3B
Flowers, C Fuld, CF
  Noesi, P   Nolasco, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 10 0
Minnesota 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 7 0

Man, Glen Perkins owes the team a steak dinner… They pulled his butt out of an ignominious post-game lockerroom walk of shame.

beerchoiceThat being said, game long highlight player was really Kurt Suzuki! wow, did he ever perform – great defense and great hit leadership! That absolutely perfect pickoff to 2B was a thing of beauty for defense-lovers. For that, the beer is on us! Whatever you want.

Escobar also provided some hefty help to this team with timely RBI but the MOST timely RBI, of course, is the walk-off hit from Brian Dozier. After the 2 run lead melted away during Perkins’ 9th inning meltdown, it was hard to keep the optimism up but out came the Bull Dozier to pull it all back together in what has become a very consistent level of performance from him which should absolutely get him an All Star game slot. But for the more local honorifics, we just call BOD!

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier