GameChat – White Sox @ Twins, 7:10 (Maybe)

The radar in the Twin Cities area reportedly is making some folks doubt whether tonight’s series opener with the White Sox will actually get played, but if it does, it will be Yohan Pino’s MLB debut.

It would be a real shame (for me) if it isn’t played since it’s being televised on CSN (the Sox network), making it one of the rare times I would actually get to see a Twins game on TV. Yes I know it would be a shame for Pino, too, but it’s all about me.

I’ll be heading up toward Target Field about noon tomorrow to catch the Friday and Saturday games and I’m looking forward to that. – JC

Chicago @ 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 Parmelee, RF
De Aza, LF Escobar, E, 3B
Flowers, C Fuld, CF
  Quintana, P   Pino, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi White Sox 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
Minnesota 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 x 4 9 0

Let’s give the rookie and the vet co-BOD awards, shall we? Of course, in this case, the rookie pitcher, Yohan Pino, and the vet, Joe Mauer, aren’t all that far apart age-wise.

Pino started out by striking out the first two batters he faced and other than a couple hiccups in the 3rd inning, he pretty much cruised through his first seven innings of work as a Big Leaguer.

Mauer had a pair of hits and, more importantly, a pair of RBI. Kind of reminded you of a guy who used to catch for the Twins the last few years. – JC

Yohan Pino

Yohan Pino

Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer

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 – 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 – Brewers @ Twins, 7:10pm

and the Interleague border battle continues – now with DH!

I don’t remember ever having a match up like this that does a 4 game series in shared stadiums…  at any rate, it’s a perfect day for baseball in Minnesota!

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
Weeks, R, 2B Plouffe, 3B
Reynolds, Ma, 3B Suzuki, K, C
Overbay, 1B Pinto, DH
Schafer, L, LF Escobar, E, SS
  Estrada, P   Nolasco, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 6 1
Minnesota 0 0 0 3 1 0 2 0 x 6 10 0

That’s two in a row, boys and girls!

Ricky was cruising there through 6 innings, but it was really nice to see the bats answer Milwaukee’s big inning with a crooked number of their own.

We decided BOD honors go to Oswaldo Arcia, but the Hammer gets some pastries, which seems appropriate for that “roll” that he made in to home plate in the 7th. – JC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

GameChat – Twins @ Brewers #2, 7:10pm

it’s getting kind of sad that I never get to watch baseball lately – I get teased by the nightly lineups and never getting to see what they can do until I get to check the boxscores later..

And that will be me again tonight.. Let’s hope it’s good news when I get home!

Minnesota @ Milwaukee
Santana, D, CF Segura, SS
Dozier, 2B Gennett, 2B
Mauer, 1B Braun, RF
Willingham, LF Gomez, C, CF
Arcia, O, RF Davis, Kh, LF
Plouffe, 3B Reynolds, Ma, 3B
Pinto, C Overbay, 1B
Escobar, E, SS Maldonado, C
Deduno, P Gallardo, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 6 8 0
Milwaukee 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 4 8 1

Perk made it a little bit dramatic there in the ninth, but got the door closed with a 3-pitch whiff of Go-Go.

It’s really nice to see Hammer be The Hammer again, isn’t it? But Brian Dozier went yard, too, and he also was 3 for 3 on the night. That makes him our BOD. – JC

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

GameChat – Twins @ Yankees #3, 12:05

It’s the return of Phil Hughes to Yankee Stadium. Let’s hope we see this year’s version and not the version that wore Yankee pinstripes last season.

I’d like his chances of beating his old team better if Gardy would get over his phobia about having his backup catcher DH and get Josmil Pinto in to the line up, but that’s not going to happen any time soon apparently. – JC

Minnesota @ New York
Dozier, 2B Gardner, B, LF
Mauer, 1B Jeter, SS
Plouffe, 3B Ellsbury, CF
Arcia, O, RF McCann, C
Willingham, DH Solarte, 3B
Kubel, LF Suzuki, I, RF
Suzuki, K, C Roberts, B, 2B
Escobar, E, SS Johnson, K, 1B
Hicks, CF Almonte, Z, DH
 Hughes, P, P   Whitley, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 7 10 0
NY Yankees 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0

ok, this game didn’t end the way the majority of it went. I think the Yankees miss Big Mo… Hughes did a PHENOMENAL job against his old team. VERY impressive outing for him and all those Yankee fans in NY sat there wishing that was what he looked like last year.

We went in to that 9th inning behind in a very typical-looking score for the Twins in NY.. and then something changed. Robertson just didn’t match up well today. Getting 6 runs in the 9th in NY is just not something I expected to see! But I’ll take it!

In my opinion, it all started with the WillingHammer taking Robertson out of the park. He just never recovered his composure and all the rest got to him in succession. For getting it all started and tying the game (forever changing the outcome possibilities), Josh has earned today’s BOD honors! Thanks, man! Good to have you back!

WillinghamST2012a

GameChat – Twins @ Yankees, 6:05

Have you seen the pictures of Phil Hughes surrounded by the media hoard before tonight’s game? Crazy. I don’t know what he said to them, but I bet he was thinking, “man, I’m glad I don’t have to put up with this crap every day anymore.”

Speaking of returning Yankees, Eduardo Nunez is in the Twins line up tonight… as the DH. And Josmil Pinto is riding pine, again. I just don’t get it at all.

Minnesota @ New York
Santana, D, CF Gardner, B, LF
Dozier, 2B Jeter, SS
Mauer, 1B Ellsbury, CF
Willingham, LF Teixeira, 1B
Arcia, O, RF McCann, DH
Plouffe, 3B Roberts, B, 2B
Suzuki, K, C Suzuki, I, RF
Nunez, DH Solarte, 3B
Escobar, E, SS Murphy, C
  Nolasco, P   Nuno, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 6 10 0
NY Yankees 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0

I’m just going to let that boxscore speak for itself.. In New York… The Yankees…

Just looking at the numbers, I say Plouffe did a pretty good job of bringing it… I could be wrong – make your case – but I’m putting him out there for BOD.

Plouffe20144

GameChat – Rangers @ Twins #2, 7:10pm

So I’m actually a little disappointed but we have had a roster change in the opposition today – Yu Darvish who I would have liked to see pitch – pulled himself due to some sort of injury that I haven’t heard specified. Instead, Scott Baker – yes, THAT Scott Baker – gets to match himself up to a Twins starting rotation that once again, has the worst ERA in Major League Baseball with the numbers added by Mr. Nolasco last night.. So I wonder what Scotty is thinking tonight..

Let’s hope that Hughes can bring something better.

Texas @ Minnesota
Choo, LF Dozier, 2B
Andrus, SS Mauer, 1B
Moreland, 1B Plouffe, 3B
Beltre, A, 3B Arcia, O, RF
Rios, A, RF Willingham, DH
Gimenez, C Parmelee, LF
Martin, L, CF Suzuki, K, C
Murphy, DH Escobar, E, SS
Odor, 2B Hicks, CF
  Baker, S, P   Hughes, P, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Texas 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 9 1
Minnesota 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 0

Well that was interesting, wasn’t it?

It wasn’t Phil Hughes’ best start of the year, but I’ll take 7 innings like that any time I can get it.

Oswaldo Arcia with a solo shot, that was nice. Joe Mauer with an RBI double that he PULLED to right field. Nice.

Glen Perkins gave up a lead off triple in the top of the 9th, but then slammed the door without allowing that runner to score.

Yet, here we were, watching the Twins, trailing by a run in the ninth inning and, despite having Arcia and Josh Willingham back with the team, we were still watching three shortstops playing the field for the Twins, including two of them in the outfield.

Thank goodness, huh?

Danny Santana’s bases-loaded squibber wasn’t pretty but it got Eduardo Nunez home. And that was only possible because Nunez performed a bit of acrobatics in avoiding a tag attempt by Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. And that took place only after Nunez drove in Arcia with a game-tying RBI single.

That’s good enough for a Nunez BOD award.

Ron Gardenhire and Eduardo Nunez (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Ron Gardenhire and Eduardo Nunez (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

GameChat – MInnesota @ San Diego #2, 8:10 pm

Does this game start earlier tonight? It appears so.

Regardless, here are tonight’s lineups.

Minnesota San Diego
Dozier, 2B Cabrera, E, SS
Mauer, 1B Smith, S, LF
Plouffe, 3B Headley, 3B
Parmelee, RF Alonso, 1B
Suzuki, K, C Gyorko, 2B
Kubel, LF Venable, RF
Escobar, E, SS Maybin, CF
Hicks, CF Rivera, R, C
Hughes, P, P Ross, T, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 4 0
San Diego 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 1

Hey this winning thing is kind of fun, isn’t it? Sure, 80% of Twins fans don’t really find out about the win until the following day when it all takes place after normal people head to bed, but it’s still a W.

Only 4 hits for the Twins, so it’s tough to find a lot of offensive heroes, but Chris Parmelee’s RBI single in the 6th got the Twins on the board and Trevor Plouffe had half the team’s hits, including a HR for an insurance run in the 8th.

But BOD honors go to Phil Hughes, who contributed another excellent start. 7 innings.of shutout moundwork, 7 hits, no walks and 7 Ks. Nice.

And in honor of this achievement taking place in a National League park where Hughes had to borrow a helmet and bat three times, we have a picture I took proving he actually got some practice using the bat during spring training in March.

HughesBatting1