Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Four steps forward, one step back

First thing's first - I'm going to do a live blog tomorrow during the day game since no one beside MLB.tv viewers and people in Oakland can see the broadcast. You can listen to it on the radio, but you'll be able to read my live, in-game comments right here at the Twins Hotspot! Feel free to add you own comments as well - there'll be an easy way to do it right here on the site. On to today's post...

Going into last night's game versus Oakland, I had a bad feeling. The Athletics baffled Twins hitters until the eighth inning, when Joe Mauer tripled in Denard Span and advanced to home plate on a throwing error. It was a disturbing night all around. The team finally got a solid outing from a starter - Blackburn went eight innings and gave up only three runs - and received a decent inning of pitching from Craig Breslow to close out Oakland. Unfortunately, as has rarely been the case of late, the bats failed to come through over and over, leaving 14 men on base (Morneau - 4 LOB).

More than anything, it was an annoying game. How often does everything come together, only to fall short at the last minute? It's a buzzkill, a momentum drainer. But let's take a look at some positives on this dreary Tuesday morning: 

1) Mauer busted out three hits last night, and now has an 11-game hitting streak. He's also batting .360/.443/.520 in the month of August with two homers and 10 RBI. Basically, he's on fire right now. What's more, Mauer is now second to New York's Xavier Nady for the Batting Average lead.

2) Denard Span has failed to hit safely in just two of his past 15 games, and has a current eight-game hitting streak. Span has three multi-hit games in his past four outings as well.

3) In the American League, the Twins offense ranks no. 6 in runs scored, no. 3 in batting average, no. 7 in on-base percentage, and in the bottom five of runners left on base. All very healthy totals.

4) Tonight's starter, Kevin Slowey, has a 2.36 ERA and 0.900 WHIP in his past four starts. 

I hope that helped you get over the loss... it certainly helped me. 

In other news, Twins infielder Matt Tolbert is expected to start a double-A rehab assignment today in New Britain. It's likely that he'll remain in the minors until rosters expand on September 1... Alexi Casilla played his first minor league game with Beloit last night and went 1-for-3 with a single, two walks and a failed stolen base attempt. Looks like he'll be ready to start in Anaheim this weekend... Adam Everett may be a candidate to hit the DL with a sore hand - it'd make room for Casilla, that's for sure... Delmon Young is day-to-day with a "jammed" ankle that he sustained in the fourth inning last night. He walked with a limp after the game, according to Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.

Minor League Notes: 
  • Rochester SP Phil Humber kept the great pitching going as he tossed eight innings last night, giving up just two runs on four hits whlie walking three. The Red Wing bats couldn't support him though, and he lost the decision. Still, Humber has a 2.97 ERA and 1.169 WHIP over the past 39 1/3 innings.
  • Over at New Britain, David Winfree continues to tear the cover off the ball - he's got homers in three straight games, and now has a five game hitting streak with 10 RBI over that span. In addition, 3B Daniel Valencia (two games in a row) and OF Dustin Martin homered last night for the Rock Cats.
Poll Update: In our most recent poll, it seems that the majority of you believe Jesse Crain should be the Twins' new eighth-inning man... we'll see which way the management goes once September hits. My money is on Bobby Korecky from Rochester. 

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day! 


Wes said...

August has been a rough month for injuries, I have Lowell, Longoria, Crawford, and Sanchez all go on the DL for me this month. How about Ziegler? The guy is amazing.

J-mizzle said...

I watched Ziegler close out the Twins last night, and he rocked their faces. You're right.

Side note: I have Kinsler, Crawford and Carlos Lee on the same team. What's next??? My steals are going straight into the toilet. I'm sure of it.

J-mizzle said...

Thanks for the comment, by the way.

Twins Boxscore