Posted on: May 26, 2009 5:39 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2009 12:52 pm

Slama watch 2009

Who is ready for some Slama?

I know I am. Anthony Slama is still playing AA ball for the Twins minor league team The New Britain Rock Cats.

On the season so far he is pitching 3-0, 2.59 era, 9 saves, and 38 strike outs in 24 and a 3rd innings. And that is after a terrible game on 5/23 when he gave up 3 runs in his 1 inning. 

In 2008 he was 4-1 with 25 saves and a 1.01 era and 110 strike outs in 71 innings pitched and was named's Class A Adv. Relief Pitcher of the Year. 

I think we all know that Slama is the heir apparent to Joe Nathan and I can't think of a better way to learn the job then setting up for him in the 8th. Not to mention, the Twins need him. They have been looking for a solid 8th inning guy since Pat Neshek went down. So far this year the Twins relievers are carrying a combined earned run average over 4.00.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 25, 2009 5:57 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2009 5:58 pm

Twins vs Brewers

Three Game Sweep. So much for the hot Brew Crew.

Sorry, I was out of town all weekend, but will provide better coverage on the next series.

Category: MLB
Tags: Brewers, Twins
Posted on: May 21, 2009 5:38 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2009 5:39 pm

Twins @ White Sox Game 3

In which the Twins take out their frustrations on their hated rival.


It is good to see the Twins finally making some line-up changes. I have been saying for weeks, that they can not keep putting Brendan Harris and Matt Tolbert in the two hole. I have been hoping they would give Jose Morales more at bats. I thought they could start him in the two hole. 

Well, Meatloaf has been know to say 2 out of 3 ain't bad. The Twins didn't put Morales in the two spot, but they did start him. And instead of starting Harris or Tolbert in the 2 hole, they dropped Tolbert down to the 8 spot, and moved everyone else up a spot. The result....

The Twins scored 20 runs in the first 7 innings.

Morales went 3 for 4 with two walks and 3 runs. Joe Mauer had 6 rbis. The Twins hit two 3 run homers and a Grand Slam (Mauer's 4th homer of the road trip). Even Tolbert had a big game. It also helped that Nick Blackburn pitched a great 7 innings of shut-out baseball. The final score was 20-1.

After the game Micheal Cuddyer, who hit a three run homer in the 7 run 2nd inning, stated "We needed that one, if there was ever a must win, it was that one." He further went on to say, "... we have been through this before. We've struggled in May for some reason, but going into the National League games we seem to pick up some momentum, and hopefully thats what we have been able to do today going into the series against Milwaukee."

 It was a long and ugly road trip; however, the Twins finished it on a high note. Now they can look to add to their one game winning streak in the comfort of the Metrodome where they are 14-9 on the year.

Posted on: May 20, 2009 12:15 am
Edited on: May 21, 2009 4:12 pm

Twins @ White Sox Games 1 and 2

More of the same In Chicago

Scott Baker and the Twins continue their skid, losing a 5th consecutive game. Baker had one bad inning, giving up 3 earned runs in the second. Including a 2 run homer to Paul Konerko. Mark Buehrle gave up 8 hits, but they were scattered over 7 innings. The Twins had the same problem against the White Sox as they have been having from their #2 hitter. Brendan Harris not only went 0-4, but he also hit into 2 double plays, actually taking away potential runs from Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau

Joe Mauer hit his 7th home run. That is the Twins' 8th of the road trip, and amazingly, they have all been solos.











Category: MLB
Posted on: May 19, 2009 7:53 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 7:55 pm

Sean Henn

I was just going to write a blog about calling up Sean Henn, and the Twins go and do it. I love it.
FYI, AAA stats. 24 innings pitched. 1.13 era. 32 K's. 
Category: MLB
Tags: Sean Henn, Twins
Posted on: May 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 6:04 pm

Black hole at the 2 spot

In a year where Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Jason Kubel have been tearing the cover, they seem to be coming up short in the RBI category. That could have a lot to do with the awful play of Twins #2 hitters. Manager Ron Gardenhire has mostly slotted Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris,  and Alexi Casilla between Span and Mauer. In 161 at bats the 3 have combined for a paltry .192 average, 17 runs, 14 walks, and 36 strike outs. That is more whiffs then walks or hits.


So what needs to be done? Here are a few ideas I have. Play Kubel in left field against righties and Delmon Young against lefties. Kubel is hitting .365 against righties and .179 against righties. Last year Young hit .300 against lefties. That would leave the DH spot open and allow rookie switch hitting catcher Jose Morales to play some games at DH and bat 2nd. Morales is batting .333 in 20 games this year. I hate to say it, but the days of Michael Redmond as a backup catcher for the Twins should be over. It has often been said that he would be a great addition to the coaching staff at some point. I say the sooner the better. His legs are too old, and his throws are 2nd is starting to be abused by opposing base-runners.


Another possibilty is batting Delmon Young in the 2 spot. He has not been hitting for power since he became a Twin, but has a respectable
 on base percentage. Much better then we have seen in the two hole this year.

And finally, bring back Alexi Casilla. Casilla has seemed to be a permanent resident in the Gardenhire doghouse and was sent to the minors on May 6th. Two things have happened since then. Firstly, Casilla is hitting in the minors, he has a batting average of .312 and an on-base percentage of .380. The second, Joe Mauer is back with the team. You can expect the #2 hitter to see better pitches hitting in front of Mauer.


I doubt Morales will stay with the big club for long, and it is too early to give up on Young's power swing, so it seems like it may be time to give Casilla a 2nd chance. He may not deserve it in Gardenhire's eyes, but the Twins sure seem to need it.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 16, 2009 10:23 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2009 11:06 pm

Twins @ Yankees - Deja Vu' all over again


Deja Vu' all over againIn the first 3 games the Twins have enjoyed late inning leads; however, they have been unable to hold back the Pinstripers. Friday it was Melky with a 2-RBI single off an overused Joe Nathan. Saturday it was A-Rod's first round-tripper in New Yankee Stadium, for an extra inning win. And finally, in spite of a brilliant defensive play at the plate by Joe Mauer, the Yankees had their third straight walk off win, this one courtesy of a Johnny Damon solo home run in the 10th.  

At least the series finale was a different sort a tough loss for the Twins. Glen Perkins pitched atrociously, allowing 6 runs without getting out of the first inning. R.A Dickey came in to stop the bleeding, and pitched 4 1/3 with out allowing a run. The Twins pecked away at the Yankee lead getting the game within 2, until Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer, his 2nd dinger of the game, in the bottom of the 7th. That would be the difference in the game, as the Twins managed to score 2 more, but lost 7-6, in non-walk-off fashion for a change.

On the bright side, The New M&M boys are littering the bleachers with long balls, unfortunately for the Twins, they all seem to be solo shots.

The Twins always seem to have a tough time going to the Bronx, in recent years they have lost 88% of the games they have played there. That being said, they had a legitimate shot at winning in all of the games of this series. The fact that they didn't win in any of them is maddening. 

For those of you who read my blogs this may start sounding like a broken record (or skipping C.D.), but the Twins are only losing games because they are not hitting with runners in scoring position ( 1 - 25 the 1st 3 games of the series) and the bull pen has been unable to close out tight games (bullpen ERA of 9.45 the 1st 3 games of the series). Until one, if not both of those traits change, the Twins will have a hard time staying near the top of the division.

Next up the Twins head Chicago, where in the past we have faired almost as poorly as in New York.


Posted on: May 13, 2009 12:36 am
Edited on: May 14, 2009 4:37 pm

Twins vs Tigers. Get your brooms out

Tuesday: In game one of this series the Twins beat Armando Galarraga and the Tigers 6-2 by continuing to hit the ball hard. In the first inning Tigers' left fielder Clete Thomas robbed Joe Mauer by pulling one back from the other side of the left field fence. In the 2nd Joe Crede hit a 2-run home-run to give the Twins the lead. In the 3rd, Mauer hit one to almost the same spot as he did in the first; however, this one was more of a line drive and remained just out of the reach of Thomas for the Twins 2nd 2-run homer of the game. Jeff Larish hit a solo homer in the 6th, but the the Twins got the run back in the bottom half of the inning when Young beat out a double play. Kevin Slowey pitched 6 innings, spreading out 8 hits and 2 free passes while only allowing the one earned run. Jesse Crain then came in for the 7th and quickly gave up a solo home-run to Ramon Santiago, followed by a 4 pitch walk to Curtis Granderson. Crain was then pulled without recording an out as he raised his era to 7.88. Jose Mijares, Matt Guerrier, and Joe Nathan all pitched perfectly to close out the game; although, with the Tigers giving up a walk to Carlos Gomez, a stolen base, and a Denard Span rbi single in the 8th, it was no longer a save situation for Nathan.

Slowey is now 5-1 despite an era just under 5.00. Joe Mauer had his 5th straight multi hit game and is currently batting .500. Yes, .500.

Wednesday: In a game that lasted just shy of 5 hours, in the bottom of the 13th with 2 strikes and 2 outs, Twins' 3rd baseman Joe Crede hit a walk-off grand slam off of Tigers' reliever Brandon Lyon to beat the Tigers 14 - 10. Home base umpire Paul Schrieber seemed to have a bit of an inconsistant strike zone, which resulted in a 14 walks. He also gave Magglio Ordonez a bit of a nudge back to the dugout when Ordonez disagreed with a called strike 3, which would lead to a Jim Leyland ejection. Schrieber has since apologized. The first 8 innings gave us a total of 18 runs, including back to back home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Jeff Larish, as well as a game tying 8th inning pinch-hit blast by Jason Kubel. Brandon Inge and Justin Morneau also hit round trippers. 

Then the 9th inning came and the bats cooled down. There were no real scoring threats until the top half of the 13th inning when Curtis Granderson hit a one out triple off of Twins reliever Jesse Crain. He then battled with Placido Polanco, getting him to pop out to  shallow left field on a pitch inside. Then with 2 strikes on Josh Anderson, Crain failed to come to a set position, resulting in the go ahead run coming in on a balk.
All ended well; however, when Brandon Lyon load the bases in the bottom half of the 13th, setting up Joe Crede's base clearing walk off grand slam.


Thursday: In the get away game both pitchers began the game dealing. The Tigers broke up the shut out with a 5 run inning against Scott Baker in the 6th. In the 7th the Twins finally got to Justin Verlander, who went 6 1/3 with 2 earned runs and 13 strikeouts. The Tigers brought in Bobby Seay to stop the bleeding, but he was unable to do so as he got only one out and was charged with 4 runs, including the go ahead run to Jason Kubel. Joe Crede continues to hit his way into the hearts of Twins fans with the 2 rbi single to score both Kubel and Morneau off of Zack Miner, for Crede's 2nd 2 out game winning hit in 2 days. The Twins' bullpen finished the game smoothly, including Joe Nathan in a 1-2-3 9th to record only his 6th save.


The Twins were able to complete the 3 game sweep of the Tigers to go above .500 for the first time since they lost the 11 inning game to Kansas City on May 2nd, and will hope to continue their winning ways as they head to New York for a 4 game series with the Yankees.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or