Posted on: May 12, 2009 4:53 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 4:14 pm

Taking Back the Plate

I have been watching some recent game highlights on Zack Greinke and noticed that he was not afraid to throw inside, brushing back hitters. He has hit only one this year, but has pushed back several more. This got me wondering how much intimidation and the willingness to keep batters from crowding the plate might have to do with getting the upper hand on batters. The following players rank in the tops in both wins and strikeouts, but also in hit batters over their careers.



- Walter Johnson:   #3 in hit batters, #9 in career K's, and #2 in career wins

- Randy Johnson:   #4 in hit batters, #2 in career K's, and #24 in career wins 

- Nolan Ryan:   #11 in hit batters, #1 in career K's, and #14 in career wins

- Roger Clemens:   #10 in hit batters, #3 in career K's, and #9 in career wins

- Cy Young:   #12 in hit batters, #20 in career K's, and #1 in career wins

- Bert Blyleven:   #14 in hit batters, #5 in career K's, and #26 in career wins

- Greg Maddux:    #17(tie) in hit batters, #10 in career K's, and #8 in career wins

- Pedro Martinez:   #17(tie) in hit batters, #13 in career K's, and #83 in career wins


When a pitcher throws high and inside it keeps the batter from leaning out over the plate and sets up the low and away pitch, the hardest pitch for a hitter to get the sweet spot of the bat on. So why are more pitchers not throwing gas  between the batter and the strike zone? In recent years umpires almost always warn both teams when a batter is hit. If a pitcher then throws anything close to the batter, it is likely he will be fined and ejected from the game.


Hopefully players like Zack Greinke will continue to throw inside and have success. Otherwise we may never see a dominant fastball pitcher like Ryan or Clemens again.

Posted on: May 11, 2009 5:38 pm

Joba in a Huff...

So Huff is showing up Joba? What is it that Joba does any time he strikes someone out? Im sure a hitter doesn't like getting fist pumped at having just been made a fool of by a nasty slider either. On the same note, when Tiger does his fist pump is he not showing up all the bums in the tournament that couldn't clean his spikes, let alone make the putt he just sunk. Ok, so the Tiger thing was a bit of an exaggeration, but baseball players shouldn't be whining about being shown up. Instead they should do what they have done in the past. The next time Joba faces Huff, he show whizz one under his chin. And as far as Huff goes, wasn't putting one in the bleachers showing Joba up enough? 
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 9, 2009 10:55 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2009 6:07 am

When it rains it Pours. Twins v. M's

The Twins tee off on the M's beating them 11 - 0. Scott Baker goes 7 strong, striking out 5 and walking none. Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan each pitch one scoreless to complete the shutout. Not only did the the pitching come through in a big way, but the bats took off. Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris hit the Twins first 3 run homers of the year. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau also hit back to back home runs in the 5th inning.

SATURDAY: The Twins hot hitting comes through again as the M & M boys go back to back for the second game in a row to beat the Mariners 9 - 6. Michael Cuddyer hit the Twins' 3rd 3 run home run of the season the day after they hit their first 2. In a game that could have been billed as a great pitching match-up, we saw Felix Hernandez give up 5 runs in just 4 innings while Francisco Liriano pitched 3 innings of no hit ball before struggling to get through the 4th and 5th. Hopefully the Twins batters will continue to stay hot while the starting pitchers are struggling with big innings. Thankfully they have the talent to do so. 

Joe Mauer was hitting .500 at one point in this game.

SUNDAY: The Twins failed to put the M's away during the early innings and it came back to cost them the game. Erik Bedard seemed to be pitching out of a jam his whole time on the mound. He walked 5 and gave up 5 hits in 4 2/3 innings, but the Twins only managed to score 2 runs off him. The bullpen pitched well for the M's until Brandon Morrow made it interesting in the 9th. Nick Blackburn pitched 7 strong shut out innings for the Twins, holding onto a 2 run lead. In the 8th Jose Mijares got one out, walked Jose Lopez on 4 pitches (only Lopez's 4th walk of the season) and gave up the game tieing homerun to Ken Griffey Jr. Mijares was then pulled for Jesse Crain who gave up 2 more runs without recording an out. Craig Breslow gave up another ER in the top half of the 9th. Fresh off the DL, Brandon Morrow entered the 9th with a 3 run lead. Nick Punto hit a single and stole 2nd base. Morrow got the next 2 batters before giving up an RBI single to Joe Mauer. He then walked Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer on 8 consecutive pitches out of the zone before getting Brendan Harris to ground out with a full count to end the game 5 -3 Mariners. 


The 3 game sweep of the slumping Mariners was well within the Twins' reach today; but Twins hitters continued to struggle to get big hits with men in scoring position, and were unable to avoid a big inning defensively. Although Blackburn pitched great, bouncing back from a bad outing in Detroit, the bullpen gave up its 4th loss of the season. The Twins have one of baseball's higher bullpen ERAs (which has been one of the team's strong points over the last few years). They will need to turn this trend around to make the post season.

Posted on: May 8, 2009 6:19 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2009 6:34 pm

Twins swept by the Orioles

The Minnesota Twins lost a close one to the Baltimore Orioles last night. Losing 4-5 to an 8th inning RBI single despite out-hitting the Orioles 14-9.
You may want to blame the recent slump on poor pitching; however, If you look closer you will also see a lack of timely hitting. Last night there were 9 men left on base with 15 chances to drive them in. This is after last year leading the majors by batting over .300 with runners in scoring position. You can also look at such flukes as a rain shortened game or at the Tuesday game in Detroit were the Twins gave up an incredibly high 3 errors for a team that has long prided itself on good defense.
There is no need to panic my fellow Twins fans. The Twins have been hitting the ball hard and getting men on base the last few games. This should translate to more run support for a pitching staff in need of some leads. If you look at those good signs, as well as Michael Cuddyer starting to hit the ball well, Joe Mauer being back, and it looking like this may be Jason Kubel's break out year... the AL Central is well within this teams grasp.

Posted on: May 8, 2009 2:06 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 4:04 pm

So the face of the franchise wears a mask...

I know a lot of baseball fans think Joe Mauer is a good baseball player, but i wonder if his lack of power in his young career has worked as a disguise for his greatness.  His career batting average is over .315. The best catchers in the history of the game are widely considered to be Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra,  and Pudge Rodriguez who all had career batting averages below Mauer's. At 26 years of age his best days should still be yet to come.

He has had some trouble staying healthy so far; however myself, like the Twins, seem to think them a series of fluke injuries and seem content to keep him behind the dish for the foreseeable future.

So far this year Mauer has come to the plate 22 times and has reached base more then half of those times. He may be the most patient hitter in the game, never afraid to take pitches and bat with multiple strikes on him.

I know he has a long way to go to legitimately be included with the catchers i named before, but here is looking forward to a long career in which it is not too far fetched to believe that Joe Mauer has a chance to be the best catcher is the history of the game. So pay attention when your watching that pure swing, you may one day be telling your grandchildren about this guy.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 18, 2008 2:34 pm

Its hard to be a Minnesota fan right now

It feels like all of our proffesional teams, with the exception of the Wild have decided that they are in rebuilding mode.

The Vikings are getting closer, but are in desperate need of a passing game from both the QB and WR positions.

The Twins, although they refuse to admit that they are building for the future, have traded away Johan Santana, signed their 3 best players to get them into the new stadium, and handed out a bunch of 1 year contracts to bums.

The Timberwolves traded Kevin Garnett to the Celtics for Al Jefferson and bunch of cap, youth and draft picks.

Then look at U of M hoops and football, both with new coaches.

It seems like ages since the Twins made the 2nd round of the play-offs, the Vikings made it to an NFC championship, The Wild made the 3rd round of the playoffs and the Wolves were in the Western Confrence finals. what do you think MN fans.... will we be back soon when all the rebuilding is done?

Category: General
Posted on: February 2, 2008 5:25 pm

The Doctor is in

I am now handing out fantasy baseball advice/opinions through this blog. If you want my feedback /advice just leave me a comment. Make sure to leave your league type (Roto/H2H) as it makes a huge difference.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 1, 2008 6:51 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2009 4:47 pm

Breaking up is hard to do...

I thought we had a good thing going, Johan and I, but it appears that he is moving on. So i find myself wondering how i do the same. The problem is, I've still got all this ''stuff'' around. A jersey, a t-shirt, a bobble head, a larger then life picture of him with Babe the Blue Ox on my fridge, and even this great avatar. Other then that all I have to show for the last few years is a bunch of prospects. I guess I plan to look back to all the good times. A couple shut-outs, a 17 K game, a couple of Cy Young awards, some division titles, ERA titles, strike out titles.... But that was then and this is now, so what do I do? Do I root for Johan Santana while playing for the Mets, I just feel it won't be the same. It has been a tough year for me as a baseball fan. My loyalties are to my Minnesota Twins. But i have now lost my favorite player. My favorite hitter use to be Miguel Cabrera, but now he i a Tiger and i can't be pulling for a division rival. I guess i will just be hoping that Delmon Young and Francisco Liriano pan out. Either way, breaking up is hard to do.

Category: MLB
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