Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Angels 8, Twins 2

Well, there is not too much I feel like saying right now. Last night's game was awful on many levels. Basically, the Twins failed to do just about everything: Drive runners in, be aggressive at the plate, keep the ball down on pitches, and of course, allowing inherited runners to score.

Carlos Silva had a fairly horrible start (8 2/3 innings with 8 earned runs is not exactly a common box score line) and his problem right now doesn't seem to be so much his control but his location. With his stuff, which is all-too-hittable, he cannot leave so many pitches up or else guys like Chone Figgins will continue to get extra-base hits at an extreme clip. And Jesse Crain seems to be J.C. Romero's replacement. (By the way, J.C. hasn't changed. 14 pitches, 7 strikes. Still hasn't learned control.) Crain came in with two outs in the ninth and promptly allowed an inherited runner to score before actually getting the last out. Needless to say, he doesn't seem to be able to handle much at all right now. If the Twins aren't going to use Fransisco Liriano in the rotation, they might as well use him in the seventh and avoid Crain for now.

And the hitting wasn't much better. Before the game, Ron Gardenhire decided it would be a good idea to bat Tony Batista cleanup and move Rondell White to the seventh spot, as White has struggled mightily for two weeks. It didn't work out that well, as White still looks lost, despite his single during the game, and Batista went 0-for-4 while leaving a running in scoring position with two outs.

This was just one of the many issues the Twins had at the plate. In general, they didn't seem aggressive enough at the plate. When they were, specifically in the third, they got three singles in a row and got a runner in. When they weren't, plate ump Jerry Meals' ever-expansive strike zone came back to haunt them (with Luis Castillo and Joe Mauer striking out looking back-to-back in the 5th). And leaving thirteen runners on isn't much to be proud of either, as the Twins continously failed to do much with men aboard. Some things were positive, as Juan Castro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Lew Ford scored two runs along with his two hits during his start in right.

The only other positive is that the game went quickly, especially with Silva on the mound, lasting only 2 hours and 24 minutes. Looking ahead to today, it feels like a must-win situation even though its April. I have a lukewarm feeling about Batista's new batting spot, it's hard to tell which Kyle Lohse will show up today, and Erwin Santana is the kind of young pitcher (hard fastball, good breaking stuff) that dominates the Twins. Lets hope things drop in our favor, but the Twins are going to have to be a lot more aggressive today.

5 comments:

TheBentKangaroo said...

We could also mentioned Ford missing the steal sign early, but Shannon Stewart deserves equal blame for swinging at ball four that was about two feet high and a foot inside. If he doesn't do that we got the bases loaded and no out.

And to be honest, I don't think the Angels get more than four runs if we have a decent left fielder. Stewart's gift double to Kennedy led to the Figgins homer, and then Stewart missing the third out in the ninth. I don't blame him for not diving onto the bullpen mound, but a fast left fielder would have already been standing on the mound a second prior in order to make a routine catch.

Nick M. said...

Fair enough. Those are failures I should have metnioned too, but I suppose I was just hitting the subjects that nagged me over the course of the game. I would say that the only thing that has kept Stewart in left has been his speed and if that is really diminishing, we may have a bad situation. It seems to me the likeliness of seeing White or Sierra out there may increase with more play like that.

TheBentKangaroo said...

Hmmm...Stewart would have to be bad on a nightly basis to lose his position in the field. For starters, White doesn't really want to play in the field, and I can't imagine he's much faster. And if Sierra begins starting in the field often...::shudders::

Stewart is not a great DH, though Gardy has put him there when he's had his foot problems. The only thing I see happening is if White and Sierra can't hit, Gardy may put Stewart at DH and flank Hunter with Lew Ford and either Cuddyer/Kubel.

It really bugs me when announcers will point out some players faults but not others, so I had to vent.

Hey...they just interviewed Souhan and he agrees with me. Ummm...yay! I guess.

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