Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bats Come Alive Again

There is finally a fair amount of good news in Twins Territory. For one, it appears the Twins will have a new stadium by 2010. But, bigger at the time, they clobbered the Brewers in a 16-10 victory last night.

Now, one thing to keep in mind, clearly, is that the Twins pitching didn't do too great. Two runs were unearned, as the Twins defense continued to be sloppy (another Castro error, his sixth this year), but it wasn't a great overall effort. Scott Baker looked better than his numbers, though, as he struck out eight and begun to trust his offspeed stuff more and more (a very good sign) despite giving up a few two-run dingers to the Brew-crew.

The relievers faired worse. Matt Guerrier was fine in his shutout inning (2.59 ERA this year has him looking pretty good) but Willie Eyre didn't fair well. He gave up five hits in his two innings and gave up a three-run blast to former Twin Corey Koskie in the eight. With his ERA now at 6.19, a .353 OBA, a 1.94 WHIP, and only 7 Ks in 16 innings, moves may be considered in the future regarding Eyre.

Currently, Pat Neshek is sitting in the minors with 52 Ks in 29 2/3 innings, 7 saves, a 2.12 ERA, and a WHIP under one. Neshek, though vulnerable against lefties, appears to be a very solid relief prospect who could help out the club if necessary. If Eyre isn't getting better and the club feels like trying to win this year, the Twins probably need to make the move. The fact is Neshek is younger (by three years), has better stuff, likely has a future with the club, and is more dominate. Throwing sidearm at around 95 mph the way he does is likely to fool a lot of major league hitters, at least right away. Right now, a lot of people should be asking why we aren't considering calling Neshek up.

Otherwise, it was another great offensive game for the Twins. Four Twins (Castillo, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Morneau) had multi-hit games and Mauer was clearly the Twins' offensive star. Mauer had his third home run of the year in the fifth and went 4 for 5 on the day with 4 RBI and a walk, including a two-run bases loaded double. Now hitting .336/.401/.460, Mauer is clearly devoloping into the offensive star fans have been waiting for. The power is coming, the average is there, and now we can just watch and enjoy this young man hit.

Cuddyer and Monreau also had great games. Justin had a two-run double in the first to help break things out for the Twins and went 3 for 5 on the day with 3 RBI. Cuddyer went 2 for 5 with a career-high 5 RBI and two walks, as he had a bases-clearing triple in the fourth to give the Twins a 9-2 lead.

Today, the Twins look to try and sweep the Brewers. It will likely prove difficult, though, with top lefty Chris Capuano (4-3, 2.80 ERA, 56 Ks) on the mound to face Boof Bonser in his first career start for the Twins. Lets hope the Twins get a little luck and that the news of the Senate passing this stadium bill comes soon.