Saturday, June 17, 2006

Liriano Fans 11

Francisco Liriano continues to prove something each time he pitches: there should have been no doubt he'd be great. Now 6-1 with a 2.16 ERA, Liriano struck out 11 Pirates in seven innings as the Twins got a win on the road last night. Besides the two-run home run he gave up to Jack Wilson (shouldn't have happened, considering the walk to pitcher Ian Snell was ridiculous and there were borderline pitches in the Wilson at-bat as well), he was absolutely nasty. His slider had the kind of break I haven't seen from a lefty since Randy Johnson in his prime. It has that "whip"-like effect, as it flies down and in to righties. If you watched him throw to Pirates star Jason Bay, he made him look pretty bad as Bay weakly swung threw Liriano's slider. Most impressively, when he had the pressure on him in the seventh, clinging to a 3-2 lead, he was able to get a big K to end the threat. Reminds me of another guy on the staff, Mr. Santana. The 1-2 punch he and Santana have given the Twins is huge; with Johan pitching on Sunday, it's entirely possible the Twins can take the series.

As for the bats, the same guys continue to produce. That is, the youngsters. Michael Cuddyer got things started with an RBI double, his 35th RBI of the season. Cuddyer, now with 10 HRs and 35 RBI, projects to have 28 HR and 97 RBI by the end of the season. Though it's certainly possible he'll hit a major slump some time, in June, these are numbers no one was expecting from him. He's been a pretty consistent force since jumping into the regular lineup in late April.

Same with Justin Morneau, who went 1-for-3 and picked up his 52nd RBI with a deep sacrifice fly in the seventh. The sac fly was impressive simply because, for one, it was on an 0-2 pitch from a sharp-looking Snell and two, because it was nearly a home run or extra-base hit to the opposite field. Watching him drive balls consistently has been a pleasure the past few weeks. Mauer, who appeared to be slumping a bit this week, went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .381.

With their fourth straight win, the Twins appear to be getting on a roll. If that's the case, they may yet have a slight chance at competing. With the way the Sox and Tigers have played, it's not likely, but if these young guys can go out, compete, and put up a good record this year, then they'll have tons of confidence going into next year. If anything, that's one of the best scenarios the Twins can hope for now.

Boof Bonser takes the hill tonight and I suspect he may have another mediocre or rough start ahead of him. Eventually, with all the roster moves, my hope is that by the end of the month, Scott Baker will be back in the rotation, Pat Neshek will be in the bullpen, and we won't be speaking of Rondell White anymore. (Another lucky walk with the bases loaded and an RBI are not exactly convincing reasons to keep a guy around.)

By the way, any Twins fans feeling like this team has made insane management decisions should check this out: The Angels sent Jered Weaver, of a 4-0 record and 1.37 ERA, to Triple-A to bring Bartolo Colon off the DL. It should be noted that his brother, Jeff, is 3-9 with a 5.96 ERA and the Angels were considering moving him to the bullpen. An obviously asinine move like this should give Twins fans comfort and drive Angel fans insane.

12 comments:

TheBentKangaroo said...

Yeah I think fans of most teams (though I can only speak for the Twins) often believe their teams makes the dumbest personnel moves and free agent transactions.

Yes, the Twins have made some dumb moves recently, but when you look at the Devil Rays, Angels, Royals, Reds, Pirates, Mariners, Nationals (and I'm sure there's more), it's hard to feel too bad. Even the Yankees make a lot of dumb moves, but they've got enough money to afford the fixes.

bjhess said...

You're right. I don't think the Twins make that (young) Weaver move. Very good point.

Dan said...

Hate to look ahead too much, but it looks like Liriano's next start may match up with Roger Clemens in the last game of the Astros series. This could be awesome.

Anonymous said...

the twins have won five in a row

Nick N. said...

Yeah, that Clemens/Liriano matchup should be pretty dang entertaining.

TBK, you got that right. Check out this. And this. And this. Annnnd even this.

TheBentKangaroo said...

lol...I bet if we searched we could find one for every team

Nick M. said...

Yes, your right it was the fifth straight win. Well, even better and even closer to a good streak. And, as with the rest of you, I can't wait until the Clemens/Liriano matchup. Its got the same feel of last year's Johnson/Hernandez matchup. HOF pitcher versus the star of the future. Its going to be good. So, the question now for everyone is who do you got?

I'm tempted to go with experience since the Rocket has dominated the Twins more than any other pitcher in history, but I can't imagine the Astros do much against Liriano. I think neither will get a win and it will come down to a battle of bullpens and I think the Twins may have that one.

TheBentKangaroo said...

Here's one.

http://thewardrobedoor.blogspot.com/2006/06/tomohawk-slap.html

Apparently, the Braves would have done better without Bobby Cox.

Nick M. said...

Ha. TBK, that was great. What an entertaining blog. Apparently, the guy is very bitter about 91' and Hrberk in particular. And blaming Cox for this year is pretty funny. But I think the key here is just to keep things in perspective. Other teams do stupid stuff too, so its just a way to feel comfort about some of the ridiculous things the Twins staff did this year. (Batista, White, that was bad, but at least we didn't give Denny Neagle at giant contract...)

Nick N. said...

What the Halos need to do is dump the elder Weaver and his inflated ERA. It wasn't tough to foresee that he wasn't going to live up to his contract this season:

"They also signed Jeff Weaver to a one year, $8 million deal, one of the worst signings of the offseason in my opinion."

And we were mad about the Twins throwing $4 mil at Lohse? Yikes.

菲梵 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,

be said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,