Thursday, October 08, 2009

One Down

All in all, it's tough to be overly upset about the way the Twins played in last night's ALDS opener at Yankee Stadium. On little rest, they headed into hostile territory to face a vastly superior and more experienced team, and while the results may not bear it out, the Twins held their own.

The 7-2 final score would suggest that the Twins were soundly defeated in their postseason opener, and there's no doubt that this was the case. Yet, while they were only able to scratch a couple runs across, the Twins did manage to register nine hits and numerous lengthy at-bats against the Yankees' ace and bullpen.

Untested rookie Brian Duensing, who prior to last night's game had never even visited New York City -- much less pitched there -- went out and showed good poise while attacking the Yankee hitters from the start. He threw 59 of his 79 pitches for strikes and issued only one walk over 4 2/3 innings. He did end up being charged with five earned runs during that span, but one of those runners would have been thrown out at the plate on a decent relay throw from Orlando Cabrera when Nick Swisher doubled, and another scored on a home run hit against Francisco Liriano after Duensing was (prematurely?) pulled from the ballgame.

Really, the Twins showed no signs of being overwhelmed or intimidated. They played with confidence and mounted rally attempts late into the game, but simply couldn't compete on this night with a better and far more well-rested team. I'm not going to complain about their effort. If I were going to complain about anything it would be the fact that this sport enables one team to outspend another more than threefold, but that's a rant for another day.

For now, we'll see how the Twins perform on Friday night with an extra day of rest and with a slightly more favorable pitching match-up. I'll have a preview of that game up tomorrow morning. For now, I recommend that everyone uses this day off to reflect on the amazing events of the final weeks of the regular season, rather than the deflating but expected result in their first contest at Yankee Stadium.

7 comments:

HIM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick N. said...

I'm happy to engage in a debate on this topic. Check back after the series.

Anonymous said...

Immature to observe the advantage of more moola, eh?

Apparently the Yankees front office believes there is a big advantage to spening big. Why wouldn't Steinbrenner just pocket the money if that extra $100+ million doesn't matter? I guess he's just immature about it.

CA said...

I actually thought the Twins did fairly well last night, all things considered (ok, infield defense may have been iffy, but as mentioned, it's hard to be too upset). Something that continues to bother me, though, is Cabrera in the #2 spot in the order. I realize he hit a big HR in game 163, and that he can split up the lefties. But in my mind the Twins need to string together consecutive quality plate appearances to have a shot in this series, and Cabrera just makes too many outs to justify hitting him second. If Span gets on base late in a game, it would make me feel MUCH better if Mauer-Cuddyer-Kubel immediately followed him instead of Cabrera and his .310 wOBA. Even having him bunt with Span on isn't a great idea, since Mauer just gets walked afterwards.

It probably doesn't make that much of a difference in a broad sense, but it's something that the Twins could easily do to maximize their winning chances. Especially against a RH starter.

Not exactly a new argument, but I thought of it again when Cabrera made the third out of two innings last night, including a ground-out out to end the game with two on and Mauer on deck.

Anonymous said...

Twins need the bats to get going like they were during september. if they do, we have a very good chance

tatarek

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