Don't let me forget to set up the football league today.
Chick Fraser (1873)
Jesse Barnes (1892)
Sparky Adams (1894)
Gene Moore (1909)
Alex Kellner (1924)
Alex Trevino (1957)
Jeff Parrett (1961)
Angel Hernandez (1961)
Chad Kreuter (1964)
Ricky Bottalico (1969)
Brendan Harris (1980)
Eric Fryer (1985)
David Price (1985)
Darin Mastroianni (1987)
Mario Hollands (1988)
It is reported that Angel Hernandez has been a major league umpire since 1993. We continue to search for evidence of this.
Mario Hollands was drafted by Minnesota in the 24th round in 2009 but did not sign.
We would also like to wish a happy birthday to spookymilk’s sister and to Can of Corn's Kernel.
So, who are these Explosions In The Sky guys?
Santana (2-4, 5.53 ERA, 4.99 xFIP) vs. Karns (7-5, 3.44 ERA, 3.81 xFIP)
Interestingly, Santana's ERA and K/9 are the same. He's also not pitched well since starting his season. It'd be nice of him to reverse that tonight.
The Twins face Karns who's having a pretty good year. Hopefully that means he's not a middling Jeremy who will dominate the lineup. That said, I fully expect Sano to punch a couple holes in the roof at the Trop tonight.
We pay tribute to the world famous Senegalese percussionist who passed away last week.
Catching up by going backward.
A good day for Byron Buxton. A bad day for Greg Peavey. The Miracle uses only two pitchers in a doubleheader. Fine pitching by Keaton Steele. Cody Stashak throws five hitless innings. A perfect day for Jorge Andrade. Jorge Parra hits a walkoff for the DSL Twins.
I give up. It's Aufust.
Dick Rudolph (1887)
Darrell Johnson (1928)
Choo Choo Coleman (1937)
Dooley Womack (1939)
Rollie Fingers (1946)
Dave Heaverlo (1950)
Stan Perzanowski (1950)
Pete Redfern (1954)
Oddibe McDowell (1962)
Albert Belle (1966)
Doug Glanville (1970)
Gary Matthews (1974)
Justin Upton (1987)
Sweeps are fun. Mondays, not so much.
I'll be out of the office for a lot of today, too, so we'll start getting serious about catching up tomorrow.
Pat Dean pitches a complete game shutout. Max Kepler and Brett Lee have big days. Jason Kanzler gets three hits. Felix Jorge pitches well. Roberto Gonzalez has a good game. The DSL Twins are nearly no-hit.
Harry Hooper (1887)
Hank Gowdy (1889)
Hal Woodeshick (1932)
Tony Bernazard (1956)
Cal Ripken (1960)
Tim Salmon (1968)
Kevin Correia (1980)
Brett Gardner (1983)
Nick Adenhart (1986)
Many, many thanks to DG for an awesome D(G)J week.
Let's keep the ball rolling.
Just when you think you've seen everything...
I think it's safe to say the Twins have found the smoke and mirrors they seemed to misplace at the end of May. It was just four days ago the Yankees had all but ended the Twins' postseason chances. Now, four wins in Baltimore later, the Twins have vaulted past the O's and the Rays and are now tied with the suddenly reeling Angels just 1 1/2 games behind the Rangers for the second wildcard spot. Plus, the Twins are heading to Tampa to face the Rays, who are a game back of the Twins, for 3 games. The Twins have a chance at their first winning road trip since May 19-24 and have won 3 of their last 4 series, the only series wins they've had since the All-Star break.
The Twins basically did to the Orioles what the Yankees did to the Twins, although the Twins did it in completely different ways. Besides the blowout in the first game, the Twins were the better team in the later innings despite the Orioles generally having a better bullpen. The Orioles only have three losses when leading after 7 innings, and two of those losses came in this series, including Sunday's game.
However, it wasn't like the Twins hit the O's bullpen hard. The Twins tied the game in the ninth on an infield single when the pitcher failed to get over in time on a ground ball to the first baseman. Then came an infield out to advance the runner to second and a two-out ground ball in the hole between shortstop and third base to score the tying run.
The winning rally was the result of two Oriole errors and great hustle by Eduardo Escobar, who went to second base after his slow chopper went under the glove of the shortstop. He then scored when a ground ball went off the third baseman's glove and trickled into the outfield.
In Saturday's game, the Twins used a hit-and-run single, a squeeze bunt to tie the game and a two-out line-drive single to take the lead in the 7th inning. Their only other run of the game was on a roller that snuck through a drawn-in infield.
In Friday's game, the Twins used a sac fly and a pop fly that fell behind a drawn-in infield to score three runs in the eighth inning and win 4-3. The only other run of the game came on a bases loaded walk.
So it wasn't that the Twins were exactly killing the ball in the final three games after scoring 15 runs in the opener. They executed well and took advantage of Orioles mistakes to get just enough runs to win three days in a row.
The real key to the series was the Twins' bullpen. After being just awful against the Yankees, the reliever suddenly could do no wrong. On Sunday, the bullpen pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings with just four hits and two walks allowed and 7 strikeouts. For the series, the bullpen didn't allow a run in 15 2/3 innings. They had 16 Ks with just 5 hits and 4 walks allowed (0.57 WHIP). And this only included one inning from All-Star closer Glen Perkins, who had a couple cortisone shots in his neck after the end of the Yankees series.
What many Twins fans I'm sure were pleased to see was manager Paul Molitor again using his closer in a tied game on the road. This almost never happened under previous manager Ron Gardenhire over 13 seasons. He would inevitably save his closer for a save opportunity that often didn't come because a lesser reliever would lose the game. Of course, Molitor had previously tried using Perkins against the Yankees while Perkins' neck was still bothering him, so he ended up losing the game that was tied. On Sunday, Molitor not only used Kevin Jepsen, who was filling in at closer while Perkins was out, but Perkins himself, who Molitor had previously said he wanted to wait until Tuesday to get Perkins back on the mound. Perkins gave up a couple hits but kept the game tied and ended up the winning pitcher. With just about their entire bullpen used up and not wanting to overuse Casey Fien, Molitor called on starting pitcher Tommy Milone and his sub-90 mph fastball to close out the win. Milone got an assist from Byron Buxton, who made a nice leaping catch at the wall to prevent a leadoff double before Milone buckled down and struck out the next two batters with offspeed pitches, once again proving that having a "proven closer" is overrated.
What is not overrated is how much fun it is to watch Miguel Sano hit. He gave the Twins the early lead on Sunday with a two-run home run in the first inning. It was a rocket of a line drive to right-center field and may have been his most impressive home run to date, considering it was his first home run to the opposite field and the pitcher he hit it off of was nearly untouchable by the Twins after Sano's homer. He also had a double to left in the 11th inning. The Twins only had seven hits and Sano had two of them and they were the only two hit with any authority. If Sano will remember the approach that got him his home run, that could really help him cut down on his strikeouts and help him go from being a Chris Davis-type hitter to a Miguel Cabrera-type hitter.
Last night's win got Minnesota back over .500, within a game and a half of the 2nd Wild Card spot and only a half-game behind Baltimore, one of the three teams ahead of them in that race. At this point, the Twins are not likely going to catch Kansas City for the Central, and are five and a half behind Toronto for the first Wild Card spot. If they can pass Baltimore, they're still chasing LAA and Texas, and have a series with Tampa this week who they're currently neck-and-neck with. Despite some misgivings about management's plan for the club, it sure is fun when they actually look like a real, live MLB team.
Today sees the Twins' most pleasant surprise pitching-wise, Mike Pelfrey (6-7, 3.62 ERA - 2.25 ERA in four August starts) facing off against up-and-coming Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gausman (2-5, 4.48 ERA). A win today results in both a series and season sweep of the O's. Git 'er done
I'm still interested three quarters of the season in, so that's something.
George Davis (1870)
Guy Bush (1901)
Lonny Frey (1910)
Nels Potter (1911)
Carl Pohlad (1915)
Dale Mitchell (1921)
George Kell (1922)
Sherm Lollar (1924)
John Romano (1934)
Marty Martinez (1941)
Ron Blomberg (1948)
Jerry White (1952)
Mike Boddicker (1957)
Julio Franco (1958)
Randy St. Claire (1960)
Casey Blake (1973)
Mark Bellhorn (1974)
Carl Pohlad, of course, was the owner of the Twins for many years.
I think this video sums up The Joy Formidable quite nicely.
Wind them up and let them go and see if they just keep rocking forever.
A video I've watched an awful lot of times.
Time for the hometown 9 to hrlp their playoff chances and hurt Baltimore's.
I was going to make an actual post, with Twins on Leaderboards and whatnot, but the little one has to decided to do the opposite of napping for the past few hours, so instead you get some half-baked goodness.
Gibson vs. Tillman. Go Kyle.
Denver @ Minnesota today at Lake Nokomis. Mens' game at 1, ladies' at 3:30ish.
We're running late, but we're heading over ASAP.
Ned Hanlon (1857)
Howie Camnitz (1881)
Wally Schang (1889)
Happy Felsch (1891)
Carl Yastrzemski (1939)
Doug Bair (1949)
Ray Burris (1950)
Paul Molitor (1956)
Darrin Jackson (1962)
Mike Everitt (1964)
Gary Scott (1968)
Hipolito Pichardo (1969)
Steve Kline (1972)
Jeff Weaver (1976)
Randy Wolf (1976)
Mike Everitt has been a major league umpire since 1999.
We would also like to wish a very happy anniversary to Grandma and Grandpa S.
My brother and I were discussing Jack White projects not too long ago and we discovered that we have nearly opposite preferences. So here is my current favorite Jack White-associated band.
They have a new album coming out sometime soon (September? - I'm too lazy to research this)
The Yahoo! Play By Play recap for the 8th inning went like this
pitchingMiguel Sano walkedTrevor Plouffe singled to shallow right, Miguel Sano to secondTorii Hunter hit by pitch, Miguel Sano to third, Trevor Plouffe to secondEddie Rosario hit sacrifice fly to right,Miguel Sano scored, Trevor Plouffe to third. Torii Hunter to second advancing on throwKurt Suzuki singled to shallow right center, Trevor Plouffe and Torii Hunter scored
PIRANHA BALL IS BACK BABY!
Tommy Milone pitched well, just had literally three bad pitches in a row (single, single, hanging curveball for a home run on), but was pulled after running out of gas in the 6th. The bullpen was excellent with Fein putting out the fire in the 6th, getting outs in the 7th. Trevor May in the 8th and Kevin Jepsen struck out the side in the 9th. The Twins will try to build on their modest 2 game win streak Saturday.
The Twins added some bullpen help by acquiring Neal Cotts from Milwaukee. AJ Acther is being sent down. I imagine he'll be back when rosters expand.
Did Brian Dozier score a run? NO Dozier went 1-5 with 4 LOB. He is stuck on 84 runs scored good for 2ns in the AL
Miguel Sano scored twice, and is now up to 25 runs in 42 games. Thats a pretty good rate!
I was working on an introduction, but work called and I had to go away. Then I lost my train of thought.
Hopefully, the Twins will preform better at baseball than me at writing.
Been increasing my Will Oldham consumption recently.
Magoo, he has lots of songs about wives and marriage.
"Rich Wife Full of Happiness" "Werner's Last Blues to Blokbuster", others.
But rather than looking for more examples, I should just post this.
Just passing through.