2011 Game 33: Twins at Sawks

So, about that winning streak. It was nice, wasn't it? The last two games, not so much.

Tonight, Our Boys make an appearance on Monday Night Baseball on the 4ltr. I'm sure we are all excited to have the nation see our AAAA (AAA?) squad take the field. Will Cuddyer play shortstop?? Go team!

Game time: 6:10 p.m. Central.
Pitching matchup:
Nick Blackburn (4.41 ERA, 5.53 FIP, 4.47 xFIP, 6.18 tRA, 15:13 K:BB, 6 HR, 34 2/3 innings)
Josh Beckett (2.35 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 3.26 xFIP, 3.07 tRA, 35:12 K:BB, 3 HR, 38 1/3 innings)

On paper, this one does not look good. We get Blackie instead of F-Bomb, who has been suffering from "Flu-like symptoms." Mebbe next year, the team can set up a flu shot clinic, please?

Blackburn has been awful in three of his six starts so far, having given up five runs each on April 15 and April 20, then seven in 3 1/3 horrible innings at home on April 28. But there are glimmers of hope, as his other three starts have been quite good, including a solid 6 2/3 inning outing to beat the Bitch Sox on May 4. When things are going well, Blackburn is a league-average pitcher who doesn't miss many bats, but who generates a lot of ground balls. In his three good outings, he induced 35 ground balls against only 17 fly balls and 9 line drives. In his three bad outings -- 27:19:16.

For his part, Beckett has been good-not-great so far. I see some hope in that he gave up 7 fly balls and 3 walks in a rain-abbreviated 4 1/3 innings against LAAAAAA on May 4th in his last start, and got hit hard by the Orioles (4 runs on 2 HR, 10 fly balls and 5 LDs in 6 innings) the start before that.

Fenway Bandbox isn't the sort of place you want to be giving up a lot of fly balls in, so let's hope the Good Blackie shows his beard tonight, and Beckett pipes a few to the Dude and Mountie.

444 thoughts on “2011 Game 33: Twins at Sawks”

  1. I am sad slightly embarrassed that I liked Beckett back when he was a Marlin and kicking the Yankee's @$$es in the World Series. Now, I don't care for him much.

    1. Isn't he a switch no-hitter? Or is that a requirement for underage players?

  2. three fly-ball outs in the top of the first. I choose to read that as a hopeful sign.

    1. With a little less stick, Span and Tolbot's could've been Texas Leaguers.

      1. Well, of course the wind is blowing in when the Twins are at bat -- their offense sux!

  3. ESPN is about four seconds faster than Fox Sports, but...then I have to listen to them talk about how the Twins play fundamentals. On the other hand, Dick & Bert. Ugh.

  4. Assuming the Twins can find somebody who can hit worth a darn to man right, Revere's glove will be a nice addition out in left next year.

    1. And with Span in center, the Twins would actually have plus outfield defense!

    1. You'd think after seeing it happen to Butters over and over, you'd recognize it when it happens to a different catcher.

  5. ESPN guy said if you keep pitching the Twins fastballs down the middle, they'll eventually hurt you. They have not watched Tolbert play before.

    1. But he could hit a soft liner up the middle that causes the pitcher to pull a muscle....

  6. my god...they just suggested that Beckett is SO AWESOME AND SMART that he intentionally gave Valencia a cookie because later in the game Valencia might be up with runners in scoring position and he didn't want to give away his good pitch too early.

  7. Revere making Beckett work. I guess that's probably the best we can expect of the bottom third of the order.

  8. Did I hear Dazz just call Beckett the "premier right-handed pitcher in all of baseball"??? Seriously?

      1. From what I understand of art, if it looks like you could do it blindfolded and drunk, it's a masterpiece.

        1. Helps to be prolific, but die tragic and young, to keep prices stable.

            1. Yea, but it gave me the excuse to link to that thing, which deserves regular play here.

      1. Especially since Hughes was halfway to the bag while Beckett's leg was still in the air.

  9. ESPN guy says the last inning didn't count for the Twins since Hughes reaching second on that SB is the first time a Twin has been in scoring position tonight.

    1. That was two whole innings ago, so it's understandable that he can't remember.

    2. They hadn't been talking about baseball for two innings so you have to give them a break.

      1. Ugh, yeah, that was brutal. In their defense, its not like there's anything interesting happening on the field.

  10. Do national announcers [french kiss] Joe Mauer like this when he actually plays in games?

      1. Aye, but the first out is better than the third out.

        Come back soon, Nishi.

    1. He's gotten to the fifth without allowing a run - and knowing that if he gives up a run he'll take the loss, given the Twins' offense. A man must know his limits and I think Blackie does...

      1. Yeah, I know he's pitched well enough tonight. Its just annoying when a dead career gets a hit.

  11. Dazz: "Gardy...now kind of forced to play the infield in."

    Me: that's just sad.

  12. I wonder the last time Jason Varitek got to third base....

  13. If this were BraveHeart we'd have pointy spears driven into the ground between third and home.

    1. If this were Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the Sawks would be cutting our hearts out with a spoon.

      1. If this were Legally Blonde the UPS guy would be doing a kip whilst holding the package.

        1. If this were Highlander, the scoring would be finished. There can be only one.

            1. Ah - this is the same plot as Ghajini. Either Aamir Khan has stolen the idea or has been raided.

  14. Adrian Gonzalez looks like he belongs in a wax museum.

  15. Ugh, Rick Sutcliffe just called Tolbert a "big league type player" and a "Denny Hocking or Nick Punto type player" that "Gardenhire has won with a lot".

    My ears have started bleeding.

    1. I heard this, but I don't think I comprehended it. I know I don't want to think about it.

      1. I almost went back to listen to it again to verify what was said, but my mind was almost blown the first time so it was too risky.

        1. I have it muted, but reading lips it looked like he said, "This new learning is absolutely amazing! Explain to me again how a ram's bladder may be employed to prevent earthquakes."

    2. That kind of talk has been validated by Bert's election. Rick's just trying to get his.

  16. Hey guys...I'm at my hotel, checking out the mobile site from my phone!

      1. From his post, I gather that his two earthly possessions are a hotel and a phone.

  17. Rick Sutcliffe just shut up. Beckett isn't taking it easy on Morneau by giving him fastballs.

    1. How about that chowder discussion?

      I continue to be amazed at what is considered the upper echelons of the broadcasting profession.

    2. I didn't believe it when I read it, then I realized your first sentence was missing a comma.

  18. If he gets to six Ks, I'm for burning Blackie at the stake. Clearly, he's possessed.

        1. Driving around Nor-fork Long Island there is a huge (drive-in) duck we could try.

    1. I think you'll be safe with that pitch count, but he's damned lucky to still be unburnt.

    1. In ESPN broadcaster speak, that last strikeout was hist first of his career.

  19. Blackburn striking out the side but losing the game is like a regular pitcher throwing a no-hitter and losing the game.

    1. I don't believe Blacky struck out the side any more than I believe Liriano threw a no-hitter.

        1. Cuddy would make more sense from the "utility" standpoint, and the ball being in the catcher's glove already.

    1. I'm thinking the same thing. A stream of Game of Thrones sounds much better right about now.

      1. See, I figured you would be watching Heat/Celtics unsure of who to root against harder.

        1. I may do that as well. I was planning on it, but I figured I rarely get a chance to watch the Twins so I'd better take the opportunity.

          1. If by fav you mean "team I definitely hate more", then you're right and its the Heat.

            1. That was exactly what I meant. It's like rooting for someone in the Tigers/White Sox matchups. You don't really mean it, you just pick a team you want to lose more.

              1. Having met Tigers fans and White Sox fans, I have no compunction about cheering for the Tigers in almost every matchup of those two teams.

                1. I, too, am more tolerant of punches to the face as opposed to the neck.

  20. Ok, Sutcliffe and Hersheiser have gone too far calling Joe West one of the best home plate umpires in the game. (great ball striker, per Orel.)

      1. Oh good, cause I don't mind Hersheiser in the booth. I just assumed him and Sutcliffe were always in the booth together.

  21. There's the Blackie we're used to, giving the poor and downtrodden a cookie.

  22. "Joe West is the best ball/striker ump in the major leagues."

    Is ESPN going for experimental comedy for 3 hours tonight?

    1. That would explain some of the crap umpiring we've been seeing so far, if the other crews are aspiring to match Joe West's example.

    1. OK, maybe Blackie has struck out the side before, but I can almost guarantee no one has ever wrote what hitman just did.

  23. I don't care how well Perk has been pitching, I'm not excited about this matchup.

    1. Okay, I'm willing to give Glen a little more credit after that. Double plays are fun when the Twins are turning them.

    1. That would be, by a large margin, the least likely thing that's ever happened.

  24. What about that was a balk? Does Angel Hernandez know what a balk is? Does he think it's when a pitcher looks at the baserunner in a threatening manner?

      1. He's gonna need a lot more than that if he wants to make up to Twins fans for all he's done.

      1. Oh, he hit the Tolbert right out of that Tolberting motherTolbert. (Sorry, padre, if you're around)

  25. This is some wonderful umpiring - Tolbert wouldn't even dream of taking advantage of the situation, though. He's too much the gentleman for that.

  26. What's worse, someone wearing a Papelboner jersery, or someone wearing a green Papelboner jersey?

        1. I would have accepted that as well. Certainly no fan base has shamed baseball with pink hats more than the Red Sox Nation.

  27. I guess you don't play for extras on the road, but we just replaced our best hitter with our second worst

  28. Eck and the other NESN dude are still trying to figure out what merited the balk, as if the answer isn't as plain as the number the first base ump is wearing.

        1. An excellent answer I wish I had thought of. I just said that he made a "douchebag" face so often as a kid that it stuck.

          1. This LTE seems a mite out of place, unless you are implying Petunia is the byproduct of a mating of West and Hernandez, in which case it makes perfect sense.

    1. He did not, thankfully.

      I'm developing a grudging respect for him out of the pen.

      1. I hope he stays in the 'pen. He's more valuable to the Twins there than as a 5-inning starter.

        1. Definitely agree with that. With the state of the bullpen, I think Gardy will agree also.

        1. Heh, I just found out former Golden State Warrior Chris Engler is currently a social studies teacher there, and Phil Housley (who played for the Sabres) is the hockey coach.

          1. An 8 year old Hitman modeled his hockey game after Phil Housley. I would just dive on the ground while playing street hockey and yell "Phil Housley!".


            1. In that case, if you're ever in the Twin Cities area during hockey season, I will drive up and we can go to a Stillwater game.

  29. Wow, game log blew up since the last time I could look at it. I've been watching with The Milkmaid, which is incredibly rare, considering her boyfriend Santana is long gone.

    Rest assured, I've been amazed at the new and exciting ways Sutcliffe is sucking. When the Red Sox do something poorly, it's charity for the other team. The Twins haven't hit a ball hard all night. Sure.

    1. Cowboy Joe called a tipped ball on the Valencia check swing. Gardy came out to discuss it, and the idjit on the field tossed him out.

        1. Which makes Gardy's decision to come out a little foolish (especially considering there is zero chance of even so much as a makeup call). I don't like handing the team over to Ulger.

        1. Did you know that a clown was the primary inspiration for Uncle Sam? Or that an umpire was the inspiration for Jabba the Hut? One of those is a true fact.

          1. Has Joe West really been umping that long, and does he have a hover barge?

  30. Does this crew wear little "managers I've ejected" patches on their uniforms, like little smug badges of honor?

    1. Heh. I really like this idea. "Oh, you've got Cox? So what! I've got Bob Schaefer from the Royals!"

        1. The Dan Pasqua of managers ejection badges.

          (Everyone I knew had an inordinate number of Dan Pasqua cards. This probably wasn't the case for everyone, but it became kind of a running joke in my circle.)

            1. '92 Topps for me - at least 6 of 'em (though I did have a couple of the '92 Dunruss Pasquas, which was weird, since I didn't buy a large number of Dunruss packs that year).

        2. I would think having not gotten Cox would make you the laughingstock of your fellow umpires.


          (also, adding the baron reference doesn't help this sentence any).

  31. On a totally different note, just saw Bynum's foul from last night. If I did that at my job, I'd probably be in jail or homeless in a big hurry.

        1. Yeah, I think this one was worse considering the weight difference, albeit with a less injured result.

    1. Your comment made me go watch it. That man needs to be get a nice, long unpaid vacation at the start of next season.

      1. Friday is my last day at my current job. Maybe I should clothesline a 95 year old-resident with osteoporosis on my way out the door. Then take off my shirt after I do it.

        1. It would help you finally beat that "[french kissing] other dudes wives/girlfriends tag" you have. On the other hand, you would have a "assaults old ladies" reputation after that. Really, it is your call.

          1. My first response to this was not publishable. I apologize to Beau for even typing it the first time, without anyone else even seeing it.

  32. Wow, the ESPN announcers just compared Neck Fat to Dennys Reyes. Didn't see that one coming.

    1. Most surprising is that they even remember that Dennys Reyes was a Twin.

        1. I find it completely believable that the announcers have no idea that Reyes was ever with the Twins.

          1. Yeah, I, for whatever reason, hadn't thought of that possibility until just now.

      1. As one of the several dozen shocked citizens, in the LTE over this one...

  33. Well, I'd be listening to this game on my drive home from work, but my antenna is broken off on my car so I only get crappy FM stations. Guess I'll stick this one out for a while here.

        1. And this is why I always skim back through gamelogs. Well played, citizens.

  34. hey, all. i just got back from a class for dads-to-be that was pretty much entirely known, or easily figured out should the situation arise. great way to spend an evening.

    anyway, extra baseball. cool.

      1. Geez, I'm glad I have no intention of taking a class like that. We are, however, taking the Bradley class right now and I'm surprised how helpful it is in getting us prepared for dealing with hospital staff.

        1. It was useful to go to the walkaround the hospital class before our first. As far as how to handle the delivery room and change diapers, I grew up on a farm and I'm not an idiot.

          1. We're going cloth diapers, so I am a little intimidated by what that entails.

            1. we're thinking about supplementing them, more for cost than anything else. anyone have experience (the "teacher" had no answer for this one)?

              1. Let me tell you, disposable diapers can hold A LOT of urine. It blows my mind.

                1. 1. re: Cloth diapers. Are you (not Buffalo) insane?
                  2. Diaper Genie FTW. I'm just sayin.

                  1. I might be a little crazy, but I'm also really cheap. We've been collecting diapers over the past year or so to ease the initial capital cost. So the extra effort will totally be worth the savings. My wife didn't even have to fight with me on it, I was on board from the beginning. We have friends who did it with two kids, so hopefully they can give us some tips.

                    1. We had a diaper party where I bought a ton of beer and food for my friends and in exchange for consuming those goods they brought diapers. We are almost four months in and I still haven't purchased a diaper. Plus, most stores will exchange unopened packs for different sizes.

                      Also, the diaper genie rules.

                    2. My parents used cloth diapers, which means that when I was 11, I started changing cloth diapers on my brother. It's not a lot of fun, but I'll bet that you get the rascal out of diapers faster, which is a win.

                      Oh, and being able to tell my brother that I changed his diapers was not a small piece of enjoyment.

                    3. Cloth diapers have come a long way from the days when they were basically just a dish towel wrapped around a baby's bottom. From what I understand, they are pretty good at keeping everything inside, and there is a toilet attachment that we'll get to spray the things off before they go in the washing machine.

                    4. I never really got our diaper genie. We just throw the wet ones in a garbage can (which gets taken out every few days), and for dirty ones, we've got a box of plastic grocery bags. Diaper in, tie it off, and straight out to the garbage (or hang it on the outer doorknob until it's time).

                  2. I changed the diapers of three brothers and one sister. When you're 15 years older than your youngest sibling, it's inevitable.

                    I'm not in a position to commit to this just yet, but I would like to use cloth diapers as well. I'll be curious to hear how it works for you, cheaptoy.

                    1. our desire is more for cheapness than greenness. i don't think we'll go 100%, but i'd definitely like to throw them into the mix so we don't go too overboard on diaper costs. CT, if you've found some good resources, i'd love to see them.

                    2. We used cloth diapers with Skim. It's certainly a little more of a commitment, but it saved a ton of money and it wasn't all that difficult.

                    3. I will ask my wife for cloth diaper resources. I know she got a lot of them really cheap and some were even free. I know in Madison there is a store that specializes in them and holds information/training sessions on their use. Some of the websites my wife has bookmarked might have info on stuff like that in the Chicago-land area.

                    4. We've used solely disposables. I'm most fond of the store brands. First Target, now whatever Cub stocks. The name brands start quickly to smell like urine, while the store brands do not. So when you do need to use disposables, paying more has never seemed worth it.

                    5. We are almost entirely cloth in my household. We recently got a few sets of grovia snap diaper shells and soaker pads. So far, I am really impressed. They stay on really well with Gwen crawling all over the place and are really easy to change. Before this, we primarily used the standard prefolds with thirsties wraps, which works pretty well, too.

        2. bradley class?

          what really made me annoyed was it was the "teacher"'s last time doing the class, and every bit of knowledge and research was strictly anecdotal (he specifically acknowledged he had no idea on the "technical" stuff). the guy in the back that didn't really say anything who was going to take over the class was a registered RN in a pediatrician ward.

          1. We're going for a natural birth. The Bradley Method is a means to achieve that.

            My theory for afterwards is basically hinging on the fact that I had a good father, so based on following his example, I will be fine.

            1. wow. good luck with that. i think jane said, "yes, please" before her gyn. even finished the question about an epidural.

              1. I think we're well set up to accomplish it. She found a very pro-natural birth doctor and this class is pretty helpful in what to do to get ready. High blood pressure is the only thing that can really de-rail things currently, but we're doing what we can there.

                1. i meant that with all sincerity, btw. tell homegirl from both of us that that takes more balls than we have. uh... metaphorically, i mean.

                  1. Indeed, I did take it sincerely, and thank you. If all goes well with this one, I think we'll seriously look at doing a home birth for the second (and last). I was pretty skeptical at first, but I'm coming around to the whole thing.

                    1. Hey, I was all for the wife having the baby however she wanted to. About 50 minutes in, she wanted the epidural. She didn't get it for the second or third because they were much faster labors. Hope yours is quick.

      2. i wouldn't say it was quite that heavy-handed, but it made me wonder if most new fathers are really that inept. full disclosure: i will happily acknowledge that i have no true idea what to expect, but i at least knew that much.

        1. I hope they teach you to get your baby into a routine and don't EVER change that routine. Babies hate change even more than regular people.

  35. Ball three to Hughes was hilariously bad. At least Hughes managed to get on base.

  36. Wow, nothing like the one-two combo of Tolbert/Casilla with a runner in scoring position in the 10th inning.

    1. Now we've got Tolbert and Casilla hitting b2b near the top of our lineup.

  37. Am I the only one glad that Tolbot struck out and thus didn't get in a double play?

  38. Honestly, when you have Tolbert and Casilla batting second and third in the order, you just don't deserve to win the game.

  39. That Mijares slider had a ton of bite to it. Need that one to make an appearance against Ortiz.

    1. aarongleeman Jose Mijares has a 2.60 career ERA, which is the best in MLB history for a pitcher seemingly hated by his team's entire fan base.

      1. I don't know about you guys but I use Neck Fat as an affectionate term.

          1. In fairness, he hasn't really done anything to dispel that claim. That first swing was just tragically bad.

            I realize this was in the wrong place. Still true.

            1. He DID hit the first professional home run ever allowed by Steven Strasburg.

      2. I've always liked him as a pitcher. I think he's gotten a tremendously bad rep considering he does his job - getting lefties out - very, very well. (.201/.259/.309 over his career).

        1. He's pretty well the epitome of the "what have you done for me lately" pitcher.

  40. from what i heard earlier, how was papi not tossed for questioning that?

  41. Why do Red Sox fans think wearing their hats backwards is a rally cap? Oh, wait, they aren't rally caps, that is just how they wear them.

    1. I really think that's about 50% of Morneau's problem right now. Good Morneau doesn't try to pull that outside stuff nearly as often.

    1. And that is enough to put me to sleep. Take it home, gents.

  42. stoopid PS3 network. i'm being subjected to "hey, ump!!" commercials again. seriously, who goes to an umpire's clinic in compton?

    1. I didn't see the lineup before turning the game on. For my sake, let's not crash!

  43. "Extra Innng Heartbreak" doesn't really sound right. It should be something like "Extra Inning Dreaded Inevitability".

  44. I mean, it doesn't matter a whole ton, but I would've rather had Raging Tonsils batting instead of Rene Freaking Rivera.

    Ben Revere's arm is even worse than I imagined.

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