272 thoughts on “2011 Game 49: Angels of Anaheim at Minnesota Twins”

  1. I predicted a sweep last week.

    You were at least half right.

    Since ending the nine-game losing streak, the Twins are averaging 4.8 runs/game. The AL average is 4.24.

    1. I originally had it as predicting a sweep for either team, but decided to try being positive. So much for that. Also, 4.8 runs/game is nice, but that's over nine games, a depressingly small sample size.

  2. Is there any reason we couldn't at least try Danny V batting second? He's in the 8 spot today while Casilla bunts and slaps and generally avoids getting on base. I know Danny doesn't steal bases and he's not a middle infielder, but it sure would be nice to have a "hitter" in a spot in the order that generally sees a few more AB's over the course of a series.

      1. Does this analysis help or hurt the cause?

        After a quality showing during his rookie campaign, Danny Valencia has taken quite a stumble in his follow-up effort. He’s already halfway to his PA total from last year, but has just a third the number of hits. His power is down, his BABIP is way down, and, well, basically everything he’s done has been worse. The only thing he’s done better is draw more walks (he’s just four away from his total from last year). That only adds up to a .272 wOBA. Still, his hits have come at the right time, as he already has 19 RBI.

        1. His suckitude is almost entirely BABIP related though. He's never had a BABIP below .300, so my guess is once his current .230 goes up, he'll look just fine by season's end.

          1. Yeah, last season he hit way above his BABIP. This year it seems he's getting screwed. It seems he's done better than his numbers would suggest, he's just hitting the ball right at people.

        2. I only ready the Valencia part of that article, but when did Fangraphs start over-using hyperbole? Sheesh, just the title of the thing ("Terrible"? Wouldn't "struggling" have been more appropriate?) annoys me.

    1. I'm guessing Danny isn't in the Gardenhire Buddy Club. He's bad mouthed him a handful of times after games. He's scuffling, but I can't think of any games where he was out and out terrible.

      1. I don't get to watch a lot of games, but I thought the general observation was that he was hitting balls fairly hard but has been extremely unlucky (as evidence by his ridiculously below his career numbers in MLB/The Minors) and maybe striking out a bit more.

        Also, I feel like I should talk to the people I know who know Gardy and see if they can have a "Gardy, WTF?" chat with him on this whole "calling guys out" thing.

        1. His strikeout rate is actually down two percentage points from last season, while his walk rate has gone up two percentage points.

    2. His low batting average and his high RBI total (for this team, anyways) will keep him down in the order. I'm sure Gardy prefers high BA or speed guys at No. 2 and he sees the RBIs and figures he should keep the guy right where he's succeeding in those instances. I'm waiting for Valencia to explode offensively, because he's one guy I feel has truly been unlucky. His strikeouts are down and his walks and line drives are up. The only thing that has gotten worse is his IF popup rate. I wasn't expecting him to hit .300 like last year, but no way should he be hitting .220. He's only hitting .483 on line drives and the average rate is around .700.

    3. I'd rather see Valencia (or Cuddyer) in the second spot than Casilbert, and obviously he should hit significantly better than a .230 BABIP over the rest of the season, but it's worth noting (as Gleeman tweeted a few days ago, I believe) that his major league career line after 133 games/514 PAs is now .278/.327/.411 (and a BABIP of .302) which compares pretty much as you'd expect with his AAA line (in 120 games/484 PAs) of .289/.322/.421.

      Which is to say, if I was projecting him for the rest of the season only, it'd probably be right around that kind of line.

      1. I'll take it. Not great, and possibly a bit below average, but it's nice to not have to worry about the infield corners.

        1. B-ref calls that a 102 OPS+, so maybe not even below; AL third basemen this year have a .236/.305/.374 line. Last year it was .261/.315/.414. I'd definitely take it.

          1. I blame late 90s baseball for messing up what average is. FanGraphs gives him a wRC+ of 103 for +3.4 batting runs. I retract the "possibly a bit below average" part and instead will definitely take it as well.

            1. I do recommend waiting until the game is at least out of hand first. Maybe you can do it to fire up the offense.

  3. If there's one thing the Twins have going for them, it's that they've played by far the fewest home games in all of baseball. I know MLB wants to avoid playing to many early season games in MN, but serious, WTF?

    In any case, if we can just go undefeated in our remaining home games, we should be fine.

  4. On the grill tonight: Omaha Steaks sirloin beef tips, corn on the cob, Pillsbury biscuits, 1/2 baked potato, a glass of Riesling, and ice cream for dessert. I love my wife.

        1. Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse
          Job done well. Good class, there.

    1. He really needs to go at least 7 innings, otherwise everything bad that happens after that is his fault.

        1. Which has me worried as there appears to be a very high bottom of the strike zone, which means Gardy is all but guaranteed to use Hoey.

      1. I love me some Grain Belt. I'll be getting a case for the baby shower in case anyone is weird and doesn't want my home made stuff.

          1. That one I have not had, though I know some around here have. Its Premo for me when I go with it.

            1. Caramel coloring and an extra buck per sixer.
              I've had it several times and I think it's much inferior to Premo.
              Something small changed with Premo when Schells started making it, but I think Nordeast goes even further from the MBC Premo I drank as a teenager and liked so much. A classmate's older brother turned me on to Premo. First one he gave me said "you're gonna think it has a funny flavor, but soon, you're gonna realize every other beer is missing that." He was right. He also taught me how to smoke.

      1. I was also led to believe that he was on the grassy knoll and Slowey was up in the depository.

    1. This game from Casilla makes me feel like the Rays fans that are annoyed about Casey Kotchman hitting a bunch of singles so far this year.

  5. Oh good, Scoscia going to the bullpen. I'll set the over/under on pitching changes for the remainder of the game at 3.5.

  6. I don't mean to get all New Guy-y here but I can't shake this feeling of the Minnesota Twins winning the 2011 AL Central division title.

    Also, Laddie!

  7. I really want to believe that this is somehow evidence that Casilla has gotten the message.

    1. Well, this should entrench him in the 2-spot for another three weeks, at least, so we ought to find out either way.

      1. Indeed.

        It's shocking how you can string some offense together when the guy batting second isn't an automatic out.

  8. If you enjoy playoff hockey or game 7's there might be something worth taking your attention away from the Twins game for a few minutes on tv right now.

        1. I think I was rooting for Tampa. Then again, I haven't watched a single game since the Sabres have been eliminated.

  9. Indians, Tigers, White Sox have all lost. Royals down 7-6 at Texas heading into the bottom of the 7th.

    1. I think the Twins magic number is somewhere around 120, right now.

      1. Can't finish what he started. Only 106! Not even close to what Nick "Bert's Choice" Blackburn had.

        1. No:

          Towers was known for his ability to find talented pitchers that many other teams had released.

    1. Remember when Major League pitchers were in the game?

      Seriously, how the hell can Hoey ever have been considered a "good arm" with a dead straight fastball? I'm pretty sure he has that crap fixed to a guide wire right down the pipe.

      1. To be somewhat fair, the defense has been awful. Cuddyer has muffed one play and laughingly dived at another that an average fielder could make. Repko instead of Kubel in right probably would've caught Hunter's double.

  10. There's gotta be nothing worse for a coach's ulcers than the world's most craptacular bullpen

  11. Screw it, I'm not staying up any later to watch this bullpen kill the team again. See y'all for the recap.

      1. Maybe he's trying to get himself packaged with Slowey and sent somewhere he'd actually have a chance.

        1. Might not be such a bad idea.

          Has a team ever swapped out their entire bullpen in one single group of roster moves? If not, the Twins should do it. Tonight.

  12. So this f*&^ing bullpen can't hold a five run lead for more than a single out.

    Blame Baker, Bert. Do it. I dare you. But hire someone else to open your mail.

    1. Incorrect. It will serve as a turning point for the team when the Twins come back to win in dramatic fashion when Jim Thome hits a 12 run home run.

        1. No, I meant a 12 run home run. I said it would be in dramatic fashion.

    1. Oh, come on! That was supposed to be a creative commons picture of a kid wearing rally cap!

    2. It is an "All Rights Reserved" picture of my son - please don't use my photos without permission - none of my photos are Creative Commons

      1. You found the linking site amazingly fast. However, you are correct; the linked-to photo is not licensed under CC. It's a good reminder to others to be careful.

  13. Wow, Rodney only saved 14 with the Angels after saving 37 the previous season with the Tigers. It's almost as if saves are a meaningless counting stat.

    It blows my mind that Bert bitches and whines about Baker and Slowey, but he treats the save as an important stat.

  14. I figured they'd mention Percival's Twin dominance there.

    I wonder if Downs has been a JC Romero-type "scoreless," though. Like, every inherited runner scores, but then he gets the last out and his stats look pretty.

      1. I remember owning Percival during a time where he allowed two or three inherited runners to score and therefore the Twins to win, but he didn't hurt his own ERA in the process and even struck out a guy or two. Win-win.

  15. Are you effing kidding me? The Twins can't even get a save anymore and Hoey is still in there.

  16. If Hoey ever faces the Twins with another team, I can see Thome hitting it a long long long long way.

  17. I know the Twins' bullpen sucks, but I can think of three other current Twins' relievers I'd rather have in there right now.

        1. I can think of three team mascots I'd rather have in there(and one of them is in the stadium).

  18. This might be one of the few times I would approve of booing your own team while at the stadium.

  19. Gotta love the new meme circling through the media:

    If we still had the FOTF, he'd surely be beating these relievers up till they stopped giving up runs.

      1. I'm pretty sure there's been a long-standing sarcastic accepted use of that term in the SBG lexicon to refer to someone else.

        1. Just to elaborate: I'm not at all denying that Harmon was the greatest and most iconic Twins player ever; he without question was. I'm just saying, at this site and its predecessor, the term FOTF has been used in a sarcastic manner to refer to a player who was originally bestowed that title by, I believe, the man whose face currently occupies the avatar slot just above mine here.

    1. At what point will the local media stop fawning over the guy?

      It seems pretty easy to miss an $18mm sub-700 OPS corner OF.

      1. If you were still in high school, your parents would forbid you from seeing them. That's for sure.

            1. What about that nice Blue-blood down the street? They can score five runs in the fourteenth inning!

  20. The Twins bullpen are trying to single-handedly prove the idiocy of the "win" statistic.

    Baker just isn't a winner.

    Bourjos kinda seems like a Super-Tyner.

    1. Super in the sense that he seems like a really good defensive center fielder so far, whereas Tyner was decent at best. Hitting-wise, he doesn't do much for me yet.

      1. I think you can see Christina Hendricks' side boob in one of those.

        That's ten million times better than this game.

      1. That's three times in about a week. These types of epic losses are supposed to happen about 2-3 times all season.

  21. This reminds me of the Journey to the Center of the Earth remake where the floor breaks beneath them and they start falling and their screaming their heads off for a while and then they stop and look down and Brendan Fraser screams "We're still falling!" You convince yourself it can't get any worse and it keeps getting worse. Why do they not try the guys doing well at AAA. It can't possibly be worse than this? Also, where was Joe Nathan? Where was Matt Capps? They had two days off. We can't let a five-run lead in the eighth inning get away without either one of these pitchers on the mound. That just can't happen.

    1. Nathan has elbow soreness, and if it isn't better by tomorrow he's going on the DL. Capps was being saved for the 9th per Gardenhire.

      They need to remove Hughes & someone else from the 40 man roster, claim Delaney, and call up Chuck James.

  22. Two lessons to be learned from this game:

    1) Hoey is nowhere near a major league pitcher.
    2) The Twins should never pinch run for anyone under any circumstances.

      1. Especially given our lack of offensive depth and our terrible bullpen. Even games like tonight have proved to be totally losable given our bullpen. It was especially bad in that extra inning loss against the Red Sox a few weeks back where our entire lineup was basically replacement level hitters. Once our runners failed to score, it was basically game over.

    1. Thome had a sore shoulder, which was why he was pulled. He may need a cortisone shot.

  23. Seriously? Hoey and Dusty and Burnett?
    Help me, Chuck James Kenobi. You're my only hope.

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