236 thoughts on “2012 Game 9: Rangers at Twins”

  1. If only there was a way around here for us to keep and eye on how Twins minor league players are performing...

  2. the wife hasn't given the green light to purchasing any mlb.tv packages, but at least i found some radio streaming sites.

  3. How can Josh Hamilton be a good baseball player because he won a batting title but Joe Mauer be so bad after winning 2, huh Bert? Huh?!?

  4. Texas guys talking about how they've never heard of bilateral leg weakness, and how people here hadn't either and the skepticism changed public perception. Though they themselves seemed skeptical of the problem (and seriously, why does this happen? If they were going to fake an injury, wouldn't it be a common one?), they shook their heads at the change in public perception here, given all he's done for the franchise.

  5. Texas guys also mention that before Neftali's first start this year, the Mariners were 0-for-58 against him. That's like Twins vs. Troy Percival stuff.

    1. Well, outside of Joe Mauer I learned from the brief live look-in I had that the rest of the Twins are 0-15 against him, so they're working on it being Twins vs. Neftali Perez stuff.

  6. Ha. Dick's desperation of the Blac_burn injury was just terrific there.

    Well, I guess, what we are being told to do is to call it a cramp.

      1. With this training staff, having access doesn't seem like it'd be particularly enlightening anyway.

    1. I don't expect to listen to the Twins guys at all this year. They're legitimately hurting my love for the team. Between them, the clueless training staff, the drone fans listening to TJ about everything and the propensity of the team to turn every player into the same type of player, I'm struggling with the instinct to just allow the Diamondbacks to be my first team. I really hate that it's come to this.

      1. Part of the enjoyment of baseball to me is hearing the familiar voices. Yeah, I am going to bust Dick/Bert/Dazzle as much as the next guy but I'd rather the guy slamming my team be a voice I know and I can understand their motivation. Does that make sense? I think of it like it is okay for me to call my brother an ass but if someone else does they are going to get a knuckle sandwich.

        I might be one of the only guys who subscribes to mlb.tv so he can listen to the Twins broadcast. PxP and color guys mean a lot to my enjoyment to the game and while I won't miss Gordo's homerun-style fly ball out calls I am going to miss his voice and knowing how he called a game.

        1. I totally get your motivation and don't even disagree with it, but I finally grew tired of it. For a long time I was content to say "They're idiots, but they're my idiots." I just can't do it anymore. The negativity rubs off on me, even though I wish it wouldn't. I'm thinking of leaving my place of work solely because of negativity, so avoiding baseball announcers for the same reason is a no-brainer.

  7. Interesting shape to the strike zone in the few at-bats I've followed on Gameday. Not that the pitchers are having any trouble with it, though.

  8. Top Jimmy this week: "Target Field was built to take advantage of Mauer and Morneau."

    Pioneer Press article today: "Target Field was the toughest park in the major leagues for left-handers to hit a homer for the past three seasons (though it was open for only two of the three), according to Baseball America. Lefties homered just once every 61 plate appearances there."

    What an ass-clown this guy is. But we all knew that.

    1. Continuing that theme:

      @SouhanStrib: Welcome to Target Field, Clete Thomas. Crush one to RF, watch it die on the track. Shoulda called Kubel before you came here.

      #1 : I thought this park was built for lefthanders
      #2 : Clete Thomas didn't have a choice.

      He has too big of a platform.

    2. It seems that a lot of the analysis conveniently ignores that opponents have fewer issues. Maybe the reason is that the Twins don't have power hitters? Except for Clete Thomas.

    3. Top Jimmy this week: "Target Field was built to take advantage of Mauer and Morneau."

      Perhaps you misunderstand what "take advantage of Mauer and Morneau" means???

        1. I would have picked up on that if there had been a misspelling in there somewhere, but I guess spooky couldn't quite bring himself down to that level, eh?

          1. Yesterday someone (presumably a Tigers fan) was calling Clete a "trader to are team" for being cut and picked up by the Twins, as if he had something to do with it.

        1. Not the first or the last time I'll be clueless about something- I assumed you were having a bS smart phone-type issue.

            1. That sort of surprises me. Not that I have a smart phone or anything, but I don't work somewhere where they are sold, either.

              1. It surprises a lot of people, just like my total lack of interest in an iPod. I just never got into them, though. Anything I'd want on a smartphone is offered elsewhere. I mean, don't get me wrong...given the money, I'd have one. We're just extremely careful when we budget our entertainment dollars.

      1. Yeah, we had one whole at-bat with a runner at first and less than two outs and we didn't hit into a double play before Morneau came up.

  9. the White Sox are wearing white homes uniforms with red numbers/letters. Looks sweet, and looks like a Phillies home uniform.

  10. Wait, the Rangers scored? But they didn't get a hit with a RISP. I thought you couldn't score unless you could hit with a RISP?

  11. I had a feeling the Twins were not going to score with RISP, but I don't think that counts as a Spooky, just common sense right now.

  12. Are the Twins trying to convince Doumit that first base isn't so bad after all? He sure isn't playing much when Mauer is catching. And it's not like our other RFs are lighting the world on fire.

  13. You can't stop Cletus. You can only hope that right field in Target Field can contain him.

      1. It is too bad we had to trade Ben Revere to get him but when you can get a MVP candidate I guess it is worth it.


                1. I barely got through the movie's 90 minutes. It could have been a short-form doc, for sure.

                  Of course, Ken Burns would have brought something much different to it.

  14. I expect a run of Clete Thomas banners starting in the next 15 minutes or so.

  15. Morneau not exactly making the Ranger pitchers tremble in fear. Mauer twice has seen something other than a fastball in 3-1 counts to walk.

  16. Just got home from costco. They had a Pyramid wheat beer mixed case. Looking forward to trying their dunkel, wheat IPA, wit and standard hefe (which is acceptable). Maybe today.

    1. I haven't had anything but their Apricot Ale in quite a while (the Milkmaid is a big fan, and I find myself oddly unable to hate the stuff as well). Let me know what you find.

      I finally picked up some Boddington's this week, which I've been meaning to try for, oh, a few years. Now there is a dangerous beer. It's so smooth and easy-drinking I could forget there was alcoholic content.

        1. I was a fan within one swig.

          That first swig was probably a third of the pint. I decided immediately that the stuff asked for a little more self-control.

  17. just saw the replay of the play at the plate. Good job by Mauer to get that blocking leg laid down so that Beltre didn't Buster him.

    1. Yeah, I was happy to see that too, but it is the sixth inning, so he doesn't want to burn up his bullpen in a game he's already trailing.

  18. (Runner - don't tase me Bro!)
    OTG - Salmon smoked with cherry wood, then broiled with cracked peppercorns. Fiddlehead ferns with bacon. Capt Lawrence Imperial IPA.

    1. damn you, Bo.

      chips and salsa, half a chicken sammich.

      tonight: homemade pizza. Which reminds me that I need to get the dough started soon.

      1. I made my last batch of dough with bread flour for the first time. I was a fool for doing it any other way. I'm making a sweet potato, black bean and goat cheese pizza with the second half of it tomorrow. Beef stroganoff tonight.

        1. I'm making a vegan pizza for the girl, with garlicky mashed white beans, artichoke hearts, olives, sauteed onions, and rosemary. And reg'lar pizzas with cheese and pepperoni.

      2. I got this stove-top smoker a while back from a hunting buddy. You just put a pinch of wood powder underneath the bottom plate, put your salmon/chicken/whatever on the top grill, and close the lid. Put the burner on high and the powder explodes right away - only need 8-10 minutes to get a wonderful smoky flavor.

  19. This set up well for the Twins bullpen. Bottom of the order in the 7th for Burton, Perkins for the eighth, which guarantees an appearance by Hamilton, then mostly righties to face Capps in the ninth. At least that's how we hope it's set up.

  20. From the replay of Carroll's RBI single, from Bert:

    Carroll's third RBI of the season, and his second hit.

    Wow, he's been struggling more than I thought with just two hits on the season.

        1. A lot of hitters with lines like that get seem to catch a lot of criticism (from MSM types), but sometimes it seems fair to say that it's hard to get hits if they aren't throwing pitches in the strike zone. Carroll's not the kind of hitter who can thumb his nose at walks, either.

    1. It's just Gardy making a gesture like he's swinging a bat and then running in place, so it's not hard to figure out.

      1. Well, with as many signs as we missed last year, he had to simplify things to make sure everyone knew what was going on, including the other team.

      2. I believe he has a card that he holds up that says "Hit and Run" and with the Spanish translation below that. The Japanese translation is scribbled out.

    1. It seems like he's pitched in damn near every game, so it doesn't surprise me too much. (I could be wrong, too. Minnesota teams just seem to generally attract suck the past couple years.)

        1. Because of the extra off days, today was the first time Perkins pitched on consecutive days and he pitched yesterday after two days off. And its not like he's being worked more than the rest. Gray and Burton also have five appearances and Burnett and Duensing each have four. The Twins need the starters to start going deeper into games.

          1. Using the off days to get Perkins into more games is still getting Perkins into more games. Only one pitcher pitched in more than 80 games last year and in a league with 30 teams, there were only about 35-40 pitchers who had 70+ appearances. 5 appearances is on the high side for 9 games.

            1. Huh, for some reason, it seemed like a lot more than just 5 games. Perception and reality are often at odds, I suppose.

  21. I love how announcers call these "forgettable outings" for relief pitchers. They're the ones that fans and the pitchers themselves remember most, I'd wager.

  22. Ten pitches, eight fastballs. His only two sliders were to Kinsler after he got ahead. He was having a hard time locating his fastball, maybe a different pitch would have been in order.

  23. On the bright side, Alex Burnett has been decent so far this year. I bet Gardy wears him out by the All Star break.

    1. Twins fans (I would say most MLB fans, really) have a long history of not understanding that part of the game.

    2. Bored fans. That's been going on for decades. Home fans don't like opponents throwing to first.

  24. Oof, Morneau is just not good. It really seems like he needs some time down in AAA, if that's even possible.

    1. We're talking nine games. Hardly enough time to give up on a rookie let alone someone like Morneau. Coming into the game, his K rate was worse than normal, but hardly worth worrying about at this point. The Twins' struggles offensively seem to affect him more than others. He seems to try to do too much instead of just going with the pitch or laying off pitches out of the zone. It looked like he was trying to hit a home run in the ninth on the 3-2 pitch that wouldn't have been a strike even if it was a fastball.

    1. It happens to the best of them. Just felt like really bad timing with how the Twins have played and they're upcoming schedule and how well the bullpen other than Perkins pitched. I think the vast majority of fans would have felt good about a .500 homestand against these two teams. I think it's apparent, though, that the Rangers' bullpen >> Angels bullpen. I picked the Angels for the division, but I might change my mind now if given a chance.

  25. snakebitten by the bullpen again.
    I do feel a bit more confident in this team than I did at the end of Spring Training. But the shody bullpen might come and bite us in the ass a few times

    1. Again? So far, hitting and starting pitching have been much bigger culprits. Jeff Gray is 2-0 and the rest of the pitching staff is 0-7.

      1. second straight day where the bullpen gave up runs late in the game.
        To me, the SPers have been good (outside of Liriano). Yes, the bats were cold early, but they are getting hits and walks now. Defense has been suspect though
        I guess my expectations were very low in spring training, but after a couple weeks, I like 75 wins is doable

      2. Are you seriously citing Jeff Effing Gray having two vultured individual pitcher "wins" that he got by throwing three pitches total as evidence of...anything?

        1. I see it as evidence that there is a God and he has a sense of humor, but other than that...yeah.

        2. Actually, I was just making two separate comments and combined them into one. I should have clarified that they didn't have anything to do with each other. I don't think I need to throw out any stats to prove the hitting and the starting pitching have been more of a problem than the bullpen thus far. And I'm a lot more concerned about the starting pitching going forward now than the bullpen given Baker's injury and this coaching staff's ability to put together a good bullpen most years.

          And apparently, people are really cranky today. I just thought it was interesting that one nondescript middle reliever has all of a team's wins nine games into the season.

  26. 2-7 is no big deal. The 1991 Twins started out 2-9, but I think their season turned out OK.

      1. Other than they both have the same record at the same point in the season? That's the only comparison I made. But, if you really want to challenge this.
        How about both teams finished in last place the year before. Both teams signed a veteran innings-eating pitcher to a one-year deal. One was 36 and had an ERA+ of 89 the previous three years (Morris), the other was 33 and had an ERA+ of 96 (Marquis) the previous three years.
        Both teams were trying to remake their bullpen behind their closer, who was not considered dominant. Both teams took a left-handed starter and put him into their bullpen to be a lefty specialist.
        Both teams had concerns coming into the season about finding middle infielders who could hit. One team started a rookie that skipped AAA at second base, the other had a rookie that probably should have done the same but decided to stick him in AAA and stay with the veteran they signed as a free agent.
        Both teams had lost a veteran right-handed slugger with a reputation as a leader (Cuddyer, Gaetti) to free agency and signed another veteran slugger to a cheaper deal to replace his bat if not his position (Willingham, Chili). Both teams had a good but not great first baseman (OK, Morneau hasn't played first so far, but I doubt the lineup would be much different if he was, since Parmelee would be in right with Doumit DHing).
        Both teams had a future HoF batting third that didn't hit enough home runs and playing premium defensive positions.
        Carl Willis had not pitched in the majors in the two years prior to 1991 and had a 67 ERA+ in 103 career innings before he became a top setup man with the Twins. Jared Burton has a career 130 ERA+, but only has 8 innings in the majors the past two years due to injury concerns. Steve Bedrosian was supposed to be the big addition to the bullpen, but he was mediocre at best. The 1991 Twins had no returning setup relievers as good as Perkins. The 1991 Twins' fourth and fifth starters were Alan Anderson and David West. Mark Guthrie actually started 12 games as well.
        Do I really believe that history will repeat itself? No, of course not, but did anyone really think the 1991 Twins were going to win the World Series? I seriously doubt it. It was a wonderful convergence of veterans having career best (Tapani, Davis) or career resurgence (Morris) or just a new career altogether (Willis) and young players blossoming (Erickson, Knoblauch, Mack). But who knows, maybe Dozier will be called up in May and win rookie of the year. Maybe Liam Hendricks will win 20 games. Maybe Marquis will start the All-Star Game and win World Series MVP. Maybe Willingham will lead the team in homers and RBIs (OK, that seems pretty likely at this point). Maybe Burton will become a top setup man. Maybe Liriano will be in the top three in the AL in ERA+. A lot of these seem farfetched, even more so when you consider what if they all happened the same season. I doubt anyone thought it was likely before 1991 either.
        My point is that both teams had reason to need a good start to the season to forget about an awful season the year before. Neither was able to do that. The 1991 Twins were able to overcome the bad start, had a wonderful hot streak in June and ended up winning the World Series. I guess we'll just have to watch how this team responds.

        1. This is a dumb comparison because most teams that start 2-7 do not win the WS. It's cherry picking, essentially. ("Oh look, the Twins are off to a bad start--let's go look for a good team that started the season 2-7, just to pick up our spirits!") List me all the teams that have started 2-7 and then tell me it's not misleading to compare the 2012 Twins with the 1991 Twins.

          1. I don't think that's what socal was doing, ubes. Obviously, starting the season off 2-7 sucks, but there's plenty of teams that have come back from that to have decent seasons. As far as that goes, there's plenty of teams that start of the year 7-2 that don't win the World Series, either. I still think this team has a shot at maybe 80 wins, and I'd like to keep a little optimism about them for at least another month or so.

            1. I'd like to keep a little realism, too. I'm not ruling anything out, sure, but actively making comparisons to very good teams at this point makes little to no sense.

              1. I really don't think anyone here is expecting a World Series this year, but it's a long summer. I, for one, don't mind having a little bit of hope, however misplaced, 9 games in.

    1. This will be less funny if/when the best potential record is 81-81, but for now I'm enjoying the heck out of it. It's a good reminder that it's a long, long season.

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