Game 15: Twins at Rays

The internet connection is extremely spotty at my house right now, so instead of giving you the well thought out, well researched behemoth of a game log intro that you all deserve, I'm going to spout off random things that I like and dislike about the team without backing any of it up with anything resembling a fact.


  • Burton's Splange - He threw one or two last night, and when that pitch is on, it's a thing of beauty. He seems like a good pickup about 10% of the way through the season, and looks like he could be a decent late inning option. I wasn't expecting to say that about any of the offseason relief pickups, but none of them have been failing to live up to what I'd hope for (Grey is finally letting the rest of the team's pitchers wins a few games, Maloney hasn't tripped on the pitching rubber or picked any fights with fans or umpires, there might be someone else I'm forgetting, but the fact that he's not springing to mind means that I probably haven't been cursing his name too often, so... uh... keep being invisible, other relief guy).
  • The Porkstar - My Reds fan buddy noted how nice it was that the Twins finally had a free agent signing work out. I could have punched him for his condescending tone, but instead, I simply nodded my head in agreement. Willingham's been good with the bat, and he's only the second worst outfielder I've seen play for Minnesota over the last five years. Once you factor in that they had to get rid of Delmon Young to make it so that they could go out and get him, and it's not just a net positive - I can confidently say that it's the best thing that's ever happened to this team.
  • Mauer/Morneau - I was concerned about Morneau for a bit there in the first few games, but he seems to be taking much better swings over the last few games. Mauer's been solid as he ought to be; I just wish he were just a little bit more manly, because seriously, it's got to be bringing the team down.
  • Having a middle infielder simultaneously batting second and not sucking - Carrol's D is much better than I expected (no one show me any +/- numbers, I don't want to see if I'm wrong on this one. It's also really nice to not have a black hole batting second. The hits are starting to come, and I love the patient way the guy bats. They've got 3 guys at the top of the lineup that bleed the pitcher dry. Very cool.
  • Span - It's really nice having him back as the leadoff hitter. Now that Baker's probably gone forever, I'm tempted to say that Span's my favorite Twin.


  • Casilla - I'm pretty sure that the stats don't bear me out on this, but I find myself constantly unimpressed by Casilla. I know he's the replacement-level guy who's just a placeholder at this point, but I find myself going to the kitchen to get a snack when he comes up. If my diet is going to succeed, I need someone else there.
  • Starting pitching - I was slightly (probably stupidly) hopeful coming into the season. The idea of Liriano pitching well, Baker doing what he always does, Pavano eating innings, with some combination of who cares and someone else filling out the last two spots meant that the Twins would likely be getting 2 or 3 strong starts per time through the rotation. The quality start stat is an awful way of looking at anything, but if Pavano bombs tonight, we'll have gone 5 games without seeing a single start that was even halfway decent. With Hendricks, Blackburn, Swarzack, and Liriano (who seems to be intent on showing that 2011 was not his floor) behind Pavano, I have zero faith in the rotation - and more worryingly, no real hope for anything in the future to patch things up. The idea of being just close enough at trading season for management to go get a "proven winner" puts a chill in my bones.
  • Capps - He hasn't exactly exploded into tiny pieces yet, but it's coming, my friends... oh yes, it's coming.

Pavano* takes on Shields* tonight.

I'm to predict a win. 6-3. Mauer gets a double and a couple of RBIs, but Willingham's hit streak ends (he'll make a comment in the aftergame interview on how all that stuff is cool, but "it doesn't matter, so long as we get the 'W'").

* Both of them have presumably played baseball at some point this season, but if you want all those sexy stats, you'll have to look them up yourself, my computer is currently in a hate/hate relationship with any kind of site where I could look them up for you.

240 thoughts on “Game 15: Twins at Rays”

  1. I would say Hendriks' start was better than halfway decent. Casilla is the reason he didn't get a quality start and probably kept him from his first major league win if you assume that had Casilla been able to make either of his bad plays last night that Hendriks would have stayed in there and gotten the win.

  2. Im surprised FSN is allowed to air the game since the Red Sox-Yankees game is only in the 8th inning

    1. Speaking of which, the Red Sox led 9-1 after six, but the Yankees now lead 12-9 and are still hitting in the eighth. Hopefully, the Yankees will wear out the Red Sox bullpen before they go to Minnesota.

      1. I'm ok with not running the "contact play" there. the Twins don't have a good record with contact plays.

        1. Unfortunately, Danny heard we weren't doing the contact play and took it to mean something else.

        2. Did you see his lead there, though? He basically didn't have one. If he has any type of lead, he should be able to score as soon as that ball is booted.

          1. I was watching the live look-in on Gameday and they dropped the feed right in the middle of that play and I had to wait until the radio feed came back to figure out if they scored or not.

  3. Pavano now has 9 Ks in his last nine innings. SSS and all, but still. He's trending the right way. 1 K in his first start, 3 Ks in his second, 6 Ks last start and 3 Ks in two innings today already.

    1. I heard "history against the Mariners" while leaving the restaurant, but didn't think much of it. Naturally, no one got to see it thanks to Fox's blackout during the day.

    2. It seems that Ryan may have been able to make it to first when Pierzynski dropped the last pitch. Too bad he decided to complain first before running.

  4. Pyramid wheat IPA at the plate. a Cheapbeer (labeled "DS" and dark) is on deck.

    on the grill: chicken breasts poached in green chile sauce, steamed asparagus, pan-roasted potatoes.

    1. You still have one of those? I don't even remember what that stands for, to be honest with you. Probably a stout of some kind. I make no promises as to its quality.

          1. I really liked that smoked rye ale (obviously, its why I sent you one.) I wish I had enough of this black IPA to send some your way, because it is amazing. I will definitely make it again, though. All hail citra hops!

              1. Sadly, I only have a couple left that I want to drink. But, the recipe is documented, since I'm considering it my magnum opus.

                1. If you only have a couple left that you want to drink, surely there are some others left too!!!!

    2. Also, I'm still cooking it, but it'll be butternut squash "lasagna", and right now drinking my black IPA.

    3. Grass fed beef burgers, fries, and Sierra Nevada Torpedo (which kind of sucks, stay away). Now off to a 50 friends surprise 50th birthday party.

        1. seriously not serious. the Torpedo is excellent. Unless you don't like hops or flavor?

          1. Or it could be a bad bottle, though I am fully aware a hop punch to the nose is not everyone's cup of beer.

      1. No, he's Russian. Like that psychologist that taught his rays to swing when they heard a bell.

      1. This is baseball. You'll need that for everyone at some point. Let's give Doumit a break. He hasn't even been here a month.

          1. What Rhu said. Sure its been less than a month, but its been a sub-Buterian month.

            1. Doumit has been pretty bad, but you are drastically understating Butera's awfulness here.

          2. He has earned plenty of breaks, just with another team. His terrible start is still better than Drew Butera's best season.

  5. Consecutive innings with a runner at third and 1 out for the Rays and two inning-ending DPs. Nice to see someone else do that.

    1. On that, we agree. (aside from the "seeing" part. I can only see it in my imagination.)

      1. Mauer playing even with the bag, runs in when Jennings shows bunt as Molina thunders home. Jennings pops it up towards first and Mauer dives to catch it about 45 feet from home.

          1. Blargh, the highlight in Gameday blows. They don't even show the dive, just him on the ground with the ball.

  6. I just realized Mauer was first base. I thought initially he had come out from behind the plate to make the diving catch.

    1. Great at-bat there. No luck at all. I'd much rather have Doumit up there than Valencia at this point. He's been striking out like crazy. It just seems like fans are a lot more forgiving for players the team has developed than ones the team has traded or signed as a free agent.

      1. In my defense, I have completely soured on Valencia as well, and I agree with you on the Doumit over Valencia in that situation thing.

  7. ct: your stout has a righteous head on it. Smells a lot like the Old Rasputin, but the flavor profile is a bit lighter. Excellent, dude!

    1. Thanks! I still don't remember exactly when I made it, and it may have been over 1 year ago, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I love that stuff as breading on deep-fried veggies and fish. So nice and light and crunchy!

  8. Pavano has his most Ks in a game since April 14, 2011. His most Ks as a Twin is 8.

    1. the ump has been all over the place. the twins were getting very generous call earlier in the game

  9. speaking of hot, I had to turn my AC on today. It was in the 90s yesterday and hotter today. 89 deg right now at 6 pm.

  10. Unbelievable. We hit a rocket with the bases loaded and no runs. They hit a blooper and get three runs.

    1. Hmmm, Valencia, Thomas, Casilla..... You should wait about 20 minutes to call that.

  11. Well, at least we have the heart of the order coming up to get some runs right back. :rolleyes

  12. Is Parmelee's defense in RF that bad? Do we really have to watch Clete continue to flail? That's six Ks in his last 7 ABs.

  13. I've got a new idea for rating replacement level players. We can assign them a number of Casillas with 0 Casillas being a perfectly adequate major league player and 0.5 Casillas being the worst possible player you could imagine.

      1. Yep. The Twins should have gotten at least two and possibly three outs on that play.

        1. So naturally, this bases loaded situation that probably shouldn't be will end poorly.

      2. The Rays announcers said the feed from Casilla was good. I figured Carroll was caught by surprise expecting a bad feed.

  14. They're not even going to give us one? I've seen people get hit in the fact by the ball and they still call an out on that play.

  15. Who could have foreseen an inning involving Burnett and Casilla turning into some kind of disaster?

    1. Not Burnett's fault, that's for sure. Even the walk, one pitch was down the middle, according to Gameday, and called a ball.

      1. Oops, he hit him with a pitch. Well, he should have been out before that pitch anyways.

  16. so, my green chile-poached chicken is turning into green chile chicken stew. I removed the chicken and will shred; added potatoes and about to add mushrooms and roasted poblano.

  17. Rays were 7-for-16 on balls in play with Pavano in there. Yikes. Fortunately, two of those outs were double plays.

  18. According to the Gameday scout, Shields may have to go after Carroll rather than Span, despite having already retired span. Thanks Gameday!

    1. It was a good 6 inches off of the plate. But you know, it hit the glove so that's automatically a strike.

    2. dicknbert were discussing robot umpires the other day and they said that umpires call strikes strikes 95% of the time. I'm more worried about the other mistake they make, where the incorrectly call balls strikes. That seems to be the majority of their problem.

      1. Also, if Dicknbert have quoted a statistic, isn't it safe to assume they are pulling it out of their collective asses?

        1. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, but there's like a 65% chance they were pulling it out of their asses.

      2. Umps are pretty good about calling rulebook strikes as strikes. Now, calling rulebook balls balls, not so much.

    1. And of course, Farnsworth is on the DL so I can't even get a pilfered save for my fantasy team.

  19. I was surprised Shields was allowed to start the inning. Seems pretty early in the season to allow a starter to start an inning with 110+ pitches. You should expect the guy to throw 15 pitches or so. I'm happy it was done now, of course.

        1. He's just trying to show that he's not really a trader by sucking and getting released so he can go back to the Tigers.

    1. I think everybody should've known when he was claimed that he's a little overextended as an everyday corner outfielder.

      1. He hasn't even been that. The Twins won't start him against a lefty. Gardy is finally doing a platoon, but unfortunately, he doesn't have anyone capable of even doing that much. At least, Plouffe hasn't hit yet and Thomas' track record doesn't appear to be that good.

        1. Sure, but I'm saying, and I think you agree, even as the main lefthanded part of a platoon, he's overexposed. I think he'd fit in the Jason Repko circa 2010 role - he's probably better overall than Repko - but I don't think he should see much more time than that.

          I have concerns about the Willingham-Span-Doumit defensive alignment, and I have no idea what to expect from Parmelee in RF, so I'd have concerns about that too, but the latter might be the overall optimal configuration.

          1. I'd like to see an OF of Revere, Span, Willingham. I know Revere isn't going to hit much but I don't think the other options will either and Revere is such a huge step up defensively that I would do it.

            I wouldn't even care that much where anyone of them plays. Just avoid Willinham in CF or Revere in RF and I'm happy.

            1. I wouldn't even care that much where anyone of them plays. Just avoid Willinham in CF or Revere in RF and I'm happy.

              Heh heh. So, if Revere can only be in LF or CF and Consuela in LF or RF, your choices are

              Revere, Span, Pork
              Span, Revere, Pork
              Pork, Revere, Span

    1. Last year, Liriano pitched really well about once a month. Maybe Sunday will be the once for this month.

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