All posts by nibbish

2012 Game Number 2: Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles

New season, same result - 'meh' pitching, and 'too little, too late'  hitting.

I think Sean had it right last game log when he says that the front office knows what they've got, and they know that it's not happening this season. Fair enough, but I'm impatient - I want a World Series this year. Therefore, I've put together a little cheat sheet for how this team can be turned into a contender. If someone with connections could route this to the powers that be, I'd appreciate it.

Pitching

Obviously, the big problem is going to be pitching, so they must obviously trade for some strong starters, and some strong relievers. I've taken the liberty of drawing up some proposals.

  • DFA Jeff Gray (He's letting opposing batters reach at a ridiculous .667 clip. Thanks, but no thanks, Jeff.)
  • DFA Matt Capps (obviously)
  • Trade Brian Duensing for Roy Halladay (He's got an unsustainable rate of 27.0 k/9 going, so trade him while he's hot)
  • Arrange for Kyle Gibson to be fitted with a robotic arm (This whole recovery process is taking too long - time to speed things up a bit.)
  • Have some crazy, back-alley doctor remove all of Scott Baker's arm tendons (He can't strain them if they're not there, can he. Ivan'll put some rubber bands in there, or something.)
  • "Forget" Jason Marquis at the airport the next time he accompanies them on a road trip (This is a two part plan which may involve pretending that Target Field is closed for the season when he inevitably gets a taxi ride back.)
  • Once it gets to the later months, forbid anyone from telling Nick Blackburn that it's not May anymore.

Batting

As we saw yesterday, hitting is going to be this team's biggest obstacle (except for pitching, because Lord, do those pitchers suck). Here's a few quick ways to change that.

  • Trade Alexi Casilla for a large potted plant (the plant can trip runners as they round second, and will likely provide a bit more hitting power)
  • Put Joe Mauer into a time machine, and tell him to retrieve 2009 Joe Mauer (It'll be sad to see 2011 Joe Mauer go, but we liked the other one better, anyway. Besides, this is the kind of sacrifice a leader has to make sometimes. Cuddy would go back in time to get 2009 Joe Mauer, and he'd probably bring back 2010 Justin Morneau while he was at it.)
  • Create an unholy Frankenstein mishmash of Ben Revere's legs and Denard Span's arm. (Den Spavere will be the greatest outfielder ever, while Bard Revan can be safely DFA'd)
  • Trade Chris Parmelee for Albert Pujols (The only worry here is that the Angels may not believe that Parmelee is as good as Dick Bremer says he is. In this case, we include Carl Pavano in the deal. Who says no?)

Until my brilliant ideas are brought to the front office, we're stuck with what we've got. What we've got today is..

F. Liriano (0-0, a disappointing 0 k/9, and a awe-inspiring, but probably unsustainable 0.00 ERA)
T. Hunter (0-0, 3.20 FIP, 0 ERA)

Normally, I'd say that the Twins are totally screwed, but come on... this is Tommy Hunter we're talking about.ZiPs has him projected for something like a 5.00 ERA. Even the Twins should be able to get some runs off this guy, right?

Game (1 of 2): Twins and Clevelanders

Hey, doubleheader... why not?

So it seems that baseball's 200,000th major league game will be played today. They're counting the start of the actual National League as the first game, mostly because it's easier to place a direct date on it that way. If nothing else, it's kind of cool that much as it's changed over the past 140 years, there's still a certain heart at the center of the game that ties it all together.

Now, before I go all Field of Dreams on everyone and start misattributing everywhere, there are urgent matters to attend to in Cleveland. A win today would ensure that the race to the bottom will fall short of its "target". Much as I believe that this is the worst year of Twins baseball since the franchise got here, it would be nice the ragtaggers to win back at least that much of their dignity. Hell, if they sweep the doubleheader, they would only need one more win to avoid 100-losses. That would be.......something, I guess.

Looking into the crystal ball, we've got three opening day batters in our lineup (which, if I'm not mistaken is about the most there can be for the rest of the season, so the lineup's not getting nay better than this). Rivera gets to try to out-Butera Butera. Right now he's at a .406 OPS, so it'll be exciting to see whether he can push that into sub-400 territory.

Brian Duensing's on the mound, if he can make it through five and a third innings, he'll qualify for the ERA title. Then again, if he gives up 4 runs in those five and a third, he'll have the worst ERA for any qualifier, so... go Duensing?

David Huff pitches for Cleveland, he ate us alive his last time out, so maybe 1982 isn't safe, just yet.

Game. Cleveland vs. Minnesota

It's sort of sad that the Twins will never win another baseball game. I was a fan of the occasional win, but if I can't have that, I guess watching errors and strikeouts will have to get me by.

I'll be listening to this one, driving to Brainerd on a road trip with the wife. Since this one is obviously impossible, let's at least make it close.

Gomez vs Swizzlestick, who seems to be our best starter lately. Who knows, maybe we'll only lose by three?

Game 138: Twins at Angels

Of all the things I thought September would bring, runs wasn't exactly one of them. I'm not complaining, it's just that I wish they could try scoring some during games that I watch. Still, any lineup that insists on batting both Nishioka and a player with a OBP forever hovering around .300 can't complain about any runs they might score along the way.

Duensing takes on Weaver tonight. Normally, that would sound like a sure-fire loss, but Weaver's ERA has jumped up a half run since last month (still league leading at 2.28), and lately a lot more of his pitches have been turned into souvenirs (9 in his last 47 1/3 innings). Besides, Duensing was mostly watchable, and the Angels' lineup usually features at least one lefty... so...

Yeah, it's still pretty bleak.

Game #(insert game number here): (insert AAA joke here) vs. (insert detroit or large cat joke here)

("Man this team is bad" joke)

(half-hearted statistical analysis detailing just how bad things have gotten)

(oh, wait... we're batting against Verlander today? We're even more out of luck than usual.)

(Make 190-pitch complete game joke.)

(links to these two Gleeman tweets detailing how the Twins aren't very good at anything)

(threaten to volunteer to do house work with the wife instead of watching game, only to chicken out later because the work she's got planned sucks, and bad baseball is better than no baseball until the 8th inning when we've only got ONE FREAKING RUN AGAIN)

(Delmon Young joke)

(snarky condolences to anyone who watches the game)

I mean, if the Twins can phone it in, why can't I?

Game 113: Sox at Twinkies

It'd be nice if Jim Thome would hurry up and hit number 600, so I can move on with my plan of watching games until we're losing by two, because we're back to the point where the starting pitching is bad, and a Twins lead sometimes seems like an insurmountable deficit. Things are tough to watch, a few players excepted.

The Smartest Pitcher in Baseball takes the mound tonight against Zach Stewart, who is making just his 4th big league start. Our favorite tater-masher should get some good cuts in today.

Let's see some dongers jacked... I mean... umm... yeah.

Game 107: Twins at A’s

After an ugly series against the Tigers and a split against the Rangers, a series against the A's is texactly what we need right now. Going from facing lineups with Miguel Cabreras and Josh Hamiltons to a lineup whose greatest threat is Josh Willingham is kind of a nice change of pace.

Luckily for A's fans, we're going to try to counteract that lineup by bringing out Nick Blackburn tonight. Blackie's been in second-half form lately, carrying a 6.94 ERA over his last seven starts (and that's after a couple of very nice starts in the middle of this month). We've got the resistible force meeting the movable object - which will suck less? Only time will tell.

The Twins get to face Guillermo Moscoso. Guillermo's trad stats look okay (3-5, 3.47 ERA), but he's carrying some ugly peripherals. He's not striking people out (4.5 K/9), he's walking more than a pitcher like him should (3.5 BB/9), and he's giving up lots of homers (1.4 HR/9, which seems high, until you consider he's got a ground ball rate of just over 25%). Combine that with a BABIP of .219, and you would think that this is exactly the type of pitcher the Twins would tee off on (no ground balls, no strikeouts). So, let's see some of that, then.

I expect a high scoring game. However, since I'm expecting that, I'm sure the game will go scoreless until the 17th inning, when Butera will bunt home a run, making Cuddyer the winning pitcher (Jose Mijares won't be used, because no loving manager would put his team's fans through two straight nights of Mijares pitching).