All posts by nibbish

Game 69: Padres at Mauers

Back in game log 35, I made the statement "when the major leaguers on this team outnumber the minor leaguers, they might grab my interest again." In fairness, the scrubs started playing pretty well the last couple of weeks. It seemed for a little while there that I was marveling at the sheer wretchedness of that night's lineup every night, only to have them score a buttload of runs for our suddenly-rock-solid starting pitching staff.

That's all well and good, but now that things are gradually swinging back to "Minnesota Twins" rather than "Minnesota Red Wings", I'm finding myself genuinely excited by the team. Sure, we still have one too many players on the team named "Butera", and Jim Hoey is inexplicably still employed by a major league ballclub, but Tolbert is back to his rightful position as backup utility infielder! Dusty Hughes is elsewhere! Joe Mauer played in a major league game last night.

For all our pessimism earlier this season, we were still invested in just about every game. It looks like the Twins are ready to reward us.

Scott "All Star" Baker vs. Tim "Don't Look At My Record, Either" Stauffer

I expect Baker to have a very good game today, as he builds towards his All-Star resume (in vain, of course). I do not expect the same for his counterpart.

Game 64: Rangers at Twins

I had a post where I went over the team's possible All-Star representatives. That proved to be somewhat ridiculous. I mean, I suppose Span has a case - 3rd in the AL in bWAR, after all, but almost all of it is tied up in his defensive ability, and it seems kind of unlikely that that will sway anyone. Blackburn has been doing pretty well, he could be our own slightly more deserving Mark Redman.

Cuddy or Kubel will probably get it, though. Kubel's probably a bit more deserving, but Cuddy's got the rep and the 8HR. Who knows?

Today's pitcher probably doesn't really factor in the conversation, but he's been a kind of bright spot in an otherwise dour season.

My little netbook is having a hell of a time keeping up with any research I'm trying to do right now, and since my main computer's motherboard is fried, I'm out of time.

Colby Lewis vs. Scott Baker - I don't like this matchup for Baker, but I'd still rather see him on the mound than anyone else.

Game 57: Twins at Royals

Last night at my mother-in-law's retirement party, the subject turned to our favorite baseball team. The (extremely drunken) consensus seemed to be that the team should trade Mauer to beef up our relief pitching. That's not a joke. That's an example of the fine analysis straight from the type of people whom I am privileged to talk sports with on a day in, day out basis with. You guys are truly a lifeline.

I mocked Swizzlestick last week, and he responded with might end up as the best Twins start of the season. Do I have to make fun of Blackburn's mom or something? Because so help me, I will.

As it turns out, Blacky's actually been doing pretty well, last start excepted. Tonight, he goes against Luke Hochevar, who has to be about the most "Royal"ish Royal out there. I feel pretty good about the Twins chances of grabbing a third straight, as well as my chances of picking up a third game log victory.

2011 Game 44: Twins at—WHO CARES? THE PITCHERS ARE BATTING!

I love interleague. There are so many reasons to hate it - and there are lots of places to find those reasons. I just like seeing pitchers attempting to bat. Without interleague, we don't get our favorite Johan Santana moment (the video link doesn't work, so just close your eyes, the highlight reel is still there, I'm sure). You don't get the crazy over-managing that ends with pitchers in left-field and utility infielders sitting on the bench, praying the game ends before their crazy manager gets any ideas and has them warming up in the bullpen.

I like that style of baseball. I don't know that I'd like it all the time, but a few games a year is interesting to me. I almost feel cheated when a National League team comes to Target Field, because that doesn't give me my "pitchers wearing batting helmets" fix.

Luckily, the Twins have seen fit to play much better as of late (well... the last 4 or 5 games, anyway). Now I'll have extra reason to enjoy sitting down, cracking open a beer and watching some late-night baseball.

Maybe they'll even win one for me tonight. Considering the fact that they're 1-6 on Saturdays, maybe that's asking for too much though. I guess I'll just be satisfied with the fact that I'm going to be able to watch Scott Baker bat.

Speaking of, here are tonight's pitchers.

Scott Baker (.050/.050/.050, 0 HR, 0 RBI, -0.3 WAR)
Micah Owings (.295/.323/.528, 9 HR, 34 RBI, 2.9 WAR)

Both of those are career lines, as neither pitcher has batted in 2011. For Baker, this is because he plays in the wrong league to show off his impressive hitting skills. For Owings, it's because while his secondary skills are legendary (he's pretty much the best hitting pitcher of all time), his primary skills (keep the opposing team from scoring runs) are sadly lacking. This is his first start in 2011, but lefties have eaten him alive over the course of his career, so unless the game is decided by which pitcher is a better batter, I like the Twins' chances.

2011 Game 37: Blue Jays at Twins

"It's been tough to watch lately. Really tough."

Just about every game log, regardless of writer, has started with some permutation of that phrase. It's been horrifically true, though. When the pitching's good, the offense declines to score any runs. When the offense does click and puts up a gargantuan run total (maybe something like five runs or so), the pitching blows it.

The injuries have played a factor, obviously, but Delmon Young, Joe Mauer, and Jim Thome are not going to turn this team into a division winner. In fact, I'm becoming increasingly pessimistic about our chances of breaking even (we'd have to play 69-57 from here on out to make it to .500. That's .547 from now on, and I don't know if we've seen more than a couple of games all year where they looked like they could play that way for any length of time.)

So, that's that. The team needs to turn around, and they can't wait for the star catcher to come back. They can't wait for the MVP first baseman to get his head right. They can't wait for the "mvp" (lower case) to Just. Stop. Sucking. It needs to happen right now. It probably won't happen (Sean's historical searchings didn't exactly provide a silver lining), but come on... giving up before June is for Pirates fans, right?

We've got Blackburn on the mound today, they've got Jo-Jo Reyes. Both seem to be fairly allergic to striking people out (though Blackburn's 3.5 k/9 is just absurd*), so I guess we can expect lots of hits today. That'll be a nice change of pace, at least.

Blackburn's our "big game pitcher" right? Well, we need this one. Go get 'em, Blackie.

game 31: twins at red sox

Well, hey! I'm able to post a game log from my phone. Good times.

Last night's game was a lot of fun. In fact, the last few games have been. I'm under no illusions that everything's gotten better, but as long as they can fake it until a couple folks get off the DL, we could turn this thing around.

Time to give one of baseball's more annoying fanbases just a little more to bitch about.

Game Log #26: Twins at Royals

I'm pretty sure that this recent stretch is a loyalty test for Twins fans. The team has managed to look absolutely awful since that tiny hopeful stretch last weekend. I choose to handle this game log the same way I've handled all Twins conversation for the past week or so...

I'm going to change the subject.

Beer brewing has been going well. I'm actually brewing up a batch of Wisconsin Spring Porter right this very minute... hang on, let me check my temperature.... looking good.... Time to add in some maple syrup.

I do have one question for all the brewmasters that this place has accumulated. How does one achieve the balance between getting enough hops into the beer, without adding a ton of sediment? When I made my hopnog, it had fantastic hoppy flavor (like, really hoopy tasty flavor), but since I ended up tossing the hops directly into the wort, it ended up with a ton of sediment, which I'd prefer avoid, since the final product was good, and tasty, but also quite heavy and near opaque. Last time, we steeped the hops, rather than toss them directly in, and the finished product had less sediment, but also less hoppy flavor.

Regardless, beer brewing is becoming a very enjoyable hobby, and the compliments the finished product has received ar sort of addicting (most of my friends have never had homebrew before, so their reviews end up anywhere from "damn tasty brew" to "best beer I've ever tasted".) So I'm pretty happy with what's been going on thus far. It's a great hobby to get into.

Oh wait... this is a baseball-related site? Oh.

Duensing vs. O'Sullivan - I'm tired of impassioned entreaties, I'm tired of excuses, I'm tired of the reasons that we haven't been winning lately. Just win. Watching baseball is about a hundred times more fun when the cheered for team wins, so get on that. Go Twins!

 

Game 20, Take 2: Indians at Twins

So that road trip to open up the season was pretty fun, right guys?

I mentioned this elsewhere, but the AL Central standings are exactly the opposite of what I expected them to be. I don't expect this to continue.

Cleveland's over-performing right now. Their batters certainly are - Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting home runs at a pace of one every twenty at bats after hitting one about every 80 at bats through his MLB career and one every 60 in his minor league career, I would guess that would settle down a bit. Their pitchers are over performing, too. The team's getting lucky, and it's time for the Twins to change that.

Carmona vs. Duensing.

Let's do this.