Tag Archives: Jim Thome

2012 Game 89: Orioles at Twins

Happy vacation, Twayn!

It's the Return of the Gentleman Masher! Jimbo's last game in a Twins uniform was against the O's. How coincidental that his first second current return-trip to the Bullseye should be in an O's uniform.

Anyway, I know what I'm rooting for tonight: jacked dongers.

Of course, there WOULD be a lefty on the mound for the Twins in Scott Diamond, so maybe Jim will si
sit instead of start tonight. That would be absolute Boo.

In Diamond's last three starts, he has gone 7, 8 and 8, respectively, while allowing 2, 2, and 3 runs, respectively. He has emerged as the Koufax* of the staff, with a 2.62 ERA, 3.85/3.53 FIP/xFIP, and 45:12 K:BB in 79 innings.

His opposing number tonight will be Chris Tillman. In his only other appearance this season, July 4 against Seattle, Tillman went 8 2/3 of 2-hit ball, striking out 7 and giving up two runs. The big right-hander throws a mid-90s fastball, curve, and changeup. Tillman was part of the package, with CFer Adam Jones, for Erik Bedard back in 2008. He has had several cups of coffee since but struggled to put his game together in the minors (5.58 ERA, 5.31 FIP in 36 starts over three seasons prior to this year).

From the fangraphs piece by Jack Moore on July 5:

Tillman appeared to figure something out in Triple-A this year, striking out over a batter per inning again after dropping to under 7.0 per nine innings in 2010 and 2011. According to StatCorner, he drew 11.4% swinging strikes after marks below 10% in both 2010 and 2011.

Just a look at the radar gun readings shows what happened: Tillman’s fastball is back. He touched 97.2 MPH in the ninth inning — twice — after averaging just 89.5 MPH on his fastball last season. Tillman averaged 95.0 MPH on the fastball Wednesday, and every pitch saw an uptick in velocity — the cutter up to 93.0 from 84.2, the curve up to 77.4 from 75.2, the changeup up to 83.2 from 78.7 (a massive 12 MPH difference from the fastball).

Hopefully, he'll give Consuela and Morneau a couple of belt-high fastballs each tonight.

*Diamond is in his age-25 season. At age 25, Koufax went 18-13 with a 3.52 ERA and led the NL with 269 Ks in 255 2/3 innings while earning his first A-S appearance. So, umm, yea, it could happen.

Game 60: Phillies 7, Twins 11

Padre covered for me - I'll pay it forward.

Big night offensively for both clubs as they combined for 31 hits. Blackburn gets the W and the Twins got 3 homeruns (Willingham, Span, Plouffe!). Revere, Doumit and Plouffe all went 3-5, Carroll 3-4 and Mauer 2-4 with a walk. Dozier was 0-5 but committed no errors.

JI JIM was 2-4 with 2 RBI.

Burton, Perk-n-play, and Capps all pitched clean innings after Dunce gave up 3 runs in the 6th (that mess was cleaned up by Burnett).

The Twins are now 7-3 in their last 10 and 6-1 at home since being swept by Detroit at the end of May.

Game #159: Twins 6, Indians 4

Twins record: 61-98
Fangraphs
MLB Game Wrap

I didn't watch a bit of this game today. I barely paid attention to it online. But, I was glad to see they won it in the extra frame. Obviously, my ideas and enthusiasm for recapping games this season were tapped out by the end of July. I would apologize to the WGOM Nation for that, but I don't think the Twins are going to be apologizing to me any time soon, so we'll all just have to live with it.

Without going into too many specific points or breakdowns, I will say that I am not at this time particularly optimistic about this organization's chances for success in the near-term going forward. I was on record (privately, but I know I told this to at least one Citizen) before the season as believing the Twins would definitely not win the division or make the playoffs. I didn't foresee a collapse this large, but I didn't foresee the injury disasters of this season, either. However, I don't believe the injuries alone account for the weaknesses of this roster's construction. I believed in March, and I still do, that this roster, even at full strength, was not as good as last year's team and not good enough to make the playoffs. I hope the organization takes some major steps this offseason to address turning the team back around. I'm not sure I have much faith in the current regime's ability to do that meaningfully and successfully, though. I hope they prove me wrong.

Since this is the last Sunday recap of the season, I tallied up my non-joke Hitter and Pitcher of the Week awards. I now present you with the Second Annual DK Hitters and Pitcher of the Season.

Co-Hitters: Jim Thome and Jason Kubel each were awarded weekly honors five times. It's hard to remember (for me, anyway), but for a couple of months before he got hurt and the Team MVP took over, Kubel basically was the Twins' entire offense. I think all but one of his awards came in April or May. Thome, meanwhile, is the sentimental and very deserving pick for reaching a career milestone in a Twins uniform.

Pitcher: Scott Baker was also named five times this season. This, too, may be hard to remember, since he was shelved by injury for almost the entire second half, but Light Rail was by far the best starting pitcher the Twins had, showing, I hope, those who doubt him that he really can be a very valuable piece of the rotation puzzle when he's healthy.

2011 Game 156 Recap: Twins 5, Gentleman Masher 3, Other Indians 3

Weather: 61 degrees, drizzle
Wind: 12 mph, L to R
Time: 2:52 (:27 delay)
Attendance: 36,807

Box Score
Fangraphs

By the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River (Non-flammable for Half a Century!™), the good people of Cleveland paid tribute tonight to Jim Thome. The Gentleman Masher rose to the occasion with a home run, a double, and an infield single, driving in half of the Tribe's runs for the night. I'm going to miss that guy. Oh, hell - I miss him already.

Like many games this season, the Twins could just as easily have won this one had they been able to coax a clutch hit with men in scoring position. The Twins left a team total of 11 runners on base, and left runners in scoring position in seven innings.

Despite that brain-rattling level of offensive impotence, the Twins managed to score five runs off Cleveland, four of them off starter Justin Masterson, who struggled with his command and didn't make it out of the fifth inning.

Chris Parmelee earned his coffee tonight by leading off the Twins' scoring in the top of the first, driving in Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe! with a roller up the middle that made it to the grass just in time. In his next at bat leading off the third inning, Parmelee jacked one into the right field seats and took a 360-foot stroll. Joe Benson added to the Twins' tally with a productive out, scoring Dinkleman on what would have been a double play if not for a throwing error by pivot man Jason Kipnis.

With the game tied 5-5 going to the home half of the ninth inning, Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire sent seven-million dollar man Matthew Dicus Capps to the mound to extend the game. Instead, he extended an invitation to mash a tater to pinch hitter Carlos Santana, who deposited said tuber over the fence in right center. Meanwhile, in the District of Columbia, young Wilson "League Minimum" Ramos has played in 109 games and booked 420 plate appearances. He's batting .267 with a 112 OPS+. Drew Butera is not.

2011 Game 149 Recap: Indians 7, Twins 6

Weather: 56 degrees, overcast
Wind: 14 mph, R to L
Time: 2:58
Attendance: 37,942

Box Score
Fangraphs

Yeah, it was just like old times. Jim Thome steps to the plate at Target Field and belts a solo shot, career home run #603. Only this time he was wearing an Indians uniform again, Joe Nathan was trying to keep the game even, and the home run made the difference between a potential come-from-behind Twins win and another Twins loss. So it goes.

Kevin Slowey had another poor outing for the Twins, going just four innings and giving up five runs on seven hits. But what the hell, this is the time of year when everything heads south, so we really shouldn't expect any different.

The one bright spot in the game for the Twins was Joe Benson, who damn near hit for the cycle and provided a good chunk of the team's offense, scoring three runs with a 4-for-4 night. Benson has doubled in four of his last five games, and six of his nine hits in the Majors have gone for extra bases. His four hits were the most for a Twins rookie since Danny Valencia did it last year.

2011 Game 121: DC 1001011000 258

600!

How many taters is that? Well, it's exactly twice the number of homers Chuck Klein hit in his career. It's 154 more than the next two active players, Vladimir Guerrero and Chipper Jones. It's 15 40-homer seasons. It's 1 more than the combined career totals of Lou Pinella, Honus Wagner, John Kruk, Lonnie Smith, Todd Hollandsworth, Chuck Knoblauch, Jason Tyner, Al Newman, and Don Sutton. It's 100 more than the combined totals of Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett. It's twelve bushels' worth, if you figure one homer is the equivalent of one pound of potatoes.

It's a whole lot of mashin', that's what.

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And now, this week's View from the Ballpark:

photo by Flickr user joyosity

photo by Flickr user joyosity

Remember, no embiggening.

2011 Game 121: Marisa Monday, Post _elm_n Edition

I just got this message from "ThaReal_elm_n":
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryAeNSzanKY

some rights reserved by GranniesKitchenThome Watch continues. Younger and wussier players around him continue to wilt in the August heat, but the Masher keeps on keeping on. The Tiggers have pretty much pwned the Twins for the last year, having won 12 out of their last 13 against our boys.

pitching matchup:
F-Bomb (tRA+: 92, FIP: 4.53, xFIP: 4.41, fWAR: 0.8, 97:66 K:BB in 117 innings)
Rick Porcello (tRA+: 108, FIP: 3.92, xFIP: 4.00, fWAR: 1.9, 76:30 K:BB in 126 innings)

The 22-year old Porcello is having a solid season. Amongst the mortal starters on the Tiger staff, he leads the way in pRAA at +4.8 (Verlander is at +33.0, tied for 7th in the Majors; he's third in pitching rWAR). But the real strength of this club is the offense, which weighs in at +43.2 bRAA and is 5th in the A.L. in runs per game at 4.44 (Twins are 12th at 3.87 -- behind Oakland, for goodness sake). So, tell me again why they wanted _elm_n???

Porcello is a ground-ball inducing righty. The Twins have a lefty-heavy lineup, with no _elm_n and a questionable Cuddy.