Tag Archives: Torii Hunter

Game 26: Oakland 7, Minnesota 8

I was running errands last night and turned this on to a 4-0 Athletics lead. Thought to myself, "Wowsers, Hughes must have had a rough couple of innings." Then the hometown club comes to bat and I'm wondering how they fared the first time through the order, seeing as how Dozier's up. He leads off the home half with a double and I'm like, "Awesome. One run at a time is how you get back into a game." Only to hear Provus indicate that this was, in fact, the first at-bat for the Twins. Nothing like an opposition grand slam in the first inning to deflate the feelings of optimism built up by taking it to the woeful White Sox.
I continued to listen as I was still in the car, between purchasing dog food, furnace filters, softener salt and weed & pest control (side note: don't like to use chemicals, but I don't have time to pull weeds for weeks and I don't find groundhog/gopher/mole traps to be all that efficient) and low and behold, the hometown nine managed to get the game back under control, scoring four runs to tie it up after two innings!

I then tuned out for a while (set up wasp/hornet trap, smoke bombed those damn rodent tunnels, filled water softener with salt & changed out furnace filter) and turned the game back on with Jordan Schafer up to bat in the bottom of the 8th and the boys up 8-6. Awesome! Schafer takes a walk which puts runners on 1st & 2nd with nobody out and Danny Santana up to bat. This was great - he shows bunt three times and Bassitt won't/can't accommodate the guy; throws four straight balls for Santana's first walk of the year to load the bases. I'm thinking, "Insurance runs would be sweet. I'll take 'em, but I don't think Perk will need 'em." Dozier then has a good at-bat but ends up striking out, and ii follows it with a double play ball to end the threat. I asked the guys if they thought he could've been safe if he'd run hard because the throw from 2nd was bounced to first, bobbled, dropped and picked up by Davis, all before ii even entered the frame. Beau's response,

"That may have been his top speed."

This was confirmed in the top of the 9th as he "hustled" to catch a Billy Butler fly ball to short right field.

He almost didn't get that. In his youth, he could've run there from center.

-spookymilk

Perkins then gave up a double high off the wall in center to Stephen Vogt (he of the first inning Grand Slam) which was only about 10 ft shy of tying the game. With the tying run at 2nd (Sam Fuld pinch-running), Perkins had a pretty good battle with Craig Gentry before striking him out on a nasty back-foot slider.

Everyone was fawning over ii because, admittedly, he hit the three run homer in the 6th to give the Twins the lead. However, I'll contend that Schafer was the player of the game. He had a great night: 3-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 runs scored and a diving catch to end an Oakland threat in the top of the 8th.

Also, after the rough start, Phil Hughes managed to get his first win of the season (1-4) by completing 6 innings, giving up 5 ER on 9 hits and 2 BB. Fear not, he didn't have a great start to last year either, and look how that turned out.

Heard last night that the boys have not won four games in a row to start May in 13 years. Let's hope they keep it up.

Game 22 Recap: Twins 12, White Sox 2

That was a nice surprise.

I hadn't given up on the game or anything, but going in, I thought that if the Twins won it would have to be a low-scoring game, 2-1 or 3-2.  Like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects to score nine runs off Chris Sale.  But the Twins did it, putting together a seven-run third inning helped by some poor White Sox defense and Brian Dozier's three-run homer.

Trevor May didn't pitch great, but he pitched well enough to get by.  He somehow managed to scatter ten hits and a walk so that only two runs scored on them in 5.2 innings.  He was helped by something else unexpected, good Twins defense.  This was especially true in the first inning, when a couple of White Sox runs could have changed the entire course of the game.  But Shane Robinson threw a runner out at the plate and Dozier made a good play on a ball that looked like a hit and the Sox were denied.

Joe Mauer got three more hits.  This raises his average to .318.  One of the hits was a double, so his slugging average is now up to .412.  His OBP is now .392.  None of those figures is as good as Mauer has been in his best years, but they're still good and they're moving in the right direction.  It appears that, when healthy, Joe Mauer is still good at baseball.

Torii Hunter got one hit.  This raises his average to .205.  His OBP is .244 and his slugging average .315.  Thos number are not good and they are not moving in the right direction.  Now, we're still only a month into the season.  It's only seventy-three at-bats.  Clearly, the Twins are not going to make any hasty decisions about him and I'm not suggesting that they should.  Still, those are number from someone who has batted in the middle or top of the order all season.  He's not the only one in the lineup who's been struggling, of course.  But he is the only one in the lineup who's going to turn forty this year.  Again, he's going to get more time to turn this around, and he should.  But if he doesn't have a May that's significantly better than his April, the Twins may have to make a decision that they don't want to make.

It was announced last night that May will stay in the rotation, and Tommy Milone will be the odd man out when Ricky Nolasco returns.  I don't really like that, but I can understand it.  It was going to be between Pelfrey, May, and Milone, and Milone has done the worst of the three so far.  My hesitancy about it is that I think Milone has a better future than Pelfrey and I'm not convinced that Pelfrey's improvement is real.  However, I can certainly see why Molitor wants to give Pelfrey a chance to prove that it is, and I can't say that's a bad decision.  That leaves it between May and Milone, and of the two, May deserves to stay in the rotation more than Milone does.  I suspect, however, that either injury or ineffectiveness will result in Milone being back in the rotation at some point during the season.

So tonight we try to make it two in a row.  Kyle Gibson, who has alternated good and bad starts this season, needs to break the pattern and make it two good starts in a row.  He's facing Jose Quintana, who has alternated good and bad starts and needs to keep the pattern intact and have a bad start.  We've started that season-ending one hundred-forty-one game winning streak!  We're still on track for 150-12!

Game 19: Tigers 5, Twins 4

Because the Twins signed you to be the OAFFOTF (once and future face of the franchise), all you really need to do to have a good night at the park is smile.

Because swinging for the fences when a hit to the outfield ties the game shows you're a leader.

Because your former team understands your value and therefore didn't make you an offer ... but your former, former, former team saw something that no one else saw: leadership.

More succinctly:

#VeteranLeader0-5hip

-Zack

Let's be honest, the real story tonight was the Tigers running themselves out of the game (Boyer being the lucky recipient), Joe Mauer hitting his 313th double to move past Kent Hrbek and into sole possession of third place on the Twins career list, the Twins defense playing solid and their offense putting together some decent at-bats and scoring a few runs to make things interesting in the bottom of the 9th. To be sure, Milone wasn't strong and Detroit jumped him early, but the boys kept playing and had a chance there at the end. Unfortunately, Danny Santana was asked to bunt and Dozier wasn't able to do anything against Soria either. ii with a chance to show us what for and failing miserably was just the proverbial icing on the cake.

Go Wild.