Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Twins 3 White Sox 1

Huge win today.  Nothing like breaking a mini-slump by beating the team that is in first place.  Boof looked good tonight. He kept his pitch count under control, I was shocked when the count was only in the 70s and it was the 6th inning.  Some of his outs were really loud, but he made them miss a lot: 8 ks.  People have been knocking Boof, and I’m not sure why. He’s had a few bad starts, but I think he is much better than he was in 2007. He just needs to be consistent and I will be happy. I’m not expecting him to be an ace or anything, but a lower than average era and just keeping the team in the game would be great.  That being said, I wouldn’t be opposed to him becoming an ace.  Reyes looked pretty questionable, but Young made a nice (dare I say great) play in left, (I’m still not really sure how he caught the ball) and a heads up throw to the cutoff man (are you listening Gomez, to the cutoff man, not past him) who then nailed Swisher at first, by quite a bit. Nathan was Nathan and looked very good.

The bats had one good inning. If I recall, we also had some loud outs. Mauer stung the ball really well in his second or third at bat but it was right at Swisher, and Kubel did the same late in the game. I’m glad to see Mauer hitting the ball like the Mauer of old again. That was a nice triple in the first (I blame Swisher for the extra base more than I credit Mauer, but who cares).  There was a decent article in the Star Tribune today about Mauer hitting for power versus average. If he wants to hit lots of jacks, he is going to have to change that pretty inside out swing of his, which will result in lower average. I don’t want that. I will take high average, high OBP, and lots of doubles. I think Morneau and Kubel can provide the deep ball from the left side with Cuddyer, and Young (hopefully) providing power from the right side. I was surprised to see that Kuble is only hitting 247 on the year. I was under the impression that he was tearing it up, but I think he has had lots of big hits, but  has had few multi hit games. Which is something you need to do to raise your average and keep it high. Especially early on.

On a different note, has anyone else noticed how gimicky Twins games are?  Its been a while since I’ve been to another stadium, but it seems like in between every inning there is some sponsored contest or give away. Its almost like the Saints or something. I went to a Cubs game and a White sox game and I don’t recall seeing that much crap between innings. Especially at the Cubs game. My guess is the Twins, due to the dome, are much more desperate to get people in the seats so they need promo crap.  I had never really noticed it, until my buddy who I was with who grew up going to games at Camden in Baltimore, pointed it out.  I really hope it goes away when the Team moves to the new stadium and will be able to get fans to the stadium just to see a game and enjoy (or hide from) the weather. Not because they will have a chance to win a Mystic Lake prize package, or Treasure Island or whatever.

13 comments

13 Comments so far

  1. sirsean April 30th, 2008 8:06 am

    Kubel hasn’t been hitting as well as I’d like to see, and his line drive percentage is down to 14.3% (from 22.1% last year). Consequently, his .260 BABIP isn’t that far off line. I’d like to see him improve both of those numbers, of course, and if he does his average (and slugging percentage) should both start climbing nicely. But when he does connect — oh boy, it looks good.

    And I’d be fine with Mauer’s lack of power and high average and OBP if he were hitting higher in the order, maybe at 1 or 2 … but the 3 hitter is supposed to generate a little power; it was a little okay two years ago when we didn’t have any power in the lineup to speak of, but now with Morneau/Kubel/Cuddyer/Young behind him — and even Lamb/Harris/Monroe able to put the ball out of the park — Mauer shouldn’t be hitting third and should just be on base for those guys. Dead horse.

    I think the Dome needs all that promo crap because it’s all sponsored and they need to get a bit more money from the stadium. They’re doing what they can … and it’s annoying. But at other stadiums they don’t need to do that because they actually get paid when you go to the concession stand and buy a hot dog and a beer. The Twins get no money from that at the Dome because of their crappy lease. I’m hoping that means it’ll go away with the new stadium where the Twins will get all the money from the concessions sales … but maybe Minnesotans are used to that crap (as you said — the Saints do it). That would be pretty irritating.

    Although I will say I love the mascot game. TC should be on the team.

  2. UncleBumpa April 30th, 2008 8:23 am

    Some promos are entertaining, but some of them are really poor. The game I was at last week, in the dome, some schmuck won a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free dinner at a casino! I bet that’s worth a dollar.

    Boof was very effective last night. TV announcer Ron Coomer pointed out the fact that when he was missing the strike zone, he was missing LOW. So when the mighty Whiteys were swinging, they were pounding the ball into the dirt. Is that related to the catcher? Does Mauer need to call for more low pitches? Is he reluctant to do that because a pitch in the dirt is much more difficult for the catcher to handle than a pitch that’s belt-high?

  3. sirsean April 30th, 2008 8:27 am

    Missing low is all on the pitcher. The converse is missing HIGH, which means hanging breaking ball at or above the belt — when a pitcher’s doing that, it means he doesn’t have his stuff and the other team is going to hit it over the fence (if the other team isn’t the Twins, of course).

    When a pitcher misses low, it means he’s got his stuff working and he’ll be tough to hit. So it was good to see Boof doing that last night. His one miss high was to his second-to-last batter, who just so happened to hit it out of the park.

    By the way, before last night’s game, Boof was 1-4. He had gotten a total of 4 runs of support in his 4 losses, and all of 2 runs in his 1 win. I don’t care how well you pitch, that’s not enough run support to win games. (Unless you’re Walter Johnson.) So it was nice to see us put up all of THREE RUNS yesterday for the (shrinking) big guy.

  4. UncleBumpa April 30th, 2008 8:56 am

    But the catcher has to be part of the process of missing hi/low. If he recognizes that the pitch he called for came in 6 inches higher than it was s’posed to, he ought to be setting the target 4 inches lower next time. He can’t just keep doing the same thing, and wondering why the ball get’s caught by the fan in the center field bleachers.

  5. sirsean April 30th, 2008 9:01 am

    But it has to do — in this case — solely with the ability of the pitcher to execute the throws. Both the pitcher and the catcher know that they want to hit the spot exactly, and barring that to miss low. If the pitcher doesn’t have a handle on his stuff — or is getting tired — it won’t help if the catcher lowers his glove a few more inches. The pitcher will still leave it high.

  6. sirsean April 30th, 2008 9:50 am

    Take this quote from Dusty Baker about the young phenom Johnny Cueto’s recent bad outing:

    “He was getting the ball over the heart of the plate and up,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “His change-up was up. He’d get two strikes on guys and throw a fastball over the heart of the plate. He was throwing well. He just wasn’t locating well.”

    It’s not that the catcher was calling high changeups. And it wouldn’t have helped if the catcher had lowered his glove a few inches. The pitcher just couldn’t locate his pitches properly, and as a result he got shelled.

    The catcher calls the pitch and gives a spot. He has no control over whether the pitcher actually hits that spot. (Other than going out to talk to him and say something along the lines of “Hit the spot.”)

  7. bahhhh May 1st, 2008 10:19 pm

    The WhiteSox have plenty of gimmicks, though the favorite is the one where you try not to get jumped by the father/son meth-heads.

  8. sirsean May 2nd, 2008 7:49 am

    Haha, good one.

    Another fun game is trying to avoid getting killed on the way out of the stadium after the White Sox just lost and all the drunken Chicagoans are out for blood.

  9. IowaWigman May 2nd, 2008 12:20 pm

    Unrelated to this topic, but I’d like to get some thoughts on Gardy’s quotes in this article about Liriano: Liriano

  10. IowaWigman May 2nd, 2008 12:23 pm

    To expand on that article, one thing I find troubling is Gardy keeps talking about it being a learning experience for Liriano and that it was an eye opener. That’s fine, but didn’t Gardy basically say prior to calling up Liriano that he would definitely pitch better in The Show because it is just a different level than the minors?

    I feel like this should be a learning experience for Gardy as well. That angle was not mentioned in the story and from Gardy’s quotes, I doubt he’s learned anything.

    Am I reaching on this? Am I making any sense?

  11. zmoney11 May 2nd, 2008 2:11 pm

    The twins are corporate whores, but they do need to bring back the big milk jug. That is all.

  12. sirsean May 5th, 2008 7:59 am

    I doubt Gardy was just making stuff up. My impression was that all the reports he was getting said that Liriano was looking good, and that he was throwing 97 MPH fastballs and ripping off good sliders and had great command. And it makes sense that he’d pitch better at the major league level given his competitive nature — as long as he had his stuff working.

    I think the problem was (and probably still is) that the lines of communication between Liriano and the Twins are broken in some fundamental way. If Gardy had known the truth about Liriano’s progress, I don’t think he’d have been so cavalier about throwing him onto the mound.

    Through all of this, I think the most disheartening statement is that Liriano may have NEEDED to get blown off the mound in the majors just to show him that he does indeed need time in the minors. It worries me that he’d be so unwilling to do what the organization tells him — namely, get your command back in the minors before we risk REAL games in the majors.

  13. UncleBumpa May 5th, 2008 12:36 pm

    It’s pretty easy to see how Liriano could be over-confident and feel self-important. He’s undisciplined, and that hasn’t been a problem in the past. He still needs to learn that there are consequences for gainig 20 pounds during the off-season, walking thru the drills, and half-listening to coaches.

    He was assuming that the natural ability he had two years ago would never fade. Let’s see if he can learn how to work hard, pay atention to coaches, and get close to the level he was at.

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