The Twins have reached our goal (and by extension their) of finishin April at 500. This was challenging for three main reasons:
1) No Joe Mauer
2) We were one of two AL teams who faced all four of the 2008 playoff teams (White Sox, Rays, Red Sox, Angels)
3) We played against some teams who were really hot in April, but will fade back this summer (Toronto, Seattle)
So doing these things without Mauer is pretty impressive. Baker and Liriano have both gotten off to terrible starts,Baker in particular, so you can probably add that to the above list. If Mauer comes out swining, and Baker and Liriano revert to the pitchers we know they can be, we might be OK for this season. The key to this amazing 11-11 start has been the performance of Perkins, Span, Morneau and Kubel. Those four have really carried us. Note: They are all lefties, I am a lefty, thus I am awesome.
We face Sidney Ponson tonight, I’m assuming Mauer will be catching, and we get to miss Zach Grienke. All of these are good things. Hopefully Mauer can catch two of the games, but I’m not sure how that will look. It appears as if Kubel is entrenched in the DH spot, which is another good thing. This means that when Mauer rests, he will really be resting, not DHing.
A few thoughts on the last nights game. Blackburn looked excellent. He walked just one guy, got a lot of first pitch strikes (24 of 30 I believe), and induced many ground outs.
Who else thinks that Casilla has to be on a pretty short leash at this point? The way Harris is hitting the ball makes it tough to keep him out of the lineup more often than not. While Casilla is a better defender, and its nice to have the versatile Harris on the bench, we should have our nine best hitters in the lineup. At this point that includes Harris. If Casilla must start, he should not be batting second. Can you imagine if we had Span-Mauer-Morneau-Kubel. Our four best hitters in a row. I don’t care if the are all lefties. Casilla is going to be batting left handed most of the time anyway, but having our 4 best hitters in a row is better than any stupid R-L-R lineup construction anyday.
I’ve also been reading that the Twins might place Redmond on the DL retro-active to Sunday, thus delaying any roster decision for about 10 days. This is probably a good move, as Redmond probably has nagging injuries. If Gardy plans on easing Mauer into things, the backup catcher will be playing a lot more than normal for the next few weeks, and it might be best if Morales is getting those at bats over Redmond.
Here’s to a winning May. I will be in attendance tomorrow and I hope Mauer gets at least 3 hits off Ponson.16 comments