Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mayor's Cup Round 2

Listening to a belated feed of TRN - may not have time to go through all of it, but I'll balance out my thoughts with the official write-up if needed.

Bottom 1: Gomez seems to be really good at base running, stealing second off a lefty, then moving up to third on a ball in the dirt that didn't go too far from the catcher. Mauer worked a nice walk after falling behind 0-2. Young walks! Perhaps he's trying to take a strike: the walk was on four pitches. I didn't like Morneau's AB: bases loaded, no out, the pitcher has thrown 8 straight balls, yet he swings through a pitch under his hands, then grounds into a DP. Though a run scored, he really let Lester off the hook. If a pitcher is struggling that much with control, the batter has to take a strike, especially in the early innings.

Top 2: Keisler got off to nice start through the first 5 batters, then lost Lowrie in a 12-pitch AB after being ahead 1-2. Gave up an RBI double to Carter on an 0-2 pitch - must have missed his location. Walked Cash and Thurston on 10 pitches. Very similar outing to Slowey on Friday - lots of strikes early, then got burned after a long AB, and seemed to be physically and mentally fatigued afterwards. Blackburn came on and got Ellsbury on a FC to 2nd, then gave up a 2-run ground ball single to Alex Cora (outfield assist to Young getting Cora at 2nd). I wish I could have seen the defensive positioning of Lamb at third - I'm guessing he wasn't particularly close to the line. Unlucky.

Bottom 2: Nice AB by Lamb against a lefty, doubling into the LF corner on the 6th pitch. Macri drew a 7-pitch walk. Jones lucky to reach after he hit a DP ball to 1st that Casey threw away. Terrific AB by Casilla, coming back from 1-2 to draw a 9-pitch walk and chase Lester. Other than Morneau and Jones, the Twins did a great job of grinding Lester down. SF for Gomez after 2 huge hacks. Another walk for Mauer on 4 pitches. Young took 2 balls, then drilled an RBI single. Better approach by Morneau with the bases loaded this time, drawing a 4-pitch, RBI BB. Harris hits into a 5-4-3 DP on the first pitch. Sounded like he hit it hard, but, again, the pitcher had just thrown 10 out of 11 pitches out of the zone - what is he doing swinging at the first pitch?

Top 3-4: Nice outings from Blackburn & Rincon.

Bottom 3: More good ABs from Lamb (6-pitch BB) and Macri (lined to LF on the 6th pitch).

Bottom 4: Good day for Mauer (2BB and a single). Young finally came out hacking against Papelbon - and struck out. Morneau battled back from 0-2 to a full count before grounding sharply into a 4-6-3 DP. Bad ending to a good AB.

Bottom 5: Harris showed some patience this time and drew a walk. Lamb struck out swinging on a 2-2 count - still a pretty good day for him. Macri struck out swinging on a full count - still a pretty good day. Tolbert (running for Harris) stole second on the K, then scored on a 2-out knock from Jones.

Top 6: Duensing didn't have great control in the 5th, and he fell behind everybody in the 6th as well. He gave up a solid lead-off single, a long out to center, a 4-pitch walk, and then a sharp single off his leg. Carmen Cali came on with the bases loaded and 1 out, and walked in 2 runs on 10 pitches. Blecch.

Enough of this interminable, crappy game.

I see from the box score that Pridie and Tolbert picked up hits late. Pridie made a couple of nice catches in CF. Mulvey and Guerra gave up a ton of hits, but at least they didn't walk anybody.

According to Dan Gladden, Rick Anderson views every pitcher's first appearance of the spring as a "mulligan."

A lot of these guys had better hope that's true.

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