Monday, June 28, 2010

Senior Slide

Twins 2, Mets 5
Twins 6, Mets 0
Twins 0, Mets 6

The in-laws were in town this weekend, so I didn't get to take a close look at any of these games. They don't look to be too difficult to summarize, though. Other than the 1st inning against Johan Santana, the Twins didn't do any hitting with RISP. Other than Carl Pavano, the Twins' starting pitchers didn't execute their pitches in the middle innings, resulting in big crooked numbers and consecutive XBH. What else needs to be said?

The Mets have the 2nd best home record in the NL, so it would have been an upset had the Twins won the series. It's weird to look at the completed interleague schedule and find that the Twins finished just 8-10, though. With the 4 non-rival opponents so strong, the Twins really needed to take care of business against the Brewers, and that didn't happen.

Tonight, they begin a 3-game series against the Tigers, who find themselves just 0.5 games back in the standings. It's a must-win series for the Twins, and I think they'll be fine. I wish they'd done some shuffling with the rotation, though. Pavano has owned the Tigers in recent years and is almost a lock to keep the Twins in the game. He could have pitched on normal rest Friday and been set up to pitch the finale vs. Detroit on Wednesday. (And his shutout would have been enough for the Twins to win on Friday, while Slowey's 5-runs allowed still would have given the Twins an opportunity to win on Saturday.) Gardy wants to give Nick Blackburn one more chance to get his act together in this series, since he's performed so much better at Target Field this season. So, after Francisco Liriano goes tonight, they will be handing the balance of this critical series over to their 2 most inconsistent starters.

It looks as though we'll get our first look at the lineup with Michael Cuddyer at 3B, Jason Kubel in RF and Jim Thome at DH. Sounds like a lot of runs to me.

  • Delmon Young had been the Twins' most reliable run-producer in recent weeks, but went just 1-15 with 4 K over the last 4 games. The H was a 2-RBI 2B in the Twins' win. In the 3 losses he went 0-11, and the Twins scored just 2 R total.
  • Danny Valencia got a start on Sunday and went 1-3 with a walk, lifting his OBP to .360. He hasn't been a game-changer at 3B, but he's not embarrassing himself, either.
  • I've read some reports that the Mariners are interested in Wilson Ramos, Brian Duensing, and a low-level OF in exchange for Cliff Lee. I'd have an easier time parting with Duensing than Kevin Slowey for the long term, so that part suits me. If that unnamed OF is Brandon Roberts, sweet - do the deal. If it's someone higher up the prospect list, like Angel Morales or Joe Benson, then I'd hesitate. The Twins only have Cuddyer and Jason Kubel under contract through 2011, and Delmon Young under team control through 2012. They're going to need 2 new corner OF in the next 3 years, so I'd be loathe to give up anybody from A+ or above who projects to have a decent bat at those positions. Ben Revere has much less strategic value to the Twins' future than either of those guys, so I'd still prefer to see him included if that's what's needed to close the deal.

No comments: