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Reflection on the first Twins' game in 2013.

I DVRed the game yesterday and watched most of it last night. While I didn't see some key events, I heard about them on the radio.

The Twins had a chance to beat the Tigers but came up short in key at-bats. They also were hurt by bases advanced by the plodding Tigers.

What went right: 1) Worley outlasted Verlander. Even though he was the losing pitcher he managed to go six innings and reached the threshold for a "Quality Start". 2) Fien struck out the side in the seventh and it was the heart of the order. 3) The offensive approach allowed the Twins to only face Verlander for five innings. 4) Worley had the Tigers hitting the ball on the ground recording something like 15 ground ball outs, including one outstanding play from Florimon.

What went wrong: 1) Four Twins came up in a game situation and only one (Doumit) brought in a run. Plouffe and Parmelee had a great chance to knot the game or put the Twins ahead in the 7th inning and failed. 2) Duensing and Roenicke combined to yield a key insurance run in the 8th, after the Twins had closed to within one run. 3) Defensive misplays and failure to make plays cost the Twins dearly--a) Peralta was a dead duck with a good throw and tag, Mauer's throw tailed and Florimon failed to catch the ball. b) Two wild pitches allowed runners to advanced and each scored as a result of that. Mauer blocked a low pitch, but couldn't locate it (I still haven't seen Roenicke's WP) c) Florimon booted a fairly routine grounder and Dozier might have left too early on Torii's hit and run roller in the first inning. d) Worley allowed too many baserunners, which put pressure on the defense and never allowed Vanimal to get in rhythm.

  1. Thoughts on 10 Position Players--continued

    After a bit of a hiatus, here is the completion of my blog:

    6) Josmil Pinto--I was glad that Pinto made the club. Along with Arcia and Hicks, these guys are the start of a new infusion of talent that could and should make the Twins contenders again. It looks to me like Pinto can hit--he's advanced from Class A in the last two years and has shown that he gets it. His defense seems to be lagging, but he has the tools and the work ethic to become a decent receiver. Pinto has some ...
  2. Thoughts on 10 Position Players

    Unless the Twins make a waiver claim, their roster is set for the start of the 2014 season. Several players have been hot topics here on Twins Daily. I will offer my takes on 10 players and hope that they stimulate some conversation.

    1) Joe Mauer--Now the Twins regular first baseman and unquestioned best player. Mauer is the biggest certainty on the team. He will hit and he won't say anything controversial. Joe still needs to learn a little about first base, he has struggled ...
  3. 10 Opinions

    1) All baseball fans that have the capacity to visit Spring Training should do so. Hope springs eternal, but more than that, fans can watch drills and minor league games and scrimmages. At Fort Myers, we can sit next to minor league prospects, scouts, and knowledgeable fans. In past years, TR was on the premises and talked with fans sharing much more than makes the papers. It is great to watch both the top prospects and the most anonymous players. Autographs are fairly easy to get and the atmosphere ...
  4. 10 Opinions

    1) All baseball fans that have the capacity to visit Spring Training should do so. Hope springs eternal, but more than that, fans can watch drills and minor league games and scrimmages. At Fort Myers, we can sit next to minor league prospects, scouts, and knowledgeable fans. In past years, TR was on the premises and talked with fans sharing much more than makes the papers. It is great to watch both the top prospects and the most anonymous players. Autographs are fairly easy to get and the atmosphere ...
  5. A Nice Week in Fort Myers

    I have been in Fort Myers since last Tuesday. I have seen four Twins games and a large amount of minor league games plus a full allotment of drills and BP. Today was the first day when the weather was subpar, and coming from the frozen north, the sunshine and warmth were much appreciated.

    The major league talent held few surprises. The Twins will field a team of position players who, as a group, are weak-hitting, lack power and speed, and aren't that good defensively. The pitching ...
  6. Stasis

    In most science fiction shows I have seen, somebody is in stasis (I hope I spelled it right and I am using it correctly). That means that the person or creature in question is in an unchanged state as time goes by.

    It is my opinion that the Twins basically spent 2013 in stasis. I expected at the start of 2013 the Twins would move some veterans, find out about some prospective regulars and start in the development of a starting rotation. None of that happened. almost all of what ...
  7. Meh on Gardenhire

    I could call it mixed feelings, I could call it being worn down by all the bad news from my favorite team, or maybe it is that I don't think it will make much difference whether Ron Gardenhire was retained. I can't get too worked up about the move. I heard the news and didn't respond. Maybe I'm numb.

    About 10 hours later, though, I'm starting to think about the whole process. What did Gardy do to get two more years? In my humble opinion, there was more justification to extend ...
  8. My First Projection of the 2014 Twins

    The Twins will finish their third straight losing season late this month. In a year where I expected they would not contend, they haven't but more to the point they have had precious few players step up and establish themselves. All true-blue Twins fans know that there is impressive talent on it's way to Minnesota, especially among the position players. What was needed this year was to have some of the current roster establish itself for the second half of the decade. With the exception of second ...
  9. September Call Ups from Rochester

    The Twins put three minor league teams in the playoffs and have seen them all falter. Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers both were defeated 2-0 and Rochester trails 2-1 in a best of five series. The Red Wings will need to win two straight at Pawtucket to advance in the International League playoffs.

    When the Red Wings are eliminated, the Twins will call up a few of their players. Depending on injuries, that number could be as low as three or as high as five or six. My guess is that ...
  10. Fire 'em All!

    I haven't paid close attention to the Twins for the past couple of weeks. I was on the road last (long) weekend and have played golf in the warm weather every night. I caught part of the game yesterday and followed along as the Twins were swept today. My frustration level with the product on the field has reached new highs. I checked out the numbers for all of the players and besides the disabled Mauer, no one is an even average hitter for their position. Yesterday was a sloppy defensive game ...
  11. The Best News for the 2013 Minnesota Twins

    The Twins started 2013 with many question marks. The entire starting rotation was questioned (rightly), and new starters were introduced at 2B, SS, 3B, and RF. Center field was to be manned by a rookie who hadn't played above AA and several new arms were being deployed in the bullpen.

    The established players were Willingham, Morneau, and Mauer, with DH and backup catcher being handled by veteran Ryan Doumit.

    While not much was expected, the goal was to see some ...
  12. A Nice Day at Target Field

    My best friend from high school and me stay in touch but seldom see each other. We decided we would attend a game sometime this summer and he called me last week telling me that he had tickets given to him to see the Astros--yes! The Astros--today. We met and had lunch and then attended the game. The weather was pleasant (mid 70s and mostly cloudy) and the Twins should certainly have had a chance since they were playing the worst team in mlb.

    The Twins did prevail 3-2 and the ...
  13. Rebuild a contender

    All pretense that the Twins can or would contend in 2013 is gone, the product of a couple of bad losing streaks and the lack of competitive starting pitching. The club needs to focus on 2014 and beyond. Much speculation has been posted on Twins Daily about deadline deals and I'm sure that will continue even past the non-waiver deadline. Selling off veterans would have many effects: 1) It will make the team worse on the field immediately 2) it will give rookies and non-veterans a chance to show ...
  14. Thoughts and Players to Watch

    The Twins have played the fewest games in the AL (along with the White Sox) and after 66 games, they are about what I thought they would be at this point: They are in fourth in their division and are within sight of everyone but Detroit. Big picture: Fine with me, I want to see this team sell at the trade deadline, but I don't want them to be dreadful.

    What is not fine with me is that the players I want the Twins to sell just aren't performing that well. Doumit (.288/.405/.692), ...
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