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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. 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 ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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 ...
  4. 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 ...
  5. 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 ...
  6. 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 ...
  7. 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), ...
  8. Defense! It Saved Two Jobs and Solidified One.

    If Brian Dozier played second base this year like he played shortstop last year, is there any chance he'd still be on the big league roster? If Chris Parmelee played right field with the proficiency of Ryan Doumit and (so far) Osvaldo Arcia, would he be in Minneapolis or Rochester (NY)? Finally, if Pedro Florimon played shortstop like he did last year and the first couple weeks of this year, would the fans be calling for Escobar, Carroll and Danny Santana?

    I think the answer to ...
  9. Black Holes--Part III

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    Aaron Hicks ranks fifteenth of fifteen center fielders in OPS. He started the season as the Twins' leadoff hitter and ...
  10. Black Holes--Part II

    I introduced my thoughts on the Twins' failings on offense and pointed out three players who are toward the bottom of the statistical pile--Brian Dozier, Chris Parmelee and Aaron Hicks. I profiled Dozier as a low-ceiling guy in a position of need and optimistically said that he is capable of a .675-.700 OPS, which would be good enough to keep his job going forward. Chris Parmelee is my next topic.

    Chris Parmelee was a #1 draft choice for the Twins in 2006. He progressed slowly ...
  11. The "Black Holes"--Part I

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  12. All the Right Moves?

    After a period of stability, the Twins have made a rash of moves. Many of the moves have been panned by the denizens of Twins Daily for being shortsighted, cheap, stupid or all of the above. Some are calling out the GM for saying the team was trying to compete when, in fact, they are rebuilding and focusing on next year or the year after.

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  13. 20 Games and Potential Logjams

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  14. A Really Bad Week

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    There haven't been many positive surprises and there have been disappointments throughout the roster. The #1 disappointment has to be Aaron Hicks, hitting a microscopic .057 with an OPS of .155. Vanimal ...
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