• Two (Bad) Innings Topple the Twins in Loss to Red Sox

    Sometimes a team needs just one bad inning to lose a ball game. The Twins had two (really) bad innings in a 10-2 loss to the cross-town Red Sox.

    Jason Marquis made the start for the Twins and struck out two in a scoreless first inning. He came back out for the second frame and things did not go well at all. Marquis gave up four runs on three hits, a couple of walks and three wild pitches. The pace of the game slowed dramatically that second inning.

    Jeff Manship came in and quickly recorded the final out of the 2nd inning. He pitched a quick third inning as well, although he did give up a long home run to former Twin David Ortiz, who was playing 1B for the Red Sox. Liam Hendriks pitched very well. He struck out three in two scoreless innings. Carlos Gutierrez came in and quickly struck out two in his inning.

    Then came the 7th inning. Deolis Guerra came in and really struggled. He fell behind most hitters and paid for it. He gave up five runs on four hits and a walk. Biggest hit was a 3-run homer off the bat of prospect Dan Butler. Brendan Wise came in and threw a perfect 8th inning. Tyler Robertson gave up a leadoff single but struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

    Offensively, the Twins managed seven hits. Joe Mauer had two of them, a solid single to left field on a fastball and a line drive single to right on a slow curveball. Denard Span was 1-2 with a walk. Josh Willingham was 1-1 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.

    The positive story of the game, in my mind, was the performance of righty Carlos Gutierrez. He must have taken manager Ron Gardenhire’s post scrimmage comments last Thursday to heart. Recall that Gutierrez walked three batters and then gave up a double before the inning was called of without recording a third out. In this appearance, Gutierrez was very aggressive. He threw hard, but he threw a lot of strikes. What he found was that the movement and velocity on his pitches made the ball hard to hit. He struck out two batters and just looked incredibly impressive.


    (photo courtesy Jim Crikket)

    Other highlights including the pitching of Australians Liam Hendriks and Brendan Wise. Hendriks is the Twins top pitching prospect. We saw him in September last year. He showed good control and movement on his pitches. Brendan Wise is a 26-year-old minor league free agent who is yet to reach the major leagues. He profiles similarly to Kyle Waldrop in that he is a ground ball machine. We saw that tonight with two weak groundballs. I hope he is given a legitimate opportunity to make the Twins roster in 2012 after posting ERAs of 2.08 and 1.90 the last two seasons with the Tigers’ AAA affiliate in Toledo.

    The Twins will return to the field at noon on Tuesday.
    This article was originally published in blog: Two (Bad) Innings Topple the Twins in Loss to Red Sox started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Jason Marquis was real impressive last night!! The Twins have the worst pitching staff and bullpen in MLB. He was brought here because the front office was too CHEAP to sign anybody good. Wake up people the Pohlad family has decided to turn its back on the real fans who support the club. Target Field will be like a ghost town soon if management does not do something to fix this mess. Another 95 loss season blamed on injuries and young players. Sometimes the truth can be painful but it's still the truth.
    1. wiscolorado's Avatar
      wiscolorado -
      One bad inning by Marquis, presumably the 4th or 5th starter, and one bad inning by a guy who will likely be in the minors this season, and FJ can safely say that the Twins with the worst pitching staff in the majors? I don't think any Twins fan will say that this team has the makings of a World Series contender, but I'd prefer to let this play out for at least spring traning before making judgments.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Terry Ryan is a joke! To give Marquis a guaranteed deal and to give up a Supplemental 1st rd pick for Crapps makes him look like the laughingstock of MLB. I can't wait to see other gm's fleece him in trades this summer while he tries to acquire "nice guys".

      This team is doomed unless they bring in a gm that understands sabermetrics instead of focusing on character.

      Seth: I love your podcasts but you are becoming too much of a homer and are losing touch with reality. This team will never again reach 80 wins with the inept Terry Ryan in charge!!!!
    1. Gernzy's Avatar
      Gernzy -
      One bad SPRING TRAINING game and all the haters come out. And you call yourselves Twins fans...
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      It wasn't just that Marquis had a bad inning. It was that he was slower than molasses in doing so. The early pace of the game was horrendous. I'd like to attribute that to early Spring Training but apparently he always works slowly -- as we've seen in the past, that tends to have a very negative effect on Twins fielding.

      Was impressed with Hendriks, Guiterrez and even Manship but I hope that Gardenhire has scheduled still more additional extra work on fielding because the defense did not impress.

      I was disappointed that we didn't get a chance to see Valencia - Carroll - Caseilla but know I'll get to see them one of these days. And it was nice to see Morneau looking pretty confident.

      The only thing I think you can really take away from this game is that there is an awful lot of work left to do ... and I'm not sure that there are enough days left in ST to get it all done.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Can you imagine Marquis taking 35 seconds between pitches on a 48 degree night in late April with the Twins down 6-0 in the 2nd inning?? The crowd is going to turn on this guy in a hurry. If you are going to suck at least do it like Nick Blackburn does. He's horrible but moves the game along.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Catching my breath now after chuckling over Fanatic Jack's latest hyberbolic garbage. Game 4 of fake games, and the boy musters up all that wisdom of his and declares this the worst pitching staff in all of MLB. C'mon Jack! Make it all teams anywhere in all of the entire history of the entire world.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      "Seth: I love your podcasts but you are becoming too much of a homer and are losing touch with reality. This team will never again reach 80 wins with the inept Terry Ryan in charge!!!!"

      OK.
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Twinswon1991,

      I completely disagree with you about Seth Stohs being a homer. He is an optimistic person in a world of opinionated and negative bloggers (Like myself). There is nothing wrong with seeing the positive in everything. If you want to listen to homers turn on the television when the Twins are playing. Bremer and Blyleven are downright nauseating. Everything happened last year because of injuries. These two epitomize the definition of being a homer. It sure as heck is not Seth for being enthusiastic and creating positive energy regarding the Twins 2012 season and beyond.
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      Twinswon1991, if Terry Ryan is so inept, how did he manage to build a team that dominated the AL Central for most of the 2000's, winning under 80 games exactly twice in the last 11 years?
    1. ltwedt's Avatar
      ltwedt -
      Geez - relax people - it's Spring Training!

      OK - So here is my problem with Drew Butera as the 3rd catcher-

      Traditionally you get your power numbers from the outfield corners, the infield corners and the catcher.

      Consider this:

      Late in the game, Twins down and need a boost - you look down the bench for a hitter, and who is there? Luke Hughes - maybe a 12-15 homer per season guy, Tsuyoshi Nishioka - maybe a 1-2 homer per season guy, and Drew Butera!!!!! Maybe a 0 homer, .177 BA, .190 OBP guy! We just have to stop giving up the power positions for Gardy's irrational fear of being withpout a DH. Or, at least carry someone who can hit their weight!

      BTW - Love your podcasts!
    1. JacksonvilleJack's Avatar
      JacksonvilleJack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack View Post
      Jason Marquis was real impressive last night!! The Twins have the worst pitching staff and bullpen in MLB. He was brought here because the front office was too CHEAP to sign anybody good. Wake up people the Pohlad family has decided to turn its back on the real fans who support the club. Target Field will be like a ghost town soon if management does not do something to fix this mess. Another 95 loss season blamed on injuries and young players. Sometimes the truth can be painful but it's still the truth.
      I spend a lot of time watching the various Teams down here in Fla. The first outing and for that matter most of the early Spring outings for veteran pitchers mean nothing! You have no idea what these guys are working on. For example there are guys that go out with sole purpose of spotting specific pitches. After 10-12 years in the bigs they don't care about the score of a meaningless ST game. Only fans with "Cabin Fever" do! I've watched the best pitchers in the game go in and work on their change and it gets taken yard by some AA guy that may never sniff the show. They don't care! They are working on speciifc things not blowing some stiff off the plate with their 3-best pitches. REMEMBER these games aren't REAL! It could be that Marquis will suck in the A.L. but we won't know that for 3-months. However, I do agree with the other posters that he is SO Slow. He could get away with that in the N.L. because he can flat out rake at the plate, but one of my favorite sayings from playing and coaching this game does apply here: "If you are going to be ineffective, at least be quick about it!"
    1. gil4's Avatar
      gil4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ltwedt View Post
      We just have to stop giving up the power positions for Gardy's irrational fear of being withpout a DH. Or, at least carry someone who can hit their weight!

      I agree. With two catchers, your pitchers might get 10 AB's per season. Running Butera out there every 4 days is like giving your pitchers 160 AB per season. (Last year - 254 PA, .167 BA, .449 OPS - the pitcher would have to work hard to be worse than that.)
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Watching the game (or at least kind of watching the game) I didn't think Marquis was the problem. He was getting ground balls, at least early in the inning, which is what he is supposed to do. The fielding was bad. That ball down the line was catchable. Dozier really looked limited on the ball that went by him - so limited I wondered if he was hurt. They ran successfully on Mauer. There was that throw from Morneau to Dozier later than went into left field. And of course Doumit failing to get a simple ground ball.

      I thought MArquis was the least of the problems.
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