Twins log: game 112

4 Aug

Random notes about the hometown nine taken during the Twins’ series opener against the punchless Seattle Mariners.

{-} A short review of Francisco Liriano’s return yesterday: It seems there are two prevailing thoughts about the start. The first camp says he was excellent, firing six scoreless innings and showing off that nasty slider that was so unhittable in ’06. In the second camp are my fellow statheads that point to the number of pitches he had to throw to get through six innings, the relatively low strikeout total, and, more than anything, his decreased velocity compared to the Liriano of two years past.

I find myself somewhere in between. It’s true that he didn’t blow hitters away, but I’m a hell of a lot more concerned with location and movement than I am velocity. The way his two-seamer was tailing, the way that slider dipped…that’s what matters. The only part of Liriano’s return that did concern me – and it really, really had me worried – was seeing his mechanics. They’re still not right. He’s flying open so aggressively with his front side, which naturally puts added stress on the elbow, that I’d bet a pile of cash his arm problems aren’t a thing of the past.

But until then, let’s enjoy the ride.

{-} Fun trivia: What Twins player did Dick Bremer compliment by saying, “In his own way, he’s been one of the most valuable Twins”?If you guessed Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, Baker or any players who are actually having decent seasons, you’d be wrong. The answer is Brendan Harris. Oh, I should have clarified: by “fun” I meant harmlessly idiotic.

{-} What is the public’s opinion on Telly Hughes? Right off the bat I liked him, but my associates are decidedly anti-Telly. So, who’s got the firmer grasp on the majority outlook? I’d like to try to mount some sort of logical defense of him, but I can’t put a finger on it. I like that he’s not annoying, I guess, and since he isn’t asked to give his opinion I rarely have to disagree with him and/or consider sending hate mail to the FSN offices. In short, I like Telly Hughes because he isn’t Ron Coomer.

{-} Am I allowed to nominate Ichiro as the league’s most overrated player? Guy’s got an .809 career OPS, for crying out loud. Which places him near such Hall-of-Fame shoo-ins such as Mike Lowell, Lyle Overbay and Raul Ibanez. And yes, I understand he gets a lot of hits, plays great defense, can steal bases and is rarely injured, but still. He has little power and never walks. He’s good, but nowhere near the top players in the league. Way overrated.

{-} Game update after three innings: Mike Lamb has two hits (!) and Little Nicky Punto has a solo homer (!!). Perhaps the only unsurprising development this game is Miguel Batista, who has been predictably terrible. How this guy still has a spot in the rotation, with a 6+ ERA, is beyond me. How about Ryan Feierabend, the 22-year-old hurler sporting a 1.91 ERA/.98 WHIP in triple-A? And here we were complaining about the Livan-Liriano situation. Mariners fans: you have my sympathy.

{-} Is it just me, or is Denard Span a perfect example of “black guy with the face of a white guy”? Adjust the pigment a bit, and he’d look identical to your white pothead friend from high school, presumably named Doug.

{-} The grand slam by Ibanez off Perkins in the 7th…I’m not necessarily saying he should have been taken out beforehand, but that being the 12th hit off him in just over 6 innings, it wasn’t exactly a surprise. I’m still not seeing anything out of Perkins that could hint at something better than a back-end starter. Decent stuff. Nothing overpowering.  Final line: 6.1 innings, 13 baserunners, 5 ER. 4.38 ERA on the season.

{-} With Livan mercifully out of the picture, I’m guessing the most painful part of the remainder of this season will be watching Brian Bass pitch in close games. Sure, Lopez’s game-tying knock was a bleeder that could’ve just as easily been a weak lineout, but I think I speak for all us fans when I say just the thought of him in these situations is painful. Lucky or unlucky, this ulcer isn’t going away until he does.

{-} With the game getting embarrassingly out of hand and the clock nearing midnight, I’m signing off and hopefully striking this game from my memory tout suite. I suggest you do the same.

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2 Responses to “Twins log: game 112”

  1. B. August 6, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    Note about previous post: Had to delete due to another hack job. Damn. Thanks for the warning, guys.

    I tell you, if this blog didn’t pay me such a huge salary, I’d quit.

  2. The Murph August 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    I bet it was Telly.

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