Saturday, June 5, 2010

Late night: Twins 5, Athletics 4 (11 innings)

Box score here. Game story here.

I may be overly inclined to find fault with Danny Valencia, but I was not pleased when he overran a foul popup by Kevin Kouzmanoff in the seventh inning. Kouzmanoff then hit a long two-run homer that made the score 4-3 and set up a game-tying homer the next inning, which forced the game into extra innings.

It was a long run to that foul pop, but Valencia got there. No error was charged on the play, but it probably should have been caught, and catching it definitely would have made the game much easier for the Twins.

Other comments:

  • Craig Breslow, cut loose by the Twins last year around this time in a fit of panic, struck out four for Oakland and now has an ERA of 2.55.
  • The TV boys were talking about how Denard Span and Justin Morneau need days off. But how that can happen when Michael Cuddyer, who is both the No. 2 center fielder and the No. 2 first baseman, is absent is a mystery to me.

From Peter Gammons' column in the Baseball America that arrived in my mail Friday:

Not only are the Twins 137 games over .500 since 2001, but their scouting staff has resisted attempts by bigger-market teams to raid them.

"It's practically impossible to get one of their scouts to leave," a big-market general manager said. "It's never about money — it's about the respect that (Terry) Ryan and (Mike) Radcliffe imparted, even when they were near the bottom of the standings."

That same issue includes a Jerry Crasnick column on how the Twins maintain, year after year, pitching staffs that avoid walks. And its regular Twins item tells how Bert Blyleven has helped fellow Dutchman Tom Stuifbergen, a pitching prospect with the Twins Low-A team in Beloit.

Good stuff.


Blog programming note: Tonight's Twins game is scheduled to start an hour earlier than has been the norm during this West Coast swing, so there's a very good chance we'll get some game coverage into the paper. If so, I won't do the late-night update.

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