Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twins 3, A's 2, 10 innings (Tuesday bounceback)

AP game story here.

Box score here.

A deceptively good start for Anthony Swarzak. Four hits and two runs in seven innings — not bad. But the three walks (to just four strikeouts) isn't strong, and he wasn't consistently working ahead of hitters. The A's, despite their 14 runs on Monday, are a weak offensive club, and they made Swarzak look better than he pitched.

Joe Mauer banged out a pair of hits and scored the winning run.

Matt Guerrier was stellar in relief for the win. And after throwing 33 pitches Tuesday, I doubt Oakland's closer, Andrew Bailey, will be available for this afternoon's game.

The Twins had more chances than did the A's and barely took enough advantage. Minnesota was just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. But the Twins had the only extra-base hits (a double and two triples), all of which figured in the scoring.


I critiqued Gardenhire's bullpen choices in some detail after the Monday fiasco. The game notes in the AP story linked to above noted that Brian Duensing and Bobby Keppel were unavailable on Tuesday.

No kidding.


I spent much of the game driving back from Wisconsin listening to the radio and wishing I could take notes on John Gordon's slip-ups and nonsense.

Example: He was talking at one point about how difficult outfielders find the Oakland stadium. He mentioned the wind and the lack of clouds (high sky). Then he said: The bright sunshine is also a problem, especially during day games. Yeah. When the sun is a problem during night games, Gordo, we have a story.

Then there was his confusion between Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden and first baseman Daric Barton. I found myself wishing Oakland had somebody named Burton just to make it a complete mess. At one point Gordon had Barton pitching "14 quality saves this season." He mean Braden and quality starts.

Gordon's never really good, but he's far more mistake prone in day games after night games. Like Wednesday.


Before I leave, here's an excellent breakdown (from Circling the Bases' Matthew Pouliot) of why umpire Mike Muchlinski blew the call at the plate for the last out of Monday's game.

Having brought up the topic again, I should say that that play wasn't the reason the Twins lost. If Cuddyer is called safe, of course, the game's tied, and maybe the Twins don't lose. But that game was lost because Nick Blackburn, Duensing and Keppel couldn't get outs. The Cuddyer play shouldn't have mattered.

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