Saturday, August 22, 2009

Notes and comment

A rather self-destructive win for the Twins Friday: Yeah, any win helps — and Nick Blackburn may have righted his ship — but 53 pitches from Joe Nathan is not good.

*One reason the Detroit Tigers enter Saturday with a 3.5 game lead in the AL Central — they can win pitchers duels. The Tigers have 13 wins when scoring three runs or less, the most recent being Friday's 3-2 win over Oakland. (The Twins have nine.)

* The long awaited sale of the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts family is virtually complete. The biggest hurdle now might be the fact that the Tribune Company, which is selling the team and ball park, is in bankruptcy.

* Dumb idea connected with the sale: A Tribune writer suggests that one of the first things the Ricketts should do is lower beer prices at Wrigley. Uh, no. They have too many problems with drunks there now.

* Cliff Lee career ERA pitching in the American League: 4.01. ERA since being traded to the Phillies: 0.82.

* Speaking of pitchers fleeing the Big Boy League for the Quadruple A National League: John Smoltz, released by the Boston Red Sox, signed this week with the St. Louis Cardinals, who will deploy him in the starting rotation.

If there's any place the aging Smoltz can regain his Hall-of-Fame form, it would figure to the St. Louis; Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan have quite the track record with seemingly washed up pitchers. I still think he's best suited for relief work.

*What is it with the Twins and inner ear infections this season? First Denard Span, now Justin Morneau and even third base coach Scott Ullger.

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