In this post I’ll highlight one team in the Twins’ organization: the AAA Rochester Red Wings. I’ll also talk about Game 1 of the World Series.

The Cardinals beat the Mets on Thursday thanks to a two-run ninth inning, advancing them to the World Series.

First, Game 1. I guess you could say it was over after the 3rd inning. The Cardinals had a runner on second with two outs when Chris Duncan doubled to score him. The next batter: Albert Pujols. He smoked it 330+ feet into right field for a homer. The Cards piled on 3 more runs in the 6th, with some help from third baseman of the Tigers, Brandon Inge. St. Louis had already scored a run when there were runners on second and third, thanks to Scott Rolen‘s ground-rule double. There were no outs in the inning, and the ball was hit to Inge. Instinctively, he threw it home. Unfortunately for him, his throw was wild, allowing lead runner Jim Edmonds to score. Rolen, now at third base, realizes he can score and starts chugging home, rounding third base very wide. Inge was standing in foul ground, but Rolen collided with him and fell down. The umpire almost immediately called interference on Inge, making Rolen’s run count. I personally didn’t agree with the call, because Rolen rounded the bag way too far out. But, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. I expect Inge to hit a couple home runs here to try and redeem himself.

Two cool notes about Game 1:

First time in World Series history that two rookies have started Game 1.

The Cardinals’ starter, Anthony Reyes, had 5 wins in the regular season; the lowest number of wins for any Game 1 starter, ever.
Alright, on to the Rochester Red Wings.

The best hitter for the Red Wings this year was Jason Tyner; he had a .329 batting average with 316 at bats this season. He played in a total of 80 games. Garrett Jones played in the most games out of all the players, 140, and hit .238. Garrett did, however, lead the team in home runs with 21. He also led the team with 32 doubles. Not surprisingly, he had 121 strikeouts; most on the team. He was tied however for the team led in walks with 49; Andres Torres also had 49, but in 24 less games. Garrett had 92 RBI; a staggering 47 more than anybody else on the team.  An interesting note about shortstop Donaldo Mendez: he played in 19 games, amassing only 29 at bats; but he hit 3 homers for a slugging percentage of .621.

On the pitching side, Pat Neshek was the only pitcher that pitched more than 50 innings and had more strikeouts than he did innings pitched (87-60). Pat, along with Matt Garza and Dennys Reyes, had a WHIP under 1.00 (.92 for Pat, .79 for Matt, and .78 for Dennys). Kyle Lohse also had a WHIP under 1, but he’s no longer with the team so I’m not counting him. Beau Kemp was probably the team’s best non-closer reliever. He had a 7-4 record, but a 2.32 ERA in 89 and 1/3 innings pitched. Somehow he only had 35 strikeouts all year. The best starter, as much as it pains me to say it, was Mike “Grease Mullet” Smith, who had that 1-game stint in the majors. He was 11-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 24 starts (and 4 relief appearances) and 150 and 2/3 innings. He had a 1.39 WHIP to go with 110 strikeouts and 57 walks.

The team was 79-64 and finished second in their division. They did advance to the playoffs but lost in the second round.

For some Twins news, Ron Gardenhire got a 2-year extension, allowing him to be manager through 2009.

My next post will be on Wednesday, so that I can cover tonight’s World Series game and Tuesday’s World Series game in the same post.