Joe Mauer has been placed on the 15-day DL with a left quad strain. It’s been hurting him all season but there has been no soreness until this weekend. Apparently there’s a “lump” and some bleeding in the area, so that plus the soreness is what prompted the move to the DL. The Twins are hoping he can come back within that 15 day period, but don’t be surprised if he’s out 4-6 weeks. It’s a huge blow to a lineup that has so little pop that if our pitcher has a quality start, we’d lose 80 out of 100 games. Chris Heintz was called up to give the team a backup catcher, even though Jose Morales is a switch-hitting catcher tearing up AAA right now.
Also, in yesterday’s post I said that the Twins play at Chicago and Detroit; that was an error as we’re home against both of those teams.
Well, “Sir” Sidney Ponson certainly didn’t pitch like a knight, giving up 4 runs (only 3 earned, although he made the error to make the 4th run unearned) in 5 and 1/3 innings pitched. He walked 4 and struck out 5. It just makes you wonder..his ERA this season is 6.42, and I know there are pitchers at AAA that could do that while getting great experience, AND get paid less than $1 mil.
The big hit came from Jason Tyner, even though it was a 2-run single. The Twins outhit the Red Sox by 1, but all 10 of our hits were singles; they had 3 doubles and 6 singles.
We had chances, though. Luis Rodriguez, Torii Hunter, and Nick Punto each left a guy in scoring position with 2 outs. Justin Morneau left 2. Speaking of Hunter, after going 2-for-4 yesterday, his average is up to .345. But, he credits none other than Joe Mauer: (from Jim Souhan’s article in the Strib)
The longer Hunter talked, the most specific he became. “I tell you what, I’ve watched Joe Mauer, his approach at the plate, and I think it’s helped me, because he’s so calm and I’m so aggressive,” Hunter said. “I mean, I’ll always be aggressive, I can’t be like him, but I saw something that I can take from him.
He seems to be waiting for his pitch instead of swinging at the first one and it’s working. Now that the Twins are Joeless, let’s hope Torii can keep it up.
There is no game today; hopefully it’s been enough rest for the team to wake up their bats against division rivals.