If Pat Neshek still wants to be in the All-Star Game, he might want a re-do against Hideki Matsui. After a lead to start the game, a struggle to get the game tied again, and good relief pitching, Neshek came in to pitch the 8th. He made the first two batters he faced look flat-out ridiculous, both of them striking out swinging. He walked Derek Jeter and then Matsui lifted a bomb to right field to put the Yankees ahead. As it turns out, Pat finished 3rd in the voting but still has a chance to make it as an injury replacement.

 

Kevin Slowey got the no decision, lasting just 3 and 2/3 innings. He threw 91 pitches, 60 of them for strikes. At one point he had thrown 41 strikes with only 17 balls. After that he threw 19 strikes and 14 balls, a very close margin for him. He allowed a staggering 8 hits and 5 runs while walking 2 and striking out 2. There was just one inning in which he faltered, but it went from acceptable to downright terrible. He recorded two outs after the first two batters in the 2nd, then gave up a homer, a wild pitch, a double, another double, a walk, a 3-run homer, and a single before striking out the last batter of the inning. Unfortunately for him, the Twins had seen enough and after the game sent him down to AAA. He clearly struggled up here, posting a 5.84 ERA in 7 starts. Sure he was undefeated, but I hope that helps some readers out there understand why a pitcher’s W/L record is overvalued. Obviously Kevin did not pitch well, allowing an amazing 13 home runs in just 37 innings pitched. That averages out to 70 dingers given up in a 200-inning season. He also walked 9 and struck out 19 in his 37 innings, not like his career minor league numbers of 35 walks and 292 strikeouts in 284 and 1/3 innings pitched. In return they brought up reliever Carmen Cali, who did a good job last time around. Although preliminary, I believe this move was to give us another bullpen arm for the doubleheader today, and to allow Slowey some time to get a little more confidence. There’s an off day almost immediately following the All-Star Break, and the way the rotation is set up, he wouldn’t be needed until July 21st. Like I said, he could get back on his feet and be ready to tackle Major League hitters again.

 

Dennys Reyes did a good job in relief, going a whopping 1 and 2/3 innings while striking out 2 and walking 1. He did allow 2 hits, but they were both singles and one of them was to the last batter he faced, and after he had thrown 29 pitches. Adding the pitch that the batter got a single on brought his total to 30, a season-high for him. He threw 29 pitches on April 10th, also against the Yankees.

 

Jason Bartlett did a good job leading off yesterday. Although he only got 1 hit, he also walked and drove in 2 runs while scoring 2 of his own. Joe Mauer drove in 2 runs behind Bartlett.

 

Maybe you saw Mike Redmond picking his nose in the top of the 4th, when they showed Bartlett in the dugout after he scored. There’s nothing to add to that, except maybe “I wonder how embarrassing it is to pick your nose on semi-national television”.

 

The games today start at 1:05 and 7:11 central time, according to mlb.com. Scott Baker will start the first game with Matt Garza taking the second.

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