Glen Perkins


It was another high-scoring game, this time with more suspense, that thankfully ended with the Twins on top. For a minute there I thought we were headed for another snoozer in which the Rangers of Texas (no relation to Walker, the Texas Ranger) would rack up a giant score against our fragile pitching staff.

Luckily, the Twins clawed back and slowly but surely gained the victory to remain 7 games back of Detroit. Minnesota actually led Texas 3-2 going into the bottom of the 4th, but the Rangers put up a 5-spot in the frame to take a 7-3 lead.  (more…)

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Of course I time the re-boot of my blog to match up with me going on vacation for a week with very spotty internet service. I’ll do my best to watch most of the games and get some decent feedback but I can’t make any guarantees.

The Twins were able to win the third and fourth games of the KC series, escaping with two 4-3 wins with their “new” closer Joe Nathan. It was announced before the game on Saturday that Nathan had replaced Matt Capps as the team’s closer. I support the decision, trying to make it well-known that I was not a fan of Capps anymore. However I wanted to see Glen Perkins get a shot at the role instead. Some people are saying that Perkins can’t be the closer because that would leave only Jose Mijares as the team’s lefty specialist. The problem with that, is I feel like Gardenhire doesn’t properly use “lefty specialists” anyway. But Perk was solid in relief again in today’s game, using 15 pitches to retire the side with a strikeout. Joe Nathan picked up his second save in as many days, using just 9 pitches for his 5th save of the year. Alex Burnett came into the game in the 7th to relieve Brian Duensing. Burnett recorded two outs; using just two pitches in the process.

 

Jim Thome‘s 596th dinger of the year was the savior for Minnesota, a 3-run shot that put the team up by a 4-1 score at the time. The top of the lineup did the team a big solid as well, with Ben Revere, Alexi Casilla, and Joe Mauer combining to go 6-for-10 with a walk and an RBI, and each of the three guys scored a run too.

 

The team plays a doubleheader Monday against Cleveland, with Anthony Swarzak and Scott Diamond getting the starts.

 

It was a game of stumbles this evening, as the Twins fell to the Royals 2-1. Things were slow going, if you’re a fan of high-scoring games, or they were perfect, if you’re an old-fashioned baseball fan, for the first three and a half innings. Then the flashiness of Ben Revere came to the plate and knocked the team’s first hit, a single. After a few pitches to Alexi Casilla, Revere successfully stole second. Casilla grounded out but advanced Revere to third in the process. With Joe Mauer at the plate, the Royals’ pitcher bounced a pitch in the dirt that ricocheted off the catcher’s gear and allowed Revere an easy chance to score the first run of the game. Revere has been a fantastic call-up, providing a much-needed spark at the top of the lineup. Revere owned both of the Twins’ hits, in fact, until bottom of the 7th inning. Revere’s second hit was a line-drive into the right field corner and Ben rocketed around the bases, eventually ending up on third base for a triple. The best part, though, is that Revere did a full somersault halfway between second and third base, but he got up immediately and kept trucking to slide into third.

If anyone saw Gardy’s postgame press conference, you would have seen him talk about how the loss isn’t placed on Matt Capps, and the offense was more to blame. In Capps’ defense, the team mustered a whopping three hits before the 9th inning came around. The offense also had opportunities in the 9th, with a runner on third base and only one out, but they failed to get pinch-runner Matt Tolbert home. I guess technically Tolbert has himself to blame for not scoring, since he ran home on contact from a half-bunt by Luke Hughes and got thrown out by a distance most likely similar to his height. Regardless of all that, though, the fact of the matter remains: the team had a lead in the 9th inning and failed to come away with a win. The inning tipped to the negative side of the scale right from the start, when Capps walked the leadoff batter on four pitches. Capps then recorded two outs (the second one being a very hard-hit linedrive) but surrendered a go-ahead, two-run dinger to fresh big leaguer Eric Hosmer. It’s Capps’ 7th blown save of the season and frankly should not close for this ballclub any more. He can’t be trusted when it matters the most. Whether something may be physically wrong with him (refer to the 2 strikeouts in the last month stat from yesterday’s post) or mentally wrong with him (the fact that he cannot seem to close a game to save his job), he can’t be relied on anymore. Joe Nathan has shown a lot of improvement as of late, and although I know some fans may want to see him close again, I’d prefer to see Glen Perkins get the spot instead. He has been dominant in his newfound role as a reliever and he seems to have accepted that role with a confidence that would work in late-game situations. Listening to 1500 ESPN radio after the game, I got some great information regarding starting pitcher Nick Blackburn. He pitched very well, going 7 innings and only giving up 4 hits. However, in his final inning pitched, it was a 1-2-3 inning in which he threw a measly 6 pitches. It was an interesting move by the manager, because he certainly earned a chance at throwing in the 8th as well. Regardless of how he performed there, it was still almost a certainty that Capps would have pitched the 9th, but it’s an interesting scenario anyway. On to some positives, other than Revere’s good night at the plate:

Danny Valencia had a nice diving stop at third base in the first inning to record the final out of the frame. He is a very solid defender at the hot corner, even with his 7 throwing errors on the year.

Delmon Young continued his good hitting with a solid double to left center as one of his two hits on the night. When he hit the ball, his swing made such good contact that I thought the ball would travel to the outfielders very quickly and Delmon wouldn’t be able to advance, but he trotted into second base without needing to slide. He saw just 8 pitches throughout his 4 at-bats, but I’ve come to accept that Delmon simply will not be patient at the plate. And as fans, we have to deal with it because it does not seem like he will change his approach at this point. I can’t fault him, as long as the approach continues to be successful for him.

Carl Pavano looks to get his 7th win of the year tonight in the 3rd game of 4 against the Royals.

The first extra-base hit didn’t come until the bottom of the 5th, and the total of them got doubled in just a few pitches when Glen Perkins gave up back-to-back homers, the first a two-run shot and the second a solo shot that ended up in just about the same spot in the left field seats.

 

Perkins was done after four innings in favor of Boof Bonser, who had a great month of August. But his September started horribly, giving up a walk and then a go-ahead homer to his first two batters.

 

Matt Guerrier would also give up a run later in the game.

 

All of the Twins’ nine hits were singles, but they were aided by a couple stolen bases and a wild pitch.

 

I don’t have any stats for the game, the internet here isn’t working properly. I believe tonight’s game starts at 6.

Some notes from the Mariners series:

  • Minnesota was only able to win one game out of the three they played against one of the worst teams in baseball, and even that game almost got out of hand.
  • Joe Nathan had his fourth blown save of the year, but long-time Twin Eddie Guardado is back with the club. He pitched the 8th inning twice against Seattle, his first outing being spectacular while his second outing left a little to be desired. He nearly gave up the 2-run lead by giving up back-to-back doubles and then a single. If it weren’t for Denard Span‘s game-saving bullet to home plate to nab the runner, the lead would’ve been gone.
  • Glen Perkins picked up his 12th win of the season and is now 12-3 on the year with a 3.96 ERA. I honestly think that both he and Span will get at least one vote for ROY nominations. Span’s impact has been phenomenal, both as a leadoff hitter and a RF. And Perkins, despite his unspectacular ERA and WHIP numbers, continues to keep the Twins in the ballgame and that’s seen by his W-L record.
  • A 4-game series against Oakland, the worst team since the All-Star Break, is next on the schedule. It’s very vital that Minnesota takes at least 3 out of the 4 games. I’m continually amazed at how this team can split a series with the Angels, the team with the second-best record in all of baseball, and then lose two of three to virtually the worst team in baseball.
  • The A’s will be sending four consecutive lefties to the mound against us, while we have Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Francisco Liriano, and Scott Baker, in that order, trying to give us a win. Game times are (Central) 9:05, 9:05, 8:05, and 3:05. I don’t quite know why they can’t just start right on the hour.

Joe Mauer had three hits, two RBI, three runs scored, and hit his 8th homer of the year in a very good night at the plate for him. Plus, he scored the game-winning run on a sac fly. That has to be pretty exciting, right?

 

Brian Buscher had pinch-hit for Brendan Harris earlier in the game and with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, hit a little bloop into left field. And frankly he didn’t hit it very far, and had I seen it live, I can guarantee I would’ve been freaking out, thinking Mauer wasn’t going to be able to score. As Patrick Reusse described it, the left fielder “made a throw that would’ve embarrassed Jacque Jones” and Mauer was able to easily slide in for the score.

 

Scott Baker allowed eight hits, four runs, two walks and just one strikeout in 5 and 1/3 innings of work. Everything blew up in the 6th inning as Jesse Crain was eventually brought in, but was only able to record an out, prompting Craig Breslow. Breslow allowed Crain’s two runners to score, which is unfortunate for Crain’s numbers, but after that Breslow did a very nice job. He lasted 2 and 1/3 innings, allowed just one hit, and struck out two.

 

Dennys Reyes breezed through the 9th on just twelve pitches, picking up a strikeout en route to his third win on the year.

 

Pinch-hitting for the Twins was crucial last night with Jason Kubel getting a two-out RBI single, Mike Lamb walked, and Buscher’s key sac fly.

 

The Twins go for a sweep today at 1:10 with Glen Perkins on the hill.

Glen Perkins, coming off a disastrous start in Seattle and just one day after the birth of his second child, was able to avoid pretty much any trouble against the Yankees last night on his way to his 9th win of the season. He lasted eight innings, allowed just four singles, walked three and struck out four.

Perk almost allowed a run in the 2nd inning when he made an errant pickoff throw to first. That changed the situation to a runner on third with nobody out. Glen calmed down enough to get a short pop fly and then induced one of his TWO double plays to get out of the inning unscathed.

 

 

Adam Everett was the offensive star just a day after blaming himself for the Twins’ loss in KC. Adam had just one hit but it was a homer that came with two outs and a runner on base in the 2nd inning, giving the team an early lead. Everett has just 20 hits as a Twin yet eight of those have gone for extra bases.

 

Joe Mauer added an RBI on a sacrifice fly, scoring Denard Span. Span scored again in the 8th inning when Justin Morneau hit an infield single over the pitcher’s mound. The funny thing is that Span was on 2nd when Justin hit it, but Denard hustled towards third and never stopped because there was no play at any base by the time Derek Jeter got to the ball.

 

Joe Nathan pitched the 9th inning, even though it wasn’t a save opportunity, and needed 17 pitches to strike out the side. It’s the 5th time this year that he has come into the 9th inning and struck out the side.

 

 

The White Sox lost 5-1 to the Red Sox, giving the Twins a slim .5 game lead in the AL Central standings.

 

Nick Blackburn (9-6, 3.60) will try to outduel ace Mike Mussina (15-7, 3.27) tonight and hopefully secure a series win.

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