The Twins won 4-in-a-row, won 2 series & are over .500 in their last 10 games!
The Twins started playing some decent baseball in the past week or so but that was halted on Sunday when they were beaten 16-4 in the final game of a 3-game series with the BrewMakers that marked the last game of Jason Marquis’ Minnesota Twins career and maybe his career altogether.
In the last 10 games, the Minnesota Twins have gone 6 and 4 with a series sweep of the defending American League Central Division champion Detroit Tigers and a series win over the Brewers of Mil-wauk-kay! Both of these series victories came on the road! There was a 4-game winning streak in there as well. This forced fans to question reality and their butts are probably still in pain from all the pinching! (“Is this really happening?”)
The big question is if the winning will continue and can this team put together a good stretch of 20-25 games playing .500 or better baseball?
That would mean the Minnesota Twins would have to hit well and score runs consistently, pitch well and keep the opponent from scoring runs consistently and defend well so the opponent doesn’t get any “free” runs. That’s a lot that needs to go right for this team to keep winning more than half of their games. Is it possible?
Joe Mauer is starting to hit again, Morneau is back mostly healthy and Ben Revere is on fire right now! He’s playing great defense, getting some extra-base hits and being a spark plug on the base paths. In his 23-game stint at triple-A, he had one extra-base hit. Since his call-up, he has hit 4 XBHs in 4 games. Don’t forget about The ‘HAM! The HAMMER is Willing to hit the ball!
The pitching has been giving the Twins a chance to win in the last week or two. It still has to get better and with the Twins having to rely on young arms like Scott Diamond and P.J. Walters, you don’t really know what to expect. The pitching, at least the starting pitching has been the problem all season long and it’s hard to see how it can be fixed with these young guys. I’m not saying they can’t keep pitching well but with young players, you have to expect mistakes and live with them. That’s how they are going to learn! Hopefully they learn quickly and can stay with the Minnesota Twins and help them win some games.
Defensively the Twins have been alright. They’ve had some blunders but for the most part they’ve caught the ball and haven’t caused Gardy to lose the hair he still has! They rank 6th in all of baseball with a .987 fielding percentage.
The next 24 games are (all 3 game series – at CWS, vs DET, vs OAK, at CLE, at KC, vs CHC, vs PHI & vs MIL) so there’s some teams in there that should be beatable but “beatable” might not mean anything for this team.
Jason Marquis – is he done?
Jason Marquis gave up 8 runs in 1.2 innings pitched in his last start on Sunday against the Brewers and that turned out to be the last straw as the Minnesota Twins designated the 33-year old pitcher for assignment. His ERA went to 8.47 and in Sunday’s game he never got a swinging strike meaning if they swung at it, they hit it! They might not have hit all of those fair but they hit it and they hit it hard! I call that batting practice and that’s what it looked like. OUCH!
I honestly feel bad for the guy. He had a rough couple months when his daughter was fighting for her life and I can’t imagine baseball was that important at the time and I don’t blame him for that. I’m not saying that affected his pitching but I can see how it would. We’ll see what happens in the next 10 days but he’s probably done as a Minnesota Twin.
Terry Ryan is trying to trade him because it wasn’t working out here. Sometimes players and teams don’t match-up well. He was great last year in Washington but when he was traded to Arizona, he didn’t pitch well and ended up breaking his leg on a comebacker to the mound.
Jason Marquis did win a World Series in 2006 with the St. Louis Cardinals and he got to watch Albert Pujols from a pretty good seat for 3 seasons! Ironically, 2006 might’ve been his worst season statistically! He was 14-16 (W-L) which was the most losses among National League starting pitchers. He also had the most earned runs in the National League with 130 and gave up the most Home Runs in the National League with 35 and for all that, he got a World Series Championship ring and will be able to celebrate that again and again with the people of St. Louis. Jason Marquis was an All-Star in 2009 for the Colorado Rockies and he even won a Silver Slugger award in 2005 when he hit .310/.326/.786 (AVG/OBP/OPS) with 1 home run and 10 RBIs in 91 plate appearances.
Good luck to Jason Marquis!
One out, one coming up!
With failure comes a chance for someone else to step up and this time it’s Minnesota’s own and former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Cole DeVries. Cole is a 27-year old right-hander who’s been pitching well in triple-A Rochester. He only has a record of 1-4 in 8 starts but he has a 4.24 ERA, a WHIP of 1.157 and he’s given up 47 hits, 22 earned runs and 6 home runs with 37 strikeouts and only 7 walks in 46.2 innings pitched.
Is that a Plouffe? PLOOF!
Trevor Plouffe has not had a great season by any stretch of the imagination. It’d be a stretch to call it not bad. Even with the recent streak of success, he’s still hitting only .152/.272/.601 (AVG/OBP/OPS) but he’s hit 3 home runs in his last 5 games including a game-winner in Milwaukee on Saturday. Oooh, 3 home runs in 5 games, right? Well, in those 5 games he’s 4-for-19 for a whopping .211 batting average with zero walks and 7 strikeouts. Home runs are nice but he’s going to have to do more to keep getting at-bats. His defense is still iffy no matter where they put him.
I’m not sure how long the Twins can stick with Mr. Plouffe. He needs to be playing every day and they aren’t doing that. If he isn’t playing every day, then he should be sent down but he’s out of options so he would have to clear waivers to be sent to triple-A. The Twins probably don’t want to risk losing him and right now it’s either him or Ben Revere in the outfield, him or Ryan Doumit as the DH or him or Jamey Carroll at third base. He doesn’t have enough defense to play a utility role.
We could go from PLOOF, there goes the ball over the fence to PLOOF, there goes Trevor off the team.
Pitch AND Catch! Drew Butera Pitching?
Well maybe it should be Catch and Pitch! Minnesota Twins backup catcher Drew Butera made his debut as a pitcher in Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. With the Twins losing 16 to 2 in the bottom of the 8th, manager Ron Gardenhire decided to give Drew Butera a shot at pitching!*
*Last season, a now Colorado Rockie pitched an inning in a game against the Texas Rangers that the Twins lost 20 to 6! Michael Cuddyer gave up 2 hits, a 2B to Mike Napoli & a 1B to Mitch Moreland, & a walk in a scoreless 8th inning.
Drew Butera has never pitched before or at least that I could find so it was a little strange seeing him take the mound on Sunday. Obviously, catchers usually have pretty good arms so its not crazy to see a catcher pitch. Michael Cuddyer pitched in high school and supposedly pitched a perfect game striking out all 27 batters!
Drew got the first hitter out on one pitch! He struck out former teammate Carlos Gomez for the 2nd out! When he got his first career strikeout, they took the ball out of the game, Drew threw it to the dugout and it bounced off the infield and into the crowd so they had to retrieve it and trade a different baseball for Drew’s strikeout ball! He then walked the third hitter and broke the bat of T-Plush on a inside pitch that was grounded to the 2nd baseman! I bet that was fun! It was fun to watch!
Former Minnesota Twins outfielder Lew Ford is back in baseball! Lew was signed by the Baltimore Orioles and sent to the triple-A Norfolk Tides of the International League. Since becoming a free agent after the 2007 season, Lew has played for 6 teams in 5 years! He played in Japan, spent some time with the Cincinnati Reds triple-A club, spent a season in Mexico and a season plus in Long Island playing in the Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks before getting signed by Baltimore on May 18th.
Say what you want about Lew Ford but he’s now 35-years old and he’s still working on getting back to the Majors and I think that’s awesome! He’s definitely racking up the travel miles! The Minnesota Twins have a 4-game series against the Baltimore Orioles from July 16th though July 19th. What are the chances we might see a Lew Ford appearance at Target Field? LEWWW! That would be pretty cool for Lew and the fans he made when he was here.
Those are my TwinsTakes! What are your TwinsTakes? Will the Twins keep winning? Is the starting pitching going to be a problem all season? Can the young arms keep pitching as well as they have been? How much more time will the Twins give Plouffe? Should Drew Butera pitch again?
Tell us what you think in the comments!