Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stranded, Series Recap, and Other Notes

So much for the Texas Rangers not being able to win in Target Field. Prior to Friday, the Rangers were 1 - 9 in Target Field.

Looks like they got over whatever was bothering them.

The Rangers didn't really blow the Twins away; the Twins failed to capitalize.

Key Notes from the Series:
  • That relay play on Sunday by Thomas to Casilla to Mauer to mow down Adrian Beltre at the plate was a thing of beauty. I love things of beauty created by the Twins; I want more of them.
  • I'm glad that Joe Nathan received a warm, but not overwhelming, reception as he came out to pitch the ninth on Saturday and Sunday. I didn't attend the games, and I'm not sure how I would've reacted (I gave a standing ovation to Mike Redmond when he came to Minnesota as an Indian -- the only person in my section to do so but I didn't care). But I'm not sure that I'd be terribly excited to cheer for Joe, because the Twins really needed a rally. I probably wouldn't done anything.
  • I don't like Glen Perkins any more. (That's not true. I think I jinxed him when I said that I thought he wanted me to love him, so I figured I'd try to reverse it...just don't tell the baseball gods.) I wonder if we need to be concerned about him because he just doesn't seem like himself.
  • Liriano. What the hell?

A Case for Clutch -- My Aggravation with Men Left On Base
A common debate in my household is whether  there is really such a thing as a clutch hitter. I am quite adamant in my belief that the idea of a "clutch hitter" is a myth. There is no such thing as clutch.

Yes, I agree that there are timely hits that make a baseball game exciting, but they're just that -- timely. While it's true that hitters change their approach a bit depending on the situation (score, inning, number of outs, and count), there is really very little affect on the outcome. A good hitter will likely have the same result in "clutch situations" as he would in regular situations. If a hitter really could "turn on a switch," he'd have it on all the time. Guys want to get hits every time they come to the plate -- or at least they should (unless they've been asked to sacrifice, which is a rant for another day). I wouldn't want a guy on my team who was only a good hitter if there were men on base.

With all that being said, after the Twins left 15 (!) baserunners stranded during Saturday's game, I'm pretty much begging for clutch.

Roster Update
The Twins claimed OF Clete Thomas off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. Gardy wasted no time putting him in the lineup, and Thomas wasted no time making an impression by hitting a big homerun.

Scott Baker was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Thomas on the 40-man roster, and Ben Revere was optioned to AAA to make room on the 25-man roster.

I've gotta admit that I'll miss watching Ben Revere play, but I do understand the reasoning. He's too young to be sitting here and wasting away on the bench, and he needs to become a better batter before he can play every day here. Consider this an investment in his future.

Injury Watch
Nick Blackburn left Saturday's game early after experiencing discomfort in his shoulder. He had an MRI, which came back normal. The Twins are calling it a cramp. Let's hope so.

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