July 13, 2006

Second Half Underway: Twins Lose

The Minnesota Twins kicked off their second half on Thursday against the Cleveland Indians, however they started their second half a lot like they started their first, with a 6-4 loss. Before I tell you about the game let me note that tonight's umpire had a very very small strike zone, forcing both teams to throw basically down the middle. With Francisco Liriano on the mound chances were good that the Twins would get off to a good second half, but Liriano went only 5 innings, giving up 5 runs (4 earned/3 HR's) and striking out 6. After traveling all over during the All-Star break, Liriano looked as if he was worn out. This leads me to questioning whether or not he should have made the start, I believe that Gardenhire should have started Brad Radke tonight and gave Liriano another days rest after all his travel.

With the loss, there was some good. The Twins bullpen pitched well after Liriano was knocked out early. Kyle Lohse pitched 2 scoreless innings, Reyes got one out and got into a jam that Jesse Crain got him out of. Crain also pitched the ninth inning and gave up a solo homer that put the Twins down 6-4.

The Twins hitting was decent, but they didn't have any clutch at bats early in the game, or for that matter they really didn't have any clutch at bats period. They got their first two batters of the game on(via walk) but then were sat down 1-2-3 and didn't score. In fact, the Twins didn't get their first hit until the 5th inning when Shannon Stewart singled. The Twins made it interesting when they scored 3 in the sixth and 1 in the seventh to make it a 5-4 game. But that's where the scoring would stop and the Twins would go onto lose by a final score of 6-4.

Liriano is now 10-2 and his ERA rose from 1.83 to 2.12, Joe Mauer's average dropped 1 point to .377, and Justin Morneau picked up his 74th RBI.

Minor League Moves:
On Thursday the Minnesota Twins called up Matt Garza from AA New Britain, he has now moved from Hi-A to AA and now AAA just this season. If he pitches well, he could get called up with the Twins rotation unstable. The Twins also signed Erubiel Durazo to a minor-league contract and assigned him to AAA Rochester.

Kubel Scratched:
Jason Kubel was scratched from the lineup before the game Thursday because of soreness in his right knee. This is not the same knee that he tore his ACL with a year ago and he said he has had pain for about a month. He also said he will play through it and it is NOT serious. Kubel did pinch hit in the ninth inning for Jason Bartlett.

Lew Hurt:
Lew Ford was also hurt during the game on Thursday and may have to be placed on the DL. The injury has been called a strained muscle on his right side. We will let you know when there is more information.

Don't Miss It:
The Twins will take on the Indians on July 14, 2006 @ 7:10 on FSN North. The Twins will send out Brad Radke (7-7) vs. Paul Byrd (6-6).