July 29, 2006

Twins Lose After Pitchers Duel

The Minnesota Twins came into Fridays game with their hottest pitcher, Francisco Liriano. They were also going against a Tiger's pitcher who had lost his last 2 starts, so chances were good that the Twins could take the 1st game of a big 3 game series. Liriano was brilliant after he gave up two first inning runs, in fact he only gave up one hit in the 7 innings that followed. Liriano went 8 innings, giving up 2 runs, 3 hits, and striking out 12 batters, tying a career high. With those numbers you would think that he would have gotten the win, he didn't. Zach Miner pitched equally as good as he went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Miner also didn't get a win. The game went into extra innings and with a couple of plays that good have easily went the Twins way, the Tigers beat the Twins in the top half of the 10th when they scored a couple of runs on close plays for the Twins.

The offense on Friday for the Twins was not good at all, the Twins only scored 2 runs and only had a total of 6 hits. While the Tigers to only had 6 hits, they had more timely plays and got lucky on a couple hits in the 10th inning.

The bullpen only got two innings of work, so it would be hard for me to give them a grade for Fridays game, but Nathan got out of a jam in the 9th after he walked 2 batters, and then Rincon gave up a run after (as I have mentioned many times) a couple of balls got past the diving infielders. Rincon got the loss, he is now 3-1.

With the loss, the Twins are now 9.5 games back in the division and are now in 3rd place alone. In the Wild Card, they are now 1.5 games back of the Yankees and .5 behind the White Sox.

Twins Notes:
Mauer went 1-4 and his batting average continued to drop as it now stands at .373. Justin Morneau was the only Twins that had two hits on Friday, he went 2-4 and his batting average now stands at .315. Finally, with Nick Punto's hit, he extended his hitting streak to 19 games, a career high.

Trade Notes:
The Twins will no longer be trading for Carlos Lee as he was traded to the Texas Rangers on Friday afternoon. In return, the Brewers got Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench, and Francisco Cordero. It was rumored earlier in the week that the Twins may be a front runner for his services.

The Minnesota Twins are reportedly in contact with Nationals every day regarding Alfonso Soriano. The Nationals are asking most teams for top prospects in return. The Twins are also reportedly not interested in giving up Matt Garza but may consider Glenn Perkins or Kevin Slowey.

Don't Miss It:
The Minnesota Twins will try to even up the series and gain back a game on the Tigers when they send out Brad Radke (9-7) vs. Nate Robertson (9-6) on Saturday at 6:10. The game will be on 830 WCCO as well as FSN North.