March 8, 2007

Spring Training: Games 9 and 10

The Twins came out with a win and a loss from today's split-squad games. They got great pitching in both games, and while the runs were scarce, some positive things happened offensively. After today's game, the Twins are now 2-7-1, but have lost some close games including one today.

Here are my observations from both games...

Game 9:
- Santana came out strong and pitched three solid innings today. In his three innings of work, he gave up one hit and struckout three batters while giving up no runs.

- Guerrier, Choate, Mijares, and Venafro each pitched one scoreless inning of work while Cummings pitched two innings of scoreless baseball.

- The Twins offensively had just four hits. Hunter and LeCroy both had a doubles while Castillo and Mauer each picked up singles.

- The Twins shutout the Red Sox by a final score of 1-0. The one run came off starting pitcher Curt Schilling.

In this game, the Twins got solid pitching from some guys fighting for bullpen spots including Venafro, Choate and Cummings. While some of them will not make it, they have all looked impressive so far this spring. We also saw a quality performance from ace Johan Santana, who showed that he was just rusty in his first start.

Game 10:
- Scott Baker made the start and gave up just one run in three innings of work. He also struckout four batters.

- Slowey followed Baker and pitched two innings of scoreless baseball. He had three strikeouts and gave up just two hits.

- Reyes saw his first action of Spring Training. He pitched a scoreless inning giving up just a hit. Neshek also pitched a scoreless inning and struckout a batter.

- The loss went to Jason Miller after he gave up a run in the ninth inning. In the inning, he gave up two hits and a run.

- The Twins were able to pick up eight hits, including six singles in the first two innings. They weren't able to bring many runs across the plate, but here are some of the offensive highlights: Kubel and Punto each went 2-4 and Span, Morneau, Williams, and Redmond each picked up hits.

To check out the Box Scores for either game, go to the Twins official site.

Summary:
As you can see from my observations, the Twins pitching was outstanding today. With all of the numbers put together, they had a total of two runs and gave up a total of three. They also had a total of twelve hits. There are a lot of good things to take out of today's games including good games by members of the bullpen as well as Santana and Baker. Also, most of their hits today came from their major leaguers including two from Punto who has been hitting poorly as of late.

Next Game:
The Twins will head to Vero Beach tomorrow to face the Dodgers for the second time. The Twins will send out Carlos Silva to face off against Randy Wolf and the Dodgers at 12:05 CT. Sidney Ponson will also pitch in the game tomorrow for the Twins.