By La Velle
I’m sure many will lament some of the baserunning decisions by the Twins on Saturday. Scott Ullger sent Cuddy home in the third and he was thrown out. LNP took off for home on a bouncer in the fifth and was thrown out. Torii Hunter tried to stretch a single in the sixth and was thrown out.
I had no problems with the first two choices. You’ve got to run the bases aggressively and make opponents prove they can execute. Toronto put together a nice relay to throw Cuddy out – and my man Sal Fasano (former Royals prospect) blocked the plate well. The contact play was on when Punto took off for home, but the ball happened to be hit right at the shortstop. I thought Torii gambled the most when he tried to stretch his single but, again, Toronto made the play.
The Twins also have to be credited when things work out. Cuddy and Bartlett both made the correct decision to go from first to third on singles to left.
The other thing one of my friends wanted to know was why the Twins pitched to Lyle Overbay in the 13th with first base open. Overbay, a left-handed hitter, entered the game batting .203 against righthanders. So the Twins seemed to have the advantage with Matt Guerrier. The belief is that Guerrier could have gotten Overbay out if he throws the curveball to drop out of the strike zone and makes Overbay chase.
I’m at the park now. It’s too early to know what the Twins will do with Ortiz. I will tell you this: I sensed that the coaching staff wants to make the change, but the front office historically is patient with these things.
Joe Mauer is doing a bunch of exercises in the outfield as I write this. He’s done lunges, sprints and some weird drill in which he gets down on his stomach then suddenly rolls over, pops up and dashes off.
Blue Jays: 1. Alex Rios, RF. 2. Lyle Overbay, 1B. 3. Vernon Wells, CF. 4. Stairs, LF. 5. The Big Hurt, 1B. 6. Hill, 2B. 7. Phillips, C. 8. Roberts, 3B. 9. McDonald, SS.
Twins: 1. Castillo, 2B. 2. Cirillo, DH. 3. Cuddyer, RF. 4. Morneau, 1B. 5. Hunter, CF. 6. Kubel, LF. 7. Heintz, C. 8. Punto, 3B. Bartlett, SS. Pitching: Silva.