September 2008


X-Rays on Slowey’s right wrist are negative

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Twins righthander Kevin Slowey left Thursday’s game after being hit on the right wrist by a line drive off the bat of Chicago’s Juan Uribe.
The Twins have announced that Slowey has a right wrist contusion, and he’s on his way to HCMC for X-Rays.  Update: The X-Rays were negative. We’ll have more for you after this crazy, heart-attack inducing game is over.
Slowey left Thursday’s game after being hit on the right wrist by a line drive off the bat of Chicago’s Juan Uribe with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
The ball deflected toward the third base line, but Slowey tracked down the ball and threw wildly to first, and the ball skipped toward the White Sox bullpen.
Ken Griffey, Jr. scored from third, Alexei Ramirez scored from second and A.J. Pierzynski scored all the way from first as Slowey walked back toward the mound with his right arm dangling from the side.
Twins trainer Dave Pruemmer rushed out to help Slowey while manager Ron Gardenhire walked out and signaled to the bullpen for righthander Matt Guerrier.
This could be a huge blow to the Twins if Slowey needs a week or so to recover. I was told before the game that Slowey would get the ball Tuesday if a one-game playoff at Chicago was necessary. That, of course, is in doubt now.

Something that might make you revisit your breakfast…

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Got word late last night that this man would start for the Tigers if the they have to play a makeup game on Monday against the White Sox.

And here’s confirmation of that in today’s Detroit Free Press.

Don’t know what to make of this. There’s always the chance Garcia would be motivated to beat the team he won a World Series with in 2005 – and get back at manager Ozzie Guillen.

But his long absence because of shoulder surgery can’t be ignored. 

Here’s the write-up of his Sept. 17 start against Texas.

The Twins could win their final four games but still have to root for Garcia to go Ponce de Leon on the White Sox on Monday.

On to better things.

Writers often second-guess themselves, and I kinda wished I would have thrown in a detail in today’s gamer about the 42,126 who showed up at the Dome last night. They yelled for Nick Blackburn when he got in jams and were fired up as Jose Mijares opened with three balls to Jim Thome in the eighth before settling down and getting three outs.

I was mildly surprised that only 35,225 showed up on Tuesday but fans responded on Wednesday. I checked with a Twins official this morning and they are so busy with ticket sales for tonight’s game that they think it could be the largest crowd of the series.

I scanned the crowd last night for old Homer Hankies but saw few. Maybe there will be more out tonight with first place in the division up for grabs. But I want everyone to know that I checked yesterday and, yes, the 2008 Homer Hankies have been ordered.

Twins postgame: Two down, one to go

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Pressbox mood: I figured I’d give you a little taste of what goes on in the press box during games. Joe. C. and Pat Reusse might not like it, but they can go off on me later.

Joe Nathan was struggling in the ninth inning Wednesday. A.J. was digging in, and Reusse looked over at someone in the visitor’s on deck circle.

“Nick Swisher?” Reusse said.

“Yeah, he’s going to bat for Uribe,” I replied.

Just then, A.J. hammers one to center field.

“…and A.J. just doubled to center,” I said.

But Carlos Gomez becomes a blur, reaches out and sucks in the ball as the fans go nuts.

“Oh, I forgot that it’s Gomez out there,” I said.

“Torii Hunter does NOT catch that ball,” Joe C. barks out.

Reusse and I agreed.

After the game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t sure if that was Gomez’s best catch, “but it may have been the most important catch of the year.”

And, of course, Gomez shows up in the clubhouse wearing a Superman t-shirt.

“Every time I see the ball hit to me,” he said. “I think I can catch it.”

Every I see the ball hit to him, I should think that too…..

Minneapolis Bartman: We almost had our own Steve Bartman moment in the fourth inning, when Brendan Harris caught a foul ball by DeWayne Wise to end the inning.

A fan, sitting in the front row of a section behind third base, reached out as Harris went for the ball. It looked like he nearly touched it.

“If he had touched it, I would have knocked his beer over,” Harris said. “And he had a full one too, I saw. But it kind of sliced back, so it came back in play. I saw an arm come out then, I guess, some alligator arms.

“Close to being a Bartman moment.”

Harris tossed the ball into the stands after making the catch.

“Definitely to the guy next to him,” Harris said.

Blackie’s back: It wasn’t pretty. He had to pitch out of some jams. Alfonzo Marquez could have called a couple more strikes. But Nick Blackburn got through five innings to win just his second game in his last nine outings.

He got two strikes on a lot of hitters but got into some battles.

“It wasn’t an easy five innings,” he said, “but I felt good. I felt confident. My pitches were finally where I wanted them to be.”

Blackburn (11-10) has thrown 187 innings, fourth most by a Twins rookie.,

“Blackie was awesome tonight,” Joe Nathan said. “He went five innings, but I don’t think it really shows what he did.”

Delmon rolling: Delmon Young is batting .500 (15 for 30) during an eight-game hitting streak.

Twins-White Sox: Lineups

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Two homers on Tuesday buys Jason Kubel another day at DH and leaves Michael Cuddyer on the bench.

5:25 Update:  Yes, Kubel’s big night on Tuesday factored into Gardy’s decision – but so did the fact that lefties are batting .309 against White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle while righties are batting .267.

Buehrle throws a cut fastball that eats up righties. It can also be effective to lefties when thrown on the inside corner.  Missing inside, however, is disaster.

I was on the field chatting with former Twin Corey Koskie before the game when I said, “K-Train, you’d be in the lineup today because lefties are batting .309 against Buehrle.”

Koskie said: “Yeah, because that cutter can slide right over into the sweet spot.”

Michael Cuddyer is itching for action and said moments ago that he’s well enough to run in the outfield. But he’s not totally sharp and Kubel has been playing all season.

The Royals have shut Zack Greinke down for the rest of the season. Kyle Davies, Gil Meche and Brandon Duckworth will face the Twins this weekend at the Dome.

White Sox (86-70)

  1. DeWayne Wise, LF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Jermaine Dye, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Paul Konerko, 1B
  6. Ken Griffey, Jr.
  7. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
  8. A.J., C
  9. Juan Uribe, 3B

Pitching: Mark Buehrle 14-11, 3.87

Twins (85-72)

  1. Denard Span, RF
  2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, DH
  6. Delmon Young, LF
  7. Brendan Harris, 3B
  8. Nick Punto, SS
  9. Carlos Gomez, CF

Pitching: Nick Blackburn, 10-10, 4.15

A short Sox update

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

You always have to check opponents rosters to be familliar with the left-handed relievers who could be used to try to slow down Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel.  The White Sox have four of them

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen brought in lefthanders Clayton Richard and Boone Logan in the middle innings on Tuesday – with bad results.

Mauer singled of a 1-2 pitch from Richard to open the fifth. Morneau smoked the next pitch for a RBI double. Even Brian Buscher came through with a sacrifice fly to score a run.

Logan faced three batters in the seventh. He got Morneau to ground out, but left an off speed pitch over  the middle of the plate to Kubel, who turned it into his second homer of the game. Then Delmon Young hit the next pitch out to left.

“Clayton looked good,” Guillen said. “Logan looked the same way he has all year long. It’s hard for us to put that guy there.”

I’m guessing Ozzie meant to say it was a tough situation for Logan to be in.

 Guillen also has lefties Horacio Ramirez and Matt Thornton in the bullpen. Thornton, who has a 2.00 ERA this month,  is one of Guillen’s weapons to lock down late-inning leads. Guillen needs all his lefties to step up in this series – but they didn’t on Tuesday.

For more Sox news, here’s the Chicago Tribune’s notebook from Tuesday’s game.