Saturday, March 01, 2008

Post-Game (Exhibition Game 3)

Red Snots 7, Twinks 6 (Box Score)

  • From the Boston Globe: "Sometimes it's hard not to be arrogant," Terry Francona joked after the game.

The starting left-handed pitching combo of Randy Keisler and Jon Lester was grossly ineffective. Keisler had little chance of making the squad without pitching flawlessly in spring training. His era - and hopes of seeing the Dome - was detonated today into the Glen Perkins stratosphere of 20.25. What seems to be the worst part for Keisler was not the three earned runs but rather, as John Gordon and Dan Gladden noted on KSTP-AM, the fact that the coaching staff reiterated prior to the game how important throwing strike was and allowing the defense to do the work. Instead of heeding the advice, Keisler walked three Red Sox in his 1.1 innings of work. (Of course it wasn't like that he intentionally walked three bats however when a coaching staff makes a conceited effort to point this out and you do the opposite, it is quite detrimental to your career.) Lester, meanwhile, was worse. He walked four and gave up five runs (4 earned). One came with a bases loaded walk to Casilla that brought in Mike Lamb from third (following his double). Needless to say for the remainder of his career I will be analyzing whether or not the Twins made the right decision to forgo trading Santana to Boston for Lester. Ditto for Ellsbury who went 0 for 3 with a run batted in.

  • Carlos Gomez helped his cause by starting the game with a single off of Lester then stole second. Delmon Young knocked him in. Later in the game, Gomez got his first rbi in a Twins uniform. The other Twins centerfield candidate, Jason Pridie, also got his first (and only) hit as a Twins in 2 at-bats. Knowing that defense is critical, if these moments of offense persist, Gomez could be finding that he will be on the bus north although Joe Christensen noted that his giant swings-and-misses seemed almost "cartoonish". Point being that we have 30 more days until we figure out who will be in center come home opener, who ever lands the position will most likely come complete with some flaws be they offensive or defensive and then will have to learn on the job. The race for center might have tightened up along with Craig Monroe's calf muscle who is expected to miss a few days because of the strain.

  • Meanwhile in Arizona, former Twin Torii Hunter went 2 for 2 with a home run (off of the rehabbing Kerry Wood), a double and four rbis. In the same game, Tim Lahey threw one inning of hitless and scoreless ball for the Cubs. Lahey's story is pretty interesting considering he was a converted catcher drafted by the Twins and then asked to take the mound. In recent years he has been closing games but does not have the lights-out stuff of your prototypical closer (16.1% k% in 2007 double-A), however he did induce groundballs on 65% of balls put in play. Scouts say that he throws a "heavy-ball" with an arm motion reminscent of Keith Foulke.

  • Monitoring the "I wish we did sign" players: Mike Sweeney went 3 for 4 for Oakland with two runs, three rbis, and also stole second off of Barry Zito. Emil Brown, another Oakland shrewed offseason acquisition, finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored, two rbis and a walk. (Speaking of $100 million dollar pitcher freefalls, Zito couldn't even get out of the first inning against the A's as he was tagged for 8 earned runs on seven hits and two walks.) Kevin Mench, who signed a minor league contract, hit a solo home run for Texas against the Royals.

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