Foul tip: Yankees wrap-up
Even with Sunday's rather authoritative win by New York, the weekend series at the Dome was about as much fun a Twins fan could have watching baseball indoors.
Friday's game featured the kind of baseball I'd like to see the Twins play all season long-- offering precision pitching, eeking out a run or two to stay tight, then scoring a batch of runs to set up the final stretch for the very tough bullpen.
I missed much of Saturday's epic game to instead see Hamlet, the final production at the Guthrie as we know it, but from what I can tell it was full of as much drama as Big Bad Billy Shakespeare himself could muster. The best news about that game, of course, is Mauer and Morneau getting on base and hitting during crunch time, something they need to learn how to do now and often.
The bad news, though, is that is was yet another come-from-behind win; this habit of spotting runs early is something that will not play out with good results for the long haul of the season.
Sunday's game proved that theory, with the Twins falling too far behind too early to seriously contend. Which brings us to ...
1) Bradke ball. Another home run early, this time a two-run dinger to Jason Giambi in the second to give New York a 2-0 lead. That's the fourth time in three starts this season Radke has given up a home run in the first three innings, thus far (sadly) not proving me wrong at all about his unique gift for doing this on a regular basis.
2) Rondell will hit. Eventually. The guy is just in that weird hall-of-mirrors, echo-chamber thing, and needs a couple days off. He said after yesterday's game that being in the DH role is messing with him, and that all he does is sit on the bench, spending the next 30-40 minutes thinking about his next at bat. Uh-oh. Sit him Gardy, and now!
Luckily, Reuben Sierra is ready to join the team now--might was well give him a shot at DH and sit White. But White works too hard to wash out completely, and he still has enough skills to be a force in this lineup.
3) Baker's future. As impeccable and impressive as Scott Baker looked on Friday--and he truly was both--I have a nagging fear that his second time around the league, opposing batters are going to figure him out. The reason for this concern is rather fundamental: He throws the ball belt-high frighteningly often. He can paint the corners all he wants, but he's got to get that ball lower or it's trouble.
Even so, his performance on Friday was truly a wonder, an accomplishment he should feel good about for exactly one more day.
Thoughts about the series, or the upcoming one against the Hell-Let's-Just-Call-'Em-California Angels that begins on Tuesday? Feel free to post comments below.
Oh, one final note: The New York media-plex is already playing the Torii card; yesterday's Times had a story fanning the flames on a PiPress bit about how Johnny Damon said he would surrender his spot in center should Hunter become a Yankee next season. Given Hunter's dreadful history in the Bronx (.185 career with two homers and eight RBIs), I don't see Steinbrenner forking over the cash.