Results tagged ‘ Ben Revere ’
Although the 2011 season did not end well for the Minnesota Twins (the understatement of the year, to be sure), it is still another baseball season in the books, full of ups and downs and memorable moments along the way. This post list those moments that I remember…
-On my couch, hot dogs and brats in hand, to watch Opening Day…and then seeing the Twins out of it in Toronto before it even began, really. Should have known something from Day One, I guess.
-Getting all excited about Nishioka, then seeing the Yankees take him out early and him become a basket case late.
-Liriano’s May no-no against the White Sox. Probably the most unimpressive no hitter I’ve ever seen, but still a special night.
-The mid-June surge that saw Ben Revere and Alexi Casilla ignite the team.
-Watching at Target Field as Matt Capps blew ANOTHER save against the Brew Crew.
-Walking on the hallowed “Field of Dreams” in Iowa as part of a baseball-themed vacation.
-Seeing the Twins play the White Sox at The Cell as part of said vacation.
-Attending (at one point in early July) four games in the span of five days.
-The terrible months of August & September which, towards the end, even tested my patience in sitting through an entire error-ridden, pitching-splintered game.
And then, of course, there was perhaps the most meaningless season finale in Twins history. Except, of course, that it wasn’t. With John Gordon behind the microphone for the final time, the Twins rallied in the ninth for a walk-off win thanks to the bat of Trevor Plouffe and the legs of Denard Span.
Though, for sure, those last few months were trying and many times I just wished the season would mercifully come to a close, that final game really put things in perspective. With each passing day without baseball (and especially when football comes to an end), all I’ll want is simply this, with my Minnesota Twins…
With the Twins all but mathematically eliminated from 2011 playoff contention, the team is now taking some long looks at guys who may play key roles in the future.
Danny Valencia may be playing for his starting job, Nishioka will likely get the rest of the year to get his game straight, and youngsters like Rene Tosoni & Trevor Plouffe may be given opportunities to prove themselves.
Last night, a bright glimpse of the future occurred via some spectacular center-field D from Ben Revere:
Preview (54-68, 4th, 7.5 GB CWS): CC Sabathia (16-7, 2.93) vs. Brian Duensing (8-11, 4.53)
Yes, I kind of ripped this little “musical coincidence” off from a FOX pre-game show a little while back, but the song sure does fit the player, doesn’t it?! Ben Revere, since his everday play earlies this month, has really energized this team in a way only seen twice in recent(ish) seasons:
At the All-Star break of 2003, the Twins acquired Shannon Stewart, put him in the OF, and batted him leadoff. He began spraying hits all over the field and turned a big Twins deficit into a relatively easy division title.
Then, in 2008, Carlos “Go-G0” Gomez was quite a spark plug before proving that his raw athletic gifts far outpaced his mental faculties.
Now, I realize that the Twins’ pitchers have (more than anyone else) facilitated this dramatic turnaround, but the correlation with Revere’s presence isn’t just a coincidence, either.
Of course, it helps to channel the “ghost” of Jacque Jones in position (OF), number (11), batting stance (straight legs, hunched over on top), and just general “coolness”.
Preview (31-39, 4th, 2.5 GB CWS): Carl Pavano (4-5, 4.20) vs. Madison Bumgarner (3-8, 3.21)
Last year ended (at least the regular season) about as exciting as a Twins season has ever come to a close (see above).
This year obviously felt a little different. For most of today’s regular season finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, the 3-4-5 batters were: Drew Butera, Ben Revere, and Trevor Plouffe.
This occured due to the Twins trying to rest guys for the playoffs, but it was still a bit disconcerting to see the team lose so many games after clinching. I’m not too worried, though, for this reason:
Last year in the ALDS against the Yankees, the Twins Brendan Harris, Nick Punto, and Matt Tolbert in the starting lineup. No such thing will happen this year, as those guys are replaced (respectively) by Jim Thome, Orlando Hudson, and Danny Valencia.
We know that our first-round opponent this year will again be the Yankees, but I’ll have more on that matchup in a later post.
Final AL Central Standings:
|Chi White Sox||88||-74||6.0|
Another one of those games where the Royals pretty much hand us a win and all we have to do is take it from them.
However, in the midst of a 10-3 drubbing, Jim Thome continued to amaze:
Once again, a mighty hack from Big Thome produced a deep bomb over the right field bleachers and bouncing around out on the pavilion. This one (#586) tied him with Frank Robinson on the all-time list.
As long as his back holds out down the stretch and through the (hopefully!) playoffs, he could be just the bat we have been looking for against the likes of the Yankees or Rays (no more Brian Buscher coming off the bench in key playoff spots).
-Ben Revere makes his major league debut. Exciting player who could help in the field and on the bases down the stretch.
-Very intriguing to see Pat Neshek back on the mound. He struggled tonight, but if he can get right he could be a deadly weapon in the pennant race.
Preview (82-57, 1st, 4.5 GA CWS): Zack Grienke (8-11, 3.87) vs. Brian Duensing (7-2, 2.09)