Results tagged ‘ David Huff ’

Just Win, Baby

AL-DAVIS.jpgYou know, there aren’t a whole lot of scenarios in which I can think of many positive things to say about Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, but he did coin a catchphrase that pretty much describes professional sports in a nutshell: Just win, baby.

In football, that phrase translates into doing everything possible to get the “W” on a Sunday or Monday night.  In baseball, where the schedule stretches on into the dog days of summer, it comes down to winning series, something the Twins have done with remarkable success (i.e. no failure) so far this season and, with a win over Cleveland tonight, are in a great position to do so again.

Tonight, the star of the show was Kevin Slowey, who sliced his way (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H) through the Indians lineup with relative ease, striking out nine in the process.

Offensively, the Twins were helped by an inning that one would be accustomed to seeing in Dwarf League baseball, not the majors, featuring an easy double-play ball going through SS Asdrubal Cabrera’s legs, and then two runs scoring on one wild pitch.

If this single game told me anything, it is that I can say with little to no trepidation that the Cleveland Indians will be in last place come early October.

Notes:

-Yesterday, this guy…

gagne-pump.jpg

It always amazes me how quickly one can fall while playing this game.  In 2003, Eric Gagne put together perhaps the greatest season by a closer in major league history: 1.20 ERA, 55 saves.  After one more good season in LA, Gagne pretty much dropped off the face of the earth, never again even coming remotely close to his old dominating form.  Of course, Gagne was also named in the Mitchell Report as admitting to have taken HGH.  Perhaps that explains a few things.

Preview (10-4, 1st, 3.0 GA DET): David Huff (1-1, 1.80) vs. Francisco Liriano (1-0, 2.08).

Halo(s)

Well, after playing the “Halos” on two consecutive weekends, one thing has become abundantly clear to me…the Twins are absolutely no match for them. Every single time we play them, I fully expect to lose, and get swept in the series at that. The Twins are completely out of their league and would go down just as weekly in a playoff series.

In fact, I will go far enough out on a limb to say that, assuming Torii Hunter returns to health, I consider the Angels to be the favorite to win the whole thing this year. After winning the World Series in 2002 (and beating the Twins in the ALCS to get there…!@#$ rally monkey!), Anaheim has been right in the thick of things every season. However, they always seem to get beat by Boston (or someone else) in the Divisional Series round. What I see different about this season’s team, though, is that 1-9 they can completely dominate an opposing pitcher just by being pests. Whereas in other years they could terrorize only the mediocre pitchers (and thus get beat by the big guns in the big time), this year they have all the bullets locked and loaded. I mean, who has ever heard of this guy…

76ad65c5-0049-4277-b75c-2be41c2fc75b.jpg…until just recently?! Earlier today, he (Kendry Morales) hit two three-run home runs to sink the Twins. Look at it this way…

The three weakest players in the Angels’ lineup today were Gary Matthews, Jeff Mathis, and Sean Rodriguez (who still homered to boot!).  Once Hunter and Vlad Guerrero are back, Matthews and Rodriguez will be back to the bench (where they can probably be the most useful), and I consider Mike Napoli to be a better catcher than Mathis anyway.  Thus, they have a lineup not unlike the 1998 Yankees…work the count, foul off pitches, get to opposing teams’ pen and sink them.

Add that to the great D that Mike Scosia always preaches, as well as a solid pitching corps, and I don’t see who can stop the Halos this season.

Preview (52-53, 3rd, 1.5 GB CWS): Scott Baker (8-7, 4.86) vs. David Huff (5-5, 6.39). The Twins have the easiest schedule of all the AL Central division contenders I believe, and that starts now.  If we can’t go into Indian country and take the series, it might be a long September.

Road Woes

road.jpgThough playing in the friendly confines of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome tonight against the Cleveland Indians, where the Twins are 19-11 so far this year, inevitably the team will have to hit the road again soon, where they are 6-16.

My question is: Why??????????????????????????????????????

Are the pillows at the hotel not fluffed up enough?

Are the players just suffering from a mental block?

Does Gardy and his coaching crew need to try something different to motivate his players on the road?

Is having “last ups” really that important?

Heck, if the Twins can’t compete at Tropicana Field, the closest thing to the Dome there is in the AL right now, then what chance do we have to go into, say, Boston or Anaheim and pick up even a single victory.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?  I just don’t get it.  At the Dome, the pitchers (even Liriano) look terrific and the bats get the job done on a nightly basis.  Yet, have us bat in the top of innings and we look like “Hitless Wonders” and our pitchers get clobbered.

I mean, it’s still baseball, isn’t it?  The same dimensions, same batters, same pitchers, same basic strategies…yet a huge disparity exists.

Preview (25-27, 3rd, 4.5 GB DET): David Huff (0-1, 10.97) vs. Kevin Slowey (7-1, 4.11).  A few more quality starts and the Slow-dog may start to garner some All-Star recognition.

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