Results tagged ‘ Tommy Hunter ’

At Night At The Guthrie (And Not The Theatre…)

10230ce4-4407-4c48-9aa0-49b1bec2c448.jpgWhy do the Orioles find so much pleasure in ending our streaks?! I know that our little five-game winning streak doesn’t compare to this scale, but in early June of 1991 the Twins were riding a 15-game winning streak (the longest in team history) into the old Memorial Stadium. The Twins were up 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, only to see Rick Aguilera blow the save and the streak

Tonight, the O’s again broke up a Twins’ streak when Jeremy Guthrie shut down our bats and Nick Blackburn was shaky again. Blackie pitched just well enough to keep us in the game, but the bats just couldn’t get going.

Back in that ’91 season after the winning streak was destroyed, the Twins recovered to win five more in a row. I’m hoping this ’09 bunch can do the same, starting with the Rangers on Friday.

Preview (63-64, T-2nd w/CWS, 4.5 GB DET): Tommy Hunter (6-2, 2.85) vs. Brian Duensing (1-1, 4.91).

Never Gonna Give You Up

(Okay Family Guy fans, have your laugh now…out of your system?!)

You know, I almost started this post by talking about how my expectations for the Twins have changed and how we should start watching them purely “for love of the game” and not expect them to be in any sort of pennant race. But then, I got to thinking about those poor fans in Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and a few other cities around the MLB circuit that haven’t had anything break right over the past decade (or more) and would love to be competing in any race of any kind right now. Do I think the Twins will win the AL Central? No. Especially not after those two horrible series’ against KC and Cleveland, teams that supposedly give us the advantage over Chicago the Detroit down the stretch. But do we still have a chance? However slim, yes we do, and that is the way I look at it (or at least am trying to, anyway).

I think that the past three seasons (’07-’09) have proven that only so many things can break right for a small-market organization. In the early part of this decade, the Twins were reborn as a competitive team thanks to a lot of young talent peaking at the same time. A few years later (’05-’06) the team was still able to contend because of our ability to make steals of trades and keep calling up effective players from the minor leagues. The last three years, though, has seen a complete reversal. The farm system is beginning to get tapped out (they may still be decent, but not like the talent of years ago), and the trades (Bartlett/Garza for Young) haven’t been going our way. Plus, the terrible economics of a no-salary cap sporting structure forced the Twins to lose guys like Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, keystones of the franchise.

That being said, the Twins still have a pretty good nucleus of young talent (Mauer, Morneau, Kubel) that can win in the future, but the trick will be keeping them together. One would hope that Mauer (the biggest fish who needs to be landed and mounted behind home plate) can see that and will elect to stay with his hometown team, but nothing is guaranteed in this game.

Thus, the Twins’ goal for the last month and a half of this season is to be as competitive as possible to show our young talent that this is a team that can seriously compete again in the future. That starts tonight against Texas, who is currently leading the AL Wild Card standings and thus will be a tough team to beat on the road. However, if there is one thing I never underestimate about a Ron Gardenhire-coached team, it is their ability to come back in the face of severe adversity. Just when you think this is about to happen…

…the Twins will do something crazy like sweep the Rangers and get back in the thick of things.

Preview (56-61, 3rd, 3.5 GB CWS): Francisco Liriano (5-11, 5.39) vs. Tommy Hunter (5-2, 2.26).

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