In chilly conditions and some snow, the Twins did not look very good at Target Field in a shortened series against the Mets.
Game 1 was over from the start, when the Mets put up 10 runs in two innings off Vance Worley, including a grand slam from hot hitting catcher John Buck. Though it was Pedro Hernandez to serve up the grand slam, he pitched overall fairly well in his 4 innings of relief before exiting early with a calf strain. The Twins did put some runs on the board, with hits from Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe.
Scott Diamond made his first start of the season in Game 2 and wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great. He threw 4 scoreless innings before New York rallied for 4 runs on 7 consecutive hits in the 4th, chasing Diamond from the game. The Twins offense was shut down by 24-year old Matt Harvey, whose no-hit bid was broken up in the 7th by a solo home run from Morneau, his first of the year. Minnesota threatened in the 9th, getting back-to-back doubles from Mauer and Josh Willingham, but only could come up with one run. The third game of the series was post-poned due to inclement and wintry weather conditions (I can’t believe I’ve typed that in April) and will be made up on August 19th. Here’s to hoping Harvey isn’t for pitching for New York that day.
- Rookie centerfield Aaron Hicks is still struggling at the plate. He did get on base a few times with a walk and an error, but struck out 4 times in 9 at-bats through both games. That now brings his strikeout total to 2o, leading the league and tying a record for rookies in their first 10 games. He’s 2-43 and a .047 avg. I’ve seen some awful slumps, but this might be the worst. Only positive I can try to take from it is he did hit the ball hard in game 1, a line drive to right-center that was tracked down by Mike Baxterin the bottom of the 2nd inning. Hicks still has a lot of talent, and I think the Twins continue to to see if he can work out this slump, but it won’t be much longer if he continues to be an automatic out for opposing pitchers.
- Justin Morneau hit the ball hard in both games. He had a double in Friday night’s contest that missed being a home run by a foot, and then laced a homer on Saturday. However, he did come up in a big situation representing the tying run in his final at-bat on Saturday and took a hack at the first pitch, flying out to left field. I think Morneau is a guy that should be green lit in those situations, but not yet. The swing he took in the 9th seemed too anxious to tie up the game. I think he should’ve attempted to work the count a little more and gotten the right pitch.
- There’s a theory that Pedro Hernandez gave up the grand slam to Buck, therefore his outing wasn’t that great. He came into a tough situation, in awful conditions. Gotta give him a break there; they were also Worley’s earned runs. He was able to cool down a hot Mets offense for a few innings. I’m excited to see him pitch again this week.
- Josh Roenicke continues to impress in the bullpen. He threw two scoreless innings in relief of Diamond on Saturday, lowering his ERA to 1.17 in 7.2 IP. Nice job.
- Through 11 games, the Twins only have 1 starter to go deep into a ball game. And that was Kevin Correia last week in Kansas City. Kevin Correia!
- Target Field was covered in snow on Thursday, and the grounds crew went above and beyond the get it game ready for Friday. Here’s a link to a photo blog from the grounds crew and the work they do. Boss.
The struggling Angels (4-8) visit Target Field for the final three games of the Twins (4-7) current home stand. Top prospect Oswaldo Arcia will be making his Twins and MLB debut tonight.