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Outshined

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Can the Twins get the monkey off their back and beat the Yankees?

 

I got tickets for game 1! :wacko:

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Can the Twins get the monkey off their back and beat the Yankees?

 

I got tickets for game 1! :wacko:

Hugh ballgame tonight. Frankie needs to throw strikes cause the Yanks will wait him out of he's all jacked up and throwing wildly. Can NOT afford to walk anyone in that lineup. Gotta make them hit their way on (which they may do, anyways) and defense needs to be air-tight. Somehow, they have to get to CC early cause if he gets rolling its trouble.

 

If the Twins can hold serve here in MN, I like their chances to exorcise the demons. If they let NY steal one, they've got big problems.

 

Twins vs Yanks

Vikes vs Jets

Lets get it on, NY :tup:

 

And nice score on the tix, Outshined! :tup:

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Gotta be aggressive in the playoffs. That's what is hurting the Twins, more than anything else. How many times are we going to see Mauer take a fastball over the plate, to start an at-bat 0-1 (or even 0-2). He's done that on three of his first six at-bats in this series, only to strike out on bad pitches in at least two of them. I know that's typical Mauer (to take the first pitch), but it's not just him. Thome did the same thing, late in last night's game... got behind in the count, by taking perfect hitter's pitches, then struck out on a pitch that bounced in front of the plate. :wacko: In other words, if good pitchers know that you're not going to swing at the first pitch (like Mauer is known for), they're more likely to just throw a fastball, hoping to get ahead in the count. We all know what happens when you're behind in the count, against guys like Sabbathia or Pettite.

 

Not to mention, the Twins seem to have this unwritten rule (or maybe Gardenhire has actually told them to do this) to always take a pitch in a 3-0 count. At some point, you need to change things up and, like I said, be the aggressor. The best pitch Young saw all night was on 3-0, and of course, he took the pitch. Look at what Texas did on 3-0 pitches in their game yesterday... Two-run homer and an RBI double. If you're always conservative, it's only a matter of time before it catches up with you. Playing that type of baseball (against the Yankees or anybody else) is a losing formula.

 

Now, I'm not saying that there weren't other issues with last night's game as well... I never want to see Crain pitch in a close playoff game again. He's done that to us too many times. In the 7th inning, with a two-run lead, Gardy should be pitching somebody with somewhat powerful stuff, not an "innings-eater" like Crain. He just doesn't have the stuff to be reliable in a close game like that. I'm not saying we have many pitchers in the pen who are over-powering, but I'd rather see Fuentes, Rauch, or Capps (in the 7th inning or later, with the lead) than Crain. His role should be for one thing, and one thing only... middle relief in games where the lead is 3+ runs, in one direction or the other.

 

All right... Done venting, for now.

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Yep, Rauch should have been pitching in the 7th last night, not Crain. Gardy tried to save one too many bullets, and got burnt.

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Gotta be aggressive in the playoffs. That's what is hurting the Twins, more than anything else. How many times are we going to see Mauer take a fastball over the plate, to start an at-bat 0-1 (or even 0-2). He's done that on three of his first six at-bats in this series, only to strike out on bad pitches in at least two of them. I know that's typical Mauer (to take the first pitch), but it's not just him. Thome did the same thing, late in last night's game... got behind in the count, by taking perfect hitter's pitches, then struck out on a pitch that bounced in front of the plate. :wacko: In other words, if good pitchers know that you're not going to swing at the first pitch (like Mauer is known for), they're more likely to just throw a fastball, hoping to get ahead in the count. We all know what happens when you're behind in the count, against guys like Sabbathia or Pettite.

 

Not to mention, the Twins seem to have this unwritten rule (or maybe Gardenhire has actually told them to do this) to always take a pitch in a 3-0 count. At some point, you need to change things up and, like I said, be the aggressor. The best pitch Young saw all night was on 3-0, and of course, he took the pitch. Look at what Texas did on 3-0 pitches in their game yesterday... Two-run homer and an RBI double. If you're always conservative, it's only a matter of time before it catches up with you. Playing that type of baseball (against the Yankees or anybody else) is a losing formula.

 

Now, I'm not saying that there weren't other issues with last night's game as well... I never want to see Crain pitch in a close playoff game again. He's done that to us too many times. In the 7th inning, with a two-run lead, Gardy should be pitching somebody with somewhat powerful stuff, not an "innings-eater" like Crain. He just doesn't have the stuff to be reliable in a close game like that. I'm not saying we have many pitchers in the pen who are over-powering, but I'd rather see Fuentes, Rauch, or Capps (in the 7th inning or later, with the lead) than Crain. His role should be for one thing, and one thing only... middle relief in games where the lead is 3+ runs, in one direction or the other.

 

All right... Done venting, for now.

 

I agree on everything except for putting Crain in. He has been lights out down the stretch and a big reason they had the best record after the all star break. That was weird home run by Texiera, it was very high popup and looked like it was going to be caught, but it just carried. It was a bad pitch by Crain and its too bad he left it up.

 

I went to last nights game as well and I came away from the game with this:

 

The Twins do not have an Ace. If we were able to get Cliff Lee, we might be 2-0. Liriano still isn't quite there yet as a shutdown pitcher. Pavano is a contact pitcher and will not strike out a lot of batters which is a tough matchup against the Yankees. I also think the Twins are missing a leader of the team. Somebody who will light a fire under the team and get them motivated. One person that comes to mind is Puckett...we need somebody like Puckett. Mauer / Morneau are nice guys and good players and have heart, but not sure if they have that fire to motivate everybody else.

 

The chances of winning out now are slim...I am looking forward to next and hope the Twins improve the roster. It would make my season ticket renewal thats due in November a little easier had they won this series. :tup:

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I also think the Twins are missing a leader of the team. Somebody who will light a fire under the team and get them motivated. One person that comes to mind is Puckett...we need somebody like Puckett. Mauer / Morneau are nice guys and good players and have heart, but not sure if they have that fire to motivate everybody else.

I always have trouble with this concept. If you need motivating to play hard against the Yankees in the playoffs after a 162 game season, you should be sweeping streets, not playing baseball. I don't think motivation is a problem but fatalism might be.

 

There are two bottom lines:

 

The Yankees have had more than their share of luck and some extremely questionable umpiring decisions have gone their way, not just in this series.

They have a better hitting lineup.

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I agree on everything except for putting Crain in. He has been lights out down the stretch and a big reason they had the best record after the all star break. That was weird home run by Texiera, it was very high popup and looked like it was going to be caught, but it just carried. It was a bad pitch by Crain and its too bad he left it up.

 

I went to last nights game as well and I came away from the game with this:

 

The Twins do not have an Ace. If we were able to get Cliff Lee, we might be 2-0. Liriano still isn't quite there yet as a shutdown pitcher. Pavano is a contact pitcher and will not strike out a lot of batters which is a tough matchup against the Yankees. I also think the Twins are missing a leader of the team. Somebody who will light a fire under the team and get them motivated. One person that comes to mind is Puckett...we need somebody like Puckett. Mauer / Morneau are nice guys and good players and have heart, but not sure if they have that fire to motivate everybody else.

 

The chances of winning out now are slim...I am looking forward to next and hope the Twins improve the roster. It would make my season ticket renewal thats due in November a little easier had they won this series. :wacko:

I guess I've just seen Crain do the same thing too many times... in the regular season (not this year, necessarily), and in previous playoff series. He doesn't have the dominating stuff that Rauch (for example) has, from what I've seen. Average (at best) fastball, and a breaking ball that is so-so. I know he pitched better during the second half of this year (after being sent down, I believe), but living outside of MN (and not being able to watch them very much all season), I have to admit that I am judging him more on previous years' performances, than this year's. I still think it would have been a better move to put Rauch in (in the 7th inning of Game 1), but I do see your point as well. Obviously, you've seen more of Crain this year than I have. I've watched them every chance I've gotten this year, but that's probably 10 times at most.

 

Agree on the Cliff Lee point, but that's pretty much the case anytime we play the Yankees (or another major market team) in a playoff series. It's always going to be their #1 against our #1 (which is really more of a #2), their #1A against our #2 (which is more of a #3), and their #2 (or #1C) against our #3 (which may be a more like a #3-4). In other words, the deck will always be stacked against us. We need to play BETTER than normal, and have them be just a tad off, in order to beat them... It's that simple. Playing conservative baseball doesn't mean that CAN"T happen, but I think it makes it less likely to happen. Basically, when you're the severe underdog in a five-game series, you have to be willing to take some chances you might not normally take. Sure, we won 90 games this year, but let's face it, more than half of those came against the likes of CLE, KC, and DET (and a few other below-average teams). It takes something extra to beat the best team (or at least one of the top 2-3).

 

The leader thing... I don't know. I just think Puckett is one of those players who is a once in a generation type of guy (for the league, not just the team). There are superstars, and then there are superstars who have a unique ability to make every person in the clubhouse better in numerous ways, as well. I don't think there are more than a half-dozen of those kind of players, in all of MLB, right now (or at any given time, for that matter)... The expectation that you're always going to have one of those on your team is probably not realistic. I do think they have leaders on this team... Maybe not the loud-spoken type of leaders, necessarily, but guys who lead in various ways, through their actions if not words... Mauer, Thome, etc.

 

What I do think they could have used, particularly against NY, is another right-handed bat. When they lost Morneau (who actually hits lefties very well), I could see that it was going to be a problem. Morneau being out means Kubel and Thome become every-day players, for the most part... Kubel is terrible against lefties, and Thome has struggled against them (particularly in this series) as well. Mauer hasn't exactly been lights out, and Span has been below average. That leaves about four guys in their lineup who actually hit OK against lefties... That's not going to get it done, against the Yankees, where you have to assume that you'll need at least 5 runs a game to have a chance. Who could they have gotten? I'm not sure... Watching the Giants last night, I can't help but think that a guy like Pat Burrell (or somebody similar) would have been nice. Then, we could sit Kubel or Thome against lefties, and use that extra power left-handed bat as a pinch-hitter. With Kubel/Thome in the lineup, our pinch-hitting options are basically zero. Easier said than done, obviously... All I'm saying is that it would have been nice, and that I could see us having problems against lefties, once Morneau was out.

 

I always have trouble with this concept. If you need motivating to play hard against the Yankees in the playoffs after a 162 game season, you should be sweeping streets, not playing baseball. I don't think motivation is a problem but fatalism might be.

 

There are two bottom lines:

 

The Yankees have had more than their share of luck and some extremely questionable umpiring decisions have gone their way, not just in this series.

They have a better hitting lineup.

Exactly. We've caught some bad breaks, which you can overcome if you're playing well. But, like I said, it takes something special to beat a team that is heavily favored over you... Not only do you have to play your best (or better than average), but you also have to catch some breaks and/or catch them not playing THEIR best. The Yankees certainly aren't playing their best... Sabbathia was average, and some of their hitters are somewhat struggling. We've been able to take the lead in EIGHT straight post-season games against them, but each and every time, their superior talent finds a way to overcome. Frustrating to watch, to say the least.

 

Oh well, if/when they lose, I guess I'll continue to pull for SF in the NL, and probably Texas in the AL. The one good thing is that all of this good pitching should make for some intense games in the next few weeks (one would think). A Lincecum-Halladay matchup in the next round would be phenomenal.

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Epic fail once again. Out with a whimper. Way to go Twinkies.

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Epic fail once again. Out with a whimper. Way to go Twinkies.

I offer no defense to this.

 

Twins 0 Bucket of Sloppy Pig Manure 3

 

:wacko:

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