Games » Minnesota TwinsApr17
Rick Ankiel ought to pay me to talk about the hole in his swing. Every time I do, he goes on a tear. You can see the catcher setting up inside, but when the pitcher misses that spot, he hits it lopsided.
In his last at-bat, the Twins also went after Guillen inside, but well off the plate. This is a common strategy: figure out what a guy wants and give him too much of it (like editors who ask cartoonists if they’d like to watch some baseball). Guillen has been knocking the cover off the inner half, so they go even further in and see if he’ll chase.
Covering a ball that’s inside off the plate opens up the outside lane and, when they went away, he was off-balance and hit a weak fly ball. It’ll be interesting to see if they go after him the same way tomorrow.
Podsednik was on first and Butler hit a long fly ball to center. Podsednik read that the ball would be caught, but caught so deep he could make it to second. Nothing came of it, but it gave the Royals two at-bats with the tying run in scoring position.
I love this guy’s game, but I should mention that in Detroit he clearly didn’t know how many outs there were when he caught a fly ball to end an inning. He came up ready to throw and looked confused, probably because everyone was leaving the field.
Forgetting how many outs there are is easy — hell, I can forget what day it is, but in a major league stadium, there are scoreboards everywhere. I didn’t score a mental error there because it was the end of an inning and didn’t cost anything, but clearly not a good situation.
Not an error, but…
Betancourt went back on a flare over his head and squared up (turned his chest toward home plate) too soon. When the ball continued to carry, he had to backpedal (a really slow way to go for a ball) and it dropped just out of his reach.
Frank White says…
The Twins closer, Rauch, does a good job of pitching downhill…Frank, he’s 6-11, what choice does he have?
Speaking of closers…
When Callaspo led off with a single in the 9th, Hillman played for one run, sacrifice bunting with Kendall. That goes against baseball wisdom: play for the tie at home and the win on the road. The thinking goes like this: even if you tie the game up, you may never get to the plate again, since the home team has the last at-bat. It also means you have to supply at least two innings of relief instead of one. You tie it up, you have to shut them down, take the lead in the next inning and shut them down again.
But Boston did the same thing (play for the tie on the road) when they were here and Soria was pitching. I think the thought process may be “settle for one off the closer, extend the game and make the home team choose between sending the closer out again or throwing a lesser pitcher in extra innings.”
But since I just pulled that out of some area south of my beltline, I could be wrong.