A few Twins tidbits before the afternoon game in New York.
- It sounds like Jose Mijares is at the bottom of the pecking order for southpaws coming out of the bullpen. With Ron Mahay and Brian Duensing each settling into their roles, Mijares is going to have to work his way back into the circle of trust if he wants to see more high-leverage situations. During the game last night Bert asked "Where?" when Dick said Jose had lost 20 pounds since going on the disabled list. I have to say that Mijares does look a tad bit lighter.
- J.J. Hardy is eligible to come off the disabled list just in time for the last game in Boston this week. His defense is missed, and it's always nice to have his pop at the bottom of the order as well. We haven't seen him since May 4th, when he finished 2-for-4 with a triple. He was heating up prior to having to hit the DL, hitting in eight straight games (including 7-for-18 in four May games).
- After getting drilled in the leg last night in the seventh inning, it sounds like things are all clear for Scott Baker. Derek Jeter's grounder skipped off Baker's knee and rolled behind first base into right field, giving Jeter a double and setting the scene for A-Rod's grand slam.
- Speaking of A-Rod's grand slam: I don't blame the Twins for walking Mark Teixeira, because Teixeira has raked versus left-handed pitching so far this year. I don't even blame them for bringing in a right-handed pitcher to face Alex Rodriguez, because he hasn't hit them quite as well as he has southpaws. But Matt Guerrier? Are you kidding me? Guerrier is a reliable relief pitcher, but A-Rod was 4-for-7 against him in his career. All four of those hits were for extra bases, but three of them were home runs. When he fouled off an inside fastball, anyone with any sense of the desires of the baseball gods could tell what was coming. He destroyed the next pitch, another fastball that Guerrier decided needed to catch even more of the plate than pitch number one.
- After all of that, loading the bases for Rodriguez just seems like a silly idea anyway. Even paint-by-numbers bullpen management doesn't work in every situation. The best thing the Twins could have done: put in Guerrier one hitter earlier. Teixeira is hitting just .174/.309/.304 against right-handed pitching this season.
- Game 2 is just a couple hours away. Get your Saturday chores done and we'll see you back here for the game.