May 1, 2005
Twins Take 2 of 3 From Angels, Santana is Human
The loss was Santana's first since the Tigers beat him on July 11, 2004. The interesting thing, aside from the fact that it took him 21 starts to lose another game, is that the loss to Detroit was very similar to the loss to the Angels yesterday afternoon. Santana gave up just two hits to the Angels yesterday, both of them solo homers, and lost the game 2-1 because the lineup couldn't score him any runs. Santana also gave up just two hits against the Tigers last July, one of which was a two-run homer, and lost 2-0 because the lineup couldn't score him any runs (literally this time).
Incidentally, Santana is now 4-1 with a 3.29 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings through six starts this season. After six starts last year, he was 1-0 with a 4.59 ERA and 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings. The Twins, meanwhile, are 15-9 after two dozen games this season, the exact same record they had through 24 games last year. They were just 10-14 through 24 games in 2003 and 14-10 through 24 games in 2002. In other words, everything is right on schedule.
- Joe Mauer walked.
- Justin Morneau homered to right center.
Kelvim Escobar couldn't find the plate in the first inning, so after he started Morneau off 2-0 Angels pitching coach Bud Black came out to have a little chat with him. I imagine Black's message was something along the lines of "throw strikes," because Escobar's next pitch was a chest-high fastball right over the heart of the plate. Needless to say Morneau hit the ball a very long way. It would have been a three-run bomb if Jose Molina hadn't picked Jason Bartlett off first base in the middle of Mauer's plate appearance.
Aside from yesterday's 0-for-4 performance, when no one could hit Colon, Morneau has been in an amazing zone since coming off the disabled list. Here I was worried about whether or not he would be the same hitter after being beaned in the head by Ron Villone in the first series of the year, and all Morneau has done is go 14-for-33 (.424) with two homers, three doubles, and nine RBIs in his first eight games back in the lineup.
Because it's going to cost 20% more? So what? If you've already got a plan for 80% of the funding needed to build the best possible ballpark that could be built in Minnesota, why not hold out for that last 20%? The extra money may seem like a big deal now -- and perhaps it would be a deal breaker, I don't really have any idea -- but in 10 years it's going to be just as big deal when games are being snowed out like they were in Detroit.
If you're going to do this, you have to do it right, and for a ballpark in a cold-weather state like Minnesota that means the ability to go indoors every once in a while when the weather dictates. Even without considering the potential for freezing temperatures and snow ruining games and hurting attendance, simply being able to end all potential for rainouts from April to October seems like a worthwhile investment to me.
UPDATE: Here's what Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna wrote in the Los Angeles Times after visiting Minnesota over the weekend: "There has been a big push in the Twin Cities for a new open-air stadium to replace the Metrodome, but proponents of such a facility should take note: There were snow flurries in Minneapolis on Sunday morning, and the temperature outside the dome at game time was 40 degrees."
Until I figure out how to do that, however, I think I'll leave them open as a sort of experiment. So, feel free to comment away and I'll try to stop in as often as possible throughout the day to take part in whatever discussion is going on. However -- and I can't stress this enough -- I will not stand for personal insults in the comments. If you want to talk baseball, that's great. If you want to talk poker or Elisha Cuthbert or any other non-baseball topic, that's just fine too. But keep it civil, both to me and to everyone else in the comments. And if you posted something and it suddenly disappears, that probably means I thought you were being a jackass.