June 13, 2005

Too Much Hee Seop

I'm not sure what to say about this weekend's series against the Dodgers, other than that it was a wasted opportunity. A couple different moves or better execution in a few key spots and the Twins sweep. Instead, they lost two out of three and are now 5.5 games behind the White Sox.

For all the talk about having a great, deep bullpen, Terry Mulholland sure does show up in a lot of key spots. I watched Friday's game while chatting with Jon Weisman and his fine, Dodger-loving readers over at Dodger Thoughts. When Mulholland came in from the bullpen in the ninth inning, I contributed to the ongoing conversation by saying, "I think I'm going to throw up."

Literally a minute after I typed that, Hee Seop Choi hit a walk-off homer. It was just one of six (yes, six) home runs Choi hit during the three-game series, including three in a row off Brad Radke yesterday afternoon. The fact that the Twins easily could have won either of the games they lost, despite Choi's power display, makes things all the more frustrating.

The good news is that the Twins have Johan Santana on the mound tomorrow against the free falling Giants, and they are still three games up in the Wild Card standings and owners of the second-best record in the league. The Dodgers, through all their ups and downs, are a good team, and they got a Herculean effort from Hee Seop Choi this weekend. Losing two tough games to them under those circumstances is not the end of the world.

The other good news that can be taken from the series against the Dodgers is that the Twins don't play in the National League. Not because it's a tougher league or anything like that. I just don't think I could handle a whole season of Ron Gardenhire playing what he thinks is an "NL style" while having to make decisions about pinch hitting for pitchers every game.

I was very sad that local blackout rules stopped me from hearing my favorite announcer, Vin Scully, call a game involving my favorite team. But Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven were joined on the Twins' TV broadcast by the highly enjoyable Mudcat Grant. Listening to Grant was like listening to Blyleven before I grew tired of his considerable quirks. Plus, it was a lot of fun to hear and read all about the 1965 World Series for the past few days.

One note before I leave you with a link to my article today at THT: Sign ups for "Twins Blogger Night" at the Metrodome have started. To read more about it, check out my entry from Friday. To sign up for the event, click here. If you don't have plans for next Tuesday, the 21st, you should definitely sign up. I'm not sure how many people will be there beyond the bloggers (and Tony Oliva), but even the small blog-related gatherings I've gone to in the past have been a lot of fun.

Today at The Hardball Times:
- Notes From the Weekend (by Aaron Gleeman)
- Thrusting Themselves Forward (by Craig Burley)

Today's Picks (54-45, +$675):
St. Louis (Suppan) +140 over Toronto (Halladay)

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