Friday, May 14, 2010

Help Wanted: Twins Interim Manager

photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

At the conclusion of tonight's game with the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith announced the team is looking for an interim manager. Don't worry, Ron Gardenhire, one of the best managers in the game, has not been fired. It's just that Smith figures maybe someone else will have better luck when his team plays the Yankees.

Okay, so all of the above is bs, but you could understand Smith thinking that way. With tonight's 7-4 Yankees victory, the Twins have lost 24 of the last 27 games played in the Bronx. Add to that playoff losses in 2003, 2004, and 2009. Things weren't much better in the Metrodome where the Twins won only 11 of their last 29 games with the Yankees.

Like many of their previous encounters, the Twins had a chance to win tonight's ball game. They rallied against Damaso Marte to take a 4-3 lead in the 7th, but the Twins' pen imploded in the bottom of the 7th.

Francisco Cervelli led the inning off with a single against Twins starter Scott Baker and Derek Jeter followed with a bullet off of Baker's leg for a double. Lefty Brian Duensing retired Brett Gardner, but Gardenhire made the dangerous decision to intentionally walk Mark Teixeira and face Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded.

Gardenhire had the unenviable task of picking his poison, but Rodriguez was 4-6 lifetime with a trio of home runs against the reliever, Matt Guerrier, that the Twins' skipper opted for.

Quicker than you could say, well, Gardenhire, A-Rod launched a grand slam to left to put the Yankees back on top for good. The Yankees third baseman also scored points in the post-game by taking the high road when YES' Kim Jones wondered if getting intentionally walked irritated him.

Joba Chamberlain (three K's) and Mariano Rivera made quick work of the Twins over the final two innings to hang yet another "L" on Gardenhire and the Twins.


Per Sweeny Murti on Twitter: "Joba has struck out 7 of last 10 batters (over 3 apps)." And this from Jack Curry on Twitter: "Memo to ML Managers: According to STATS, Inc., A-Rod is 4-4 w 2 HRS and 14 RBI in six plate apps after Teixeira was intent walked b4 him."

Nick Swisher left the game after one at-bat due to his bad bicep. (Correction) He went for an MRI, which showed nothing out of the ordinary a slight tear. He's listed as day to day.

Francisco Cervelli continues to be remarkable. Two more hits tonight, threw out a would-be base stealer, and delivered an RBI triple for an insurance run in the 8th inning. He's now 10-13 with runners in scoring position. Cervelli was even impressed by it during the post-game. "That's pretty good", he said with a chuckle.

A.J. Burnett started the game with a shaky first inning, but settled down and left the game with a 3-2 lead in the 7th. He did give up a scorched home run to Joe Mauer.

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