The All-Star Game is over, so the postgame notes don't involve Derek Jeter, Adam Wainwright or Glen Perkins. But here are three:

    SEEING THE WHOLE FIELD:  Is it too late to put Brian Dozier on the All-Star team? The Twins' second baseman made a couple of outstanding defensive plays again on Friday, including a double play that started when he jumped up to take a bad-hop grounder off his chest, then flipped it to second base before he came down again. But even better than that was a heads-up play that prevented a run in the third inning. With Evan Longoria on second base, James Loney hit what looked like a ground-ball single to center. But Dozier came roaring over into short center field, knocked the ball down, then jumped to his feet and fired home. With two outs, Longoria was rounding third and heading home, and the throw easily beat him to the plate to end the inning. "He came out of nowhere and makes a nice play," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Plays like that, that's just seeing the whole field and seeing a play develop. That's kind of above what most guys can do out there."

    HE'S NOT SUPERMAN: Oswaldo Arcia's night on defense wasn't quite so smooth. Longoria hit a bases-loaded drive to the warning track in right-center field, and the second-year outfielder hustled over to track the ball down. But as he reached the ball, Arcia took an awkward leap at it, and the ball got past him, untouched, for a three-run double. Gardenhire said it was too tough a play to expect Arcia to make. "I mean, we're not talking about Superman here," he said. "Can he catch it? I don't know, but that's not an easy play. A rocket hit to the wall, and you're on a dead sprint. He gave it an effort and tried for it, just didn't catch it."

    SWINGS AND FEW MISSES: The numbers say Kyle Gibson got hit hard on Friday, and his ERA puffed up from 3.92 to 4.19 by giving up six runs in six innings. But actually, Gibson pitched pretty well, keeping the ball down and getting ground balls -- 15 outs on the ground, not too bad. He allowed nine hits, but only a handful were hit hard, and he was especially efficient, throwing only 88 pitches. Getting behind Evan Longoria 2-and-0, and Ben Zobrist 3-and-1 were the big mistakes, because he responded both times with fastballs over the middle. Gibson struck out the first batter of the game, then didn't record another whiff. He's got only eight strikeouts in his last five starts. Does that worry him? No, Gibson said, because if he gets quick outs, he can go deeper into games. His point is true, but one thing he might consider: With so many balls put into play, hits and runs are inevitable, even on weak contact, as Tampa Bay proved Friday. Mixing in a few more strikeouts might cut down on the number of scoring chances he faces.

Older Post

Santana healthy and back atop Twins' lineup

Newer Post

Mauer takes first workout on field since injury