Postgame: Arcia hurt on bunt play Gardenhire didn't like
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- June 6, 2014 - 12:27 AM
Some leftover topics from a rather odd and frustrating game for the Twins:
BUNT WASN'T ON: Oswaldo Arcia was injured on a play that, in Ron Gardenhire's opinion, shouldn't have happened. After Arcia led off the sixth inning with a double, Trevor Plouffe -- whose last bunt hit came in May 2013 -- tried to lay down a surprise bunt, but missed the pitch. Arcia took a step toward third base, then tried to get back to second, but turned his ankle in doing so. He got up and limped through a rundown, but was tagged out.
Did Gardenhire put the bunt on? Um, bad question.
"You really think I'd put a bunt on with Plouffe, with a man on second and down two runs?" Gardenhire scolded after the game. "Yes, he did try to bunt. Tried to drag bunt. And our guy did the tuna out there and fell down and hurt his ankle."
That's not to entirely absolve Arcia, however. "In that situation, when Trev tries to bunt, you've got to be a little under control out there," Gardenhire said. "He jumped a little too far, got a little anxious and ended up rolling it. He's got to be a little more under control."
The Twins will learn on Friday how serious Arcia's injury really is. Considering he's hit four home runs in 10 days, they're praying he wakes up with no soreness.
ANOTHER OUT ON THE BASES: Speaking of baserunning mistakes, Brian Dozier made one, too. After Danny Santana and Dozier led off the fifth inning with infield hits, Santana decided not to tag up and move to third on Joe Mauer's fly out to center. When Willingham followed with another fly ball, this one slightly shallower, Santana chose to go.
The rookie made it easily, but Carlos Gomez hit the cutoff man, and shortstop Jean Segura quickly relayed the ball to second base, barely beating Dozier. Gardenhire said he appreciated the hustle, and the Brewers had to make two good throws. But it was a bad risk.
"You just can't make those outs," Gardenhire said. "It's an aggressive play, but it's a situation where we can't afford that."
SWARZAK TO THE RESCUE: If not for Antony Swarzak, the Twins may have had to call up a pitcher from Rochester on Friday -- but not a starter. Gardenhire said Wednesday that the Twins have "gotten a little bit thin here a couple of times" in the bullpen, since they have seven relievers instead of eight. "You figure out ways to work your way through it. We're OK right now, as long as we don't kill them. The starters have got to carry the load."
Kevin Correia lasted only five innings on Thursday, leaving four for the bullpen. Swarzak picked up seven of the 12 outs, giving up a single to the first batter he faced -- a hit that scored the Brewers' sixth run, actually -- then retiring the next seven in a row.
Gardenhire made it clear after the game that he's nervous about the bullpen's workload, but grateful to Swarzak. "We've played a motherlode of games in a row. We've beaten up our bullpen. We had guys we weren't going to use tonight," the manager said. "So he got through some big innings for us."
Swarzak isn't crazy about his long-relief role -- but he continues to do it so well, the Twins can't consider changing it.
Meanwhile, there was much speculation after the game that Kevin Correia's spot in the rotation might be in jeopardy, or that Jared Burton might be used less after surrendering runs for the third time in five appearances. Gardenhire made it clear, though, that Correia remains in the rotation despite his 6.11 ERA. "He's one of our starters," the manager said three times.
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