La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Hernandez, Arcia, Mauer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 9, 2013 - 7:55 AM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' big win over Boston:

1. PEDRO HERNANDEZ:  `I tried to do my best but my head wasn't in the game today,'' Hernandez said through translator Wilkin Ramirez. Maira Camacho, one of his cousins, passed away at age 38 on Monday and was buried on Wednesday. He wanted to win the game for her but it just didn't work out. Tough for him because he's given up 14 runs in two starts at Fenway Park, totaling six innings of work. Also, there was speculation about Kyle Gibson getting his chance with Hernandez struggling. Gibson pitched a complete game shutout on Wednesday for Class AAA Rochester.  I think Hernandez will definitely get a couple more chances to start now.

2. OSWALDO ARCIA: I love how he doesn't get cheated on a swing, but he cut down on his swing a couple times on Wednesday and shot the ball the other way for hits. He showed that he can have a two-strike approach. One at-bat, he took a vicious rip at a 2-0 pitch and missed, but then cut down his swing and got a hit. It was the 26th time in Twins history that a rookie has had four hits in a game. ``Today I was trying to put the ball in play and just try to take it easy,'' he said, through Wilkin. ``In the past I tried to hit home runs. Today he came with a different approach and tried to hit the ball the other way.'' Some will worry that the Twins are de-programming him. He's just trying to be a well-rounded hitter.

3. MAUER AND DOUBLES: Joe Mauer has six doubles in his last four games, and five in this series. ``Three games here, I'm seeing some good pitches. I like hitting here,'' Mauer said, Why didn't the Twins put a Green Monster like structure in Target Field? They could have called it "Carl's Cliff.''  or "The Great Norstar Wall.'' or something.

3a. DOUMIT'S FOURTH HIT: Ryan Doumit sent a drive toward the Monster with two men on in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury jumped for the ball at the wall and it popped in and out of his glove, hit the wall and caught by Ellsbury. It was a hit. Willingham couldn't tell, so he froze at second. Doumit was running toward second and passed Trevor Plouffe, who had sort of peeled off to the right of the baseline. The ball was thrown back in. Doumit was ruled out for passing Plouffe. And Plouffe, who wasn't on a base, was tagged out to end the inning. What a mess. They initially called it a fielder's choice but changed the ruling after the game to a hit for Doumit. his fourth of the game. Looking back, if Willingham would have been able to see the ball pop out of Ellsbury's glove and ran, the Twins aren't in that situation.

 

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