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.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: Thoughts on final play, Dickey, Nolasco

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 9, 2014 - 11:06 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 5-4 loss to Toronto

THE FINAL PLAY: We were just talking about it before the game. The FieldTurf. The field was reconditioned with fresh recycled tire chips before the season, and balls are bouncing much higher. "I haven't seen this field bounce like that.'' And it came into play....on the final play. With the winning run on second, Kevin Pillar sent a single to right field that hit the turf and bounced up, Oswaldo Arcia had to wait a moment for the ball to come down but fired a strike to home plate. It was a hair late. If the game is played on regular grass - or last year's tire chips -  the Twins are convinced the runner gets thrown out at home. "No doubt,'' Brian Dozier said. ''Oh yeah,'' Arcia said. ''But the ball bounced high.''

R.A. DICKEY: The Twins looked as ifthey were going to pound him tonight after the back-to-back home runs to lead off the game. But Dickey made an adjustment that allowed him to pitch into the sixth inning. ''He throws the hard knuckleball and the slow one. After that first inning -- we put a bunch of good swings on the slow one -- I don't think he threw another one after that. And it's tough to lay off the one up in the zone, you never know if it is going to come back down.''

NOLASCO: It was another one of his not awful but not great outings. Made a bad pitch to Encarnacion in the first to give up the three-run homer. Then he retired nine straight. Then he gave up a home run to Jose Reyes. I thought the first inning would have been different if that 3-2 pitch to Jose Bautista would have been called a strike - like it should have. Nolasco thought he had Bautista struck out too, but said he made too many bad pitches for that one to stand out. ''This is starting to get a little old,'' Nolasco said. ''It's been the story of the season. Especially to these guys in this ballpark.''

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Miami - LP: B. Morris 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: M. Grace 6
NY Yankees - LP: C. Martin 1 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 3
Philadelphia - WP: A. Harang 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 2
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1
Los Angeles - LP: C. Hatcher 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Blazek 4
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 9 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Socolovich 10
Oakland - LP: J. Hahn 7 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8
Texas - WP: K. Kela 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 1
Arizona 0 Postponed
Colorado 0
Seattle - WP: F. Hernandez 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: M. Shoemaker 2
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 2
Chicago 99 FINAL
Cleveland 92
LA Clippers 117 FINAL
Houston 101
NY Rangers 0 FINAL
Washington 1
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