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: Nolasco, Defense, Mauer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 15, 2014 - 11:38 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' loss to Kansas City:

NOLASCO: Nolasco said after the game that his stuff was, ``crisp,'' and had pretty good command and all he has to do is keep working hard and finish the season strong. I saw someone who missed spots several times and flipped up a slurvy curve a few times too. It seems like he avoids ripping himself to the media, and that's fine. There are many pitchers who take that approach. What needs to happen is that he's got to put up numbers, pitch deeper into games and give the Twins hope that he's going to be a guy over the next three seasons. Because when a team makes a $49 million commitment over four years to a pitcher who has a 5.99 ERA - stuff like that gets people fired at the end of the season. These are an important six weeks for him.

DEFENSE:  Oswaldo Arcia misplayed a ball of Pohlad's Peak in right that allowed Jarrod Dyson to leg out a triple. Jordan Schafer had some trouble digging Josh Willingham's double out of the corner that might have stopped the third run from scoring. And Danny Santana took a poor route on Alcides Escobar's triple that allowed two runs score. Just a poor day from the outfielders on a team that can't afford to miss plays.

MAUER: If Joe Mauer ends up with a 30-game hitting streak, Friday will be worth remembering. Mauer blooped a ball down the left field line that Alex Gordon had in his glove briefly before it spilled out. Mauer hustled to second and was given a double on a ball that might have landed foul.

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