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.

Three postgame thoughts from LEN3: Offense, bullpen, Liriano

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under On the road Updated: June 30, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Here are three things on my mind following the Twins' 4-3 loss to Kansas City on Friday.

1. This week has been disappointing for the offense. It's hard to believe the Twins couldn't figure out Royals righthander Luis Mendoza, but those things happen in baseball. But it's even harder to understand when the Twins' offense goes south twice in a few days. They should have clobbered Gavin Floyd on Tuesday. He was struggling on the road and the Twins have had their way with him in the past. But they lost 3-2 and lost the series to the White Sox. Now they let Mendoza shut them down on Friday.  Once in a while, sure. Twice in four days?

2. Let's see how today's moves affect tomorrow's game: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire used four relievers on Friday on purpose so none of them would pitch too much to be unavailable for the doubleheader on Saturday. Anthony Swarzak and Kyle Waldrop both threw 25 pitches and should good to go tomorrow. Tyler Robertson threw 11 and Alex Burnett threw 14. They should have no problems bouncing back. The Royals should have no problems!

3. Liriano: Joe C. was told that the Braves are NOT interested in Francisco Liriano, so you don't have to study their farm system any more. But I was told that, if Liriano keeps throwing well, the Dodgers could be interested. Liriano has re-built his trade value. Now let's see if he can maintain it - or increase it.



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