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: Thielbar, Strikeouts, Archer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 13, 2013 - 11:45 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins loss to the Rays:

1. RIPPING OFF ATTEBERRY: Caleb Thielbar entered the game with no outs and runners on first and second. Ben Zobrist tried to bunt but popped out into a double play. With James Loney batting, Thielbar picked David DeJesus off first base to end the inning. Thielbar officially faced one batter - and got three outs. According to KTWIN's Kris Atteberry, it's just the 25th time in MLB history that has happened. Thielbar threw three pitches. Wonder if he had to ice after the game?

2. SWING THE BAT!!!!: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire talked about it before and after the game. The Twins need to figure out why they are striking out so much. Power hitters are known to strike out a lot - but the Twins don't have anyone other than Josh Willingham who qualifies as a power hitter. What is frustrating to Gardenhire is the number of called strike threes. He's telling players to give themselves a chance and swing the bat, but Clete Thomas and Eduardo Escobar took called strike threes with two on in the fifth tonight.

3. CHRIS ARCHER: A former fifth round pick of the Indians, Archer was sent with two other minor leaguers to the Cubs for Mark DeRosa in 2008. That year, he walked 84 in 115.1 innings in Low-A. He's always had trouble with walks - 5.0 per nine innings in eight major league seasons - but improved enough to be useful to the Rays in their playoff race. So I guess that's why it's worth being patient with prospects like Trevor May, because of the, `what if,' factor.

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