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 from LEN3: Perkins, Swarzak, Fryer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 6, 2014 - 6:46 PM

Here are three thoughts following this clunker:

PERK FAILS TO CONVERT: Yonder Alonzo led off the ninth with a double to center, jumping on Glen Perkins' first pitch. Alonzo ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the ninth. Perkins was trying to get ahead in the count so he could put away another hitter with his nasty slider, but he never got to the point with Alonzo. Perkins has noticed a change in how hitters approach him. `` ``Recently guys have been swinging a little early (in the count) on me and I need to make adjustments on that,'' Perkins said. ``They are probably not wanting to get to two strikes and having to deal with the slider. It's on me to adjust back and figure out a better process of putting guys away.''

SWARZAK THOUGHT HE MADE THE RIGHT PITCH: Well, that was before Seth Smith deposited his pitch into the seats in right field with what turned out to the ne the game-winning hit. With the count 3-1, Swarzak had not come inside yet and felt the time was right. Smith, however, was all over the pitch and hit it an estimated 414 feet. ``I tried to come in there 3-1 because he hadn't seen anything close to him yet,'' Swarzak said. ``I got in there, but he was quick in there and got it.'' Swarzak though two of his pitches to Smith should have been called strikes, but looked at replays after the game and said home plate umpire  Marvin Hudson made the right calls.

FRYER FIRES DOWN TO SECOND: Eric Fryer picked off Alonzo in the seventh, firing a throw after catching a Jared Burton pitch. He said it was in the back of his mind that he had a shot at Alonzo, and decided to take chance when he saw enough daylight between Alonso and shortstop Eduardo Escobar, who caught the throw. ``A lot of times in the past I double clutch because I'm not thinking about it,'' Fryer said. ``This time I made sure I was mentally ready in case (the hitter, Alexi Amarista) bunts through or takes high. Once I saw the clearance I'm throwing down there.''


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