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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Twins need to get their bats going against Reds

It rained when I landed this morning but it has since stopped, the sun is out and it's getting a little muggy.

The problem is that more rain is expected this evening, which could affect tonight's game. I'm starting to become more optimistic that we'll get this one in because the new forecast isn't as troubling as it was this morning.

Joe Mauer is batting second in the order for just the fourth time this season, as manager Paul Molitor tries to figure out how to free the offense. Torii Hunter, who is 4-for-12 with three homers on the road trip, is in the No. 3 hole tonight. Strange stat: Hunter is batting .350 in wins and .159 in losses.

``We're putting pressure on our pitching staff by not having many days where we give them much to work with early and kind of have to grind out games.'' Molitor said. ``If that's the way your team turns out, then you have to deal with what you have.
``Right now we are having trouble scoring runs . We have had a couple games where we have done some damage but, overall, it's been a little bit of a scuffle.''

Twins pitchers have walked the fewest batters in the American League. Twins starters have a 2.53 ERA over their last 11 outings - and that includes the blowup Trevor May had on Saturday.

If the offense pulls its weight, this team could take off. And the front office should be on the lookout for a bat. Heck, they might have one in Chattanooga.

There is one bad matchup category for the Twins in this series. The Reds lead the majors with 75 stolen bases.


Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Eddie Rosario, CF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, LF
Mike Pelfrey, RHP
Danny Santana, SS

Reds

Billy Hamilton, CF
Ivan De Jesus, 2B
Joey Votto, 1B
Todd Frazier, 3B
Jay Bruce, RF
Marlon Byrd, LF
Tucker Barnhart, C
Eugenio Suarez, SS
Mike Leake, RHP

Postgame: Strike zone. Milone and the need for a shortstop


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 5-3 loss to Milwaukee

STRIKE ZONE ISSUES: Lance Barrett had a tight strike zone on Sunday. I ran into the TV booth to get Bert Blyleven's opinion, and he agreed. But Barrett was consistent, and Twins manager Paul Molitor indicated that both team had issues.  But Barrett was inconsistent one time - the worst time. With Brian Dozier batting, Barrett called strike two on a pitch he called a ball during the previous 8.2 innings, Dozier disagreed with the call, and I think that got him flustered for the next pitch, which he should have swung at because it was a strike. Dozier was mad and let Barrett have it. Ran into Bert after the game, and he said that both pitches were strikes on their FOX toy strike zone thingy. I understood that, but Barrett had been calling that pitch a ball. A heck of a time to change.

MILONE ON FIRE: Tommy Milone could be a candidate to move to the bullpen when Ervin Santana joins the rotation on Sunday - boy it's coming up fast. The Twins could use lefthanded help, and Milone is lefthanded. But how can you take him out now? Milone is at his spot-hitting best right now as he's 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA this month. He would have more wins if the Twins would score more. I think the Twins should try a six-man rotation into the All-Star break then figure things out over the break. But Milone deserves to remain in the rotation.

TWINS NEED A SHORTSTOP: GM Terry Ryan disagreed with me when I brought it up today. He feels that they have depth at short with Eduardo Nunez, Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana around, But there's no No. 1 shortstop and that's a problem to me. I think they need to roll with Santana and see if he can channel his inner 2014. But if they aren't enamored with him as an every day starter they should look to fortify the position. The phrase, "shortstop platoon,'' just doesn't look right to me.

Bottom 2nd R H E
Minnesota 40-35 1 2 0
Cincinnati 34-40 4 5 0

Today's Scoreboard

  • Texas

    Baltimore

     

    - Bot 4th

    4

    0

  • Milwaukee

    Philadelphia

     

    - Top 5th

    2

    4

  • Boston

    Toronto

     

    - Bot 5th

    3

    0

  • Minnesota

    Cincinnati

     

    - Top 4th

    1

    9

  • Cleveland

    Tampa Bay

     

    - Top 5th

    2

    0

  • Kansas City

    Houston

     

    - Top 2nd

    0

    0

  • LA Dodgers

    Arizona

    8:40 PM

  • NY Yankees

    LA Angels

    9:05 PM

  • Colorado

    Oakland

    9:05 PM

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