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Continued: Hartman: Super Bowl will improve Vikings' profitability

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 23, 2014 - 11:50 AM

Meanwhile, Nick Leddy, the Eden Prairie native who struggled a bit in the Blackhawks’ series against the Wild, has been producing better against the Los Angeles Kings. He has two points in two games. Leddy scored his first goal of the playoffs on Wednesday night in a 6-2 loss.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, goaltender Corey Crawford — who was so consistent in shutting down the Wild, posting a .926 save percentage with two goals against per game in that series — was torched by the Kings Wednesday night for five goals — all in the third period — on 30 shots. His save percentage in the conference finals now stands at .893.

Jottings

• I was among the media who were not enamored by the additions Twins General Manager Terry Ryan made before the 2014 season started. Believe me, nobody had any idea that on May 22 the Twins would be two games over .500, having won five of their last six series, including the past four from Detroit, Boston, Seattle and San Diego.

And in addition, there wasn’t too much applause for the signing of the free agents on a pitching rotation that over its past six starts has posted a 2.70 ERA with no home runs allowed, eight walks and 32 strikeouts. In that time, opponents are hitting .210.

• And then you have Phil Hughes, who was 2-3 through nine starts last year for the of the Yankees, with a 5.51 ERA, 42 strikeouts, 13 walks and 10 homers allowed. After pitching a masterpiece against the Padres on Wednesday, allowing no runs or walks and seven hits in seven innings, his record through nine starts is 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA, 47 strikeouts, only six walks and four home runs allowed. Since April 26, Hughes has a 1.21 ERA

• The success of third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who has hit in seven consecutive games since May 14 and has accounted for 28 percent of the Twins’ runs, including a home run on Wednesday that was measured at 439 feet, the longest hit in Petco Park this season.

• Even more remarkable, the Twins are winning despite some players’ struggles. Ricky Nolasco, who signed a four-year, $49 million contract in the offseason, is 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA. Chris Colabello, who carried the team early this season and was hitting .359 through the first 19 games, has hit just .140 over his past 22 games. And Jason Kubel, who like Colabello had a hot bat early (.319 average through the first 20 games), has hit .188 in the 18 games since.

• Australian pitcher Liam Hendriks, once one of the Twins’ top prospects, is the leading pitcher in the International League. Starting for Class AAA Buffalo, a Toronto Blue Jays farm club, Hendriks is 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA. He has 36 strikeouts in 48 ⅔ innings with just three walks. … Meanwhile, second baseman Eddie Rosario, one of the top-rated prospects in the Twins’ minor league system, is expected to be in the lineup this weekend for the Fort Myers Miracle when his 50-game suspension ends. He is expected to play a few games in Fort Myers before joining the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
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