He take the thunder from the mountain
He take the lightning from the sky
He bring the strong man to his begging knee
He make the young girl's mama cry
Here's what I wrote about my predictions of the Twins "memorable" 2005 season. Let's see if I was right.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Twins 2005 Preview
Berg’s thoughts on Twins baseball 2005
At the end of last season I felt like our run of being a marginal team in a crappy division was over. Then the media here was going all crazy about Jason Kubel—until he screwed up his knee. Then, we had to resign Radke, which was a headache in itself because asking the Twins to resign anyone who is halfway decent is a bit of a challenge.
Now, despite losing Koske and not knowing who our permanent catcher is going to be, I’m feeling damn good about this season!
(Koskie was a big loss. We had a fucking infield of crappy utility infielders)
Seriously, this season could be a memorable one.
(Not exactly memorable)
First I want to talk about our pitching staff.
OUR PITCHING IS GOING TO ROCK, BABY!
(oh and it did too)
Radke: I think Radke will be our third (maybe even fourth) best starter because he is consistent…after the first inning. The way he pitches in the first inning is like watching Bud Selig on the mound (have you seen him pitch? You’d think the commissioner of baseball would be able to throw a ball over the plate!). When Radke pitches they should just start Nathan right away and then put in Radke in the 2nd.
(Radke still had troubles in the first inning and he didn’t have the stuff he had in ‘04, but he was still a quality 3rd Starter)
Lohse: Last year he sucked. He barely qualified as a fourth starter. This year, if he can manage to win 10 games, I’ll jump off my balcony in a small buck—oh I already said I’d do that. Well, I’d do something crazy.
(Lohse was streaky, but not a bad 5 guy)
Silva: Everyone is all stoked about Radke and Santana but Silva is the dude you gotta focus in on. Last year was Silva’s first year as a starting pitcher and he still managed to win 14 GAMES!!!! Why the hell hasn’t anyone said anything about him? He’s going to be our second best pitcher (I’ll betcha!) and he’s younger than Santana! Silva might (and I emphasize, might) end up winning 17-20 games this year.
Hey, why not? He’s going to be pitching against the third best pitcher for the other clubs, he’s way better than most pitchers in the AL Central let alone their third pitcher.
(Silva was the Twins best pitcher this year. He got screwed more than Santana did and he got screwed!)
Santana: I just saw that he’s slated to be their #2 pitcher this year.
Can you believe that?!?
Everyone who hasn’t paid attention to Santana before last year may be wondering if he’s another Estebon Loaiza. He’s not. This guy is for real and he should be (and I never feel this optimistic about Twins players) a 20 game winner this year. I remember a couple years ago when he was supposed to be our fifth starter. All the fans knew how good of a pitcher he was and that he is a complete starting pitcher if we ever saw one. Still, Gardenhire put him in the bullpen because the Twins needed bullpen help.
(Santana, despite only piling up 16 wins in a year he should’ve easily had 23, is still in contention for the Cy Young. He had another great 2nd half.)
Fifth starter: I don’t know who it’s gonna be.. but the’ll win 30 games! I don’t know.
(It was Joe Mays and god damn, did he ever suck.)
Overall, Silva and Lohse are going to be the barometer to this season. If they win 25 games combined, we are gonna rock the damn house!
(Combined total: 18 wins which is about right for the end of the year. They managed to compile up the same amount of wins (9) which is a freaking joke because Silva pitched magnificently this year.)
Bullpen: SOLID AS EVER!! Joe Nathan is where it’s at!
(Bullpen was good)
Fielding: Twins have always had the top five fielding teams in baseball, so who cares.
We’re awesome at defense—that’s it.
(Fielding sucked. No one knew fundamentals and it was errors galore.)
Hitting: Wouldn’t it be great if we had someone who could hit 30 home runs in a year? It’s been like 18 years since we had someone hit over thirty home runs despite the “juiced ball” era and that the Twins play in something that used to be dubbed as the “homerdome” although it’s an outdated term.
(Hitting was…. Fucking god awful. I thought we would get no-hit on at some point this year. Opponents came close, but we were lucky to find 6 hits in any particular game. I could’ve pitched against this team and found a way to win. Terrible hitting.)
The best candidates to hit 30 are going to be
1. Justin Morneau, our best power hitter since **shakes head** Ortiz. He has a decent chance to do it! I saw him hit the middle part of the Miller Park’s centerfield scoreboard back in 2003. I don’t think he’ll do it though.
2. Jacque Jones: Pfff not until he can lay off a pitch will he think of hitting 30.
3. Torii Hunter: Torii here’s a hint, LEARN TO LAY OFF A SLIDER!!
(No one came close. All these guys are mediocre hitters who will swing at anything other than a strike.)
So no, we wont reach the 30 home run plateau (man, that’s sad)
This season would be in the bag if I wasn’t so afraid of the Indians. That’s right, the Indians are going to be our toughest opponent because the White Sox are uncoordinated.
The Indians are a young team with TONS of potential. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make the wild card.
I’m also keeping my eye on Detroit because it’s obvious that they’re due to do something, anything!
(Baaah, lets’ just say that if we had an AVERAGE hitting team we probably would’ve come close to that mark.)
Let’s examine further the pitching performances of Carlos Silva and Johan Santana.
Silva ended this year as one of the most consistent pitcher in history with his total of nine walks. His ERA of 3.44 was fifth in the league (better than Bartolo Colon), managed a walk/K ratio of 7.44 (due to his lack of walks of course), and had the 5th best mark in walk/hits per inning. If he had an average offense behind him, he’d be fighting Santana for the Cy Young, but he got screwed on more than one occasion.
By my estimates, Silva pitched 17 quality starts (6 innings pitched and 3ER or less) and he gained a No Decision or Loss in 11 of those games, which is incredible. Quality starts are pretty much a 75% chance that your team will win based on such a decent pitching performance. Such a stat shows how incapable the Twins hitters were. If that wasn’t bad enough, Silva has given up 1ER or a shutout in 5 games to which he either came out with a loss or ND. FIVE FUCKING GAMES!?! How in the hell could’ve he have pitched any better by throwing a SO or 1ER baseball and how the hell does his team still manage to lose it for him?
Silva’s best game, and this is eye popping, was when he pitched a 78 pitch CG against the brewers. 78 pitches!?
Santana managed to sell his soul to the devil again during the 2nd half of the year going 8-2 with an ERA of 1.61, which gives him a lifetime post All star record of 29-3 with an ERA of 1.92. It’s like video game baseball with Santana and his statistics. He led the majors in K’s, 2nd in the AL in ERA, and his walks/BB per innings pitched was the best in the AL.
He, like Silva, got screwed by his uncoordinated offense. 16 wins for a guy that easily could’ve found 23 in Boston or NY or any team willing to give him run support.
Notable Twins hitters and their average:
These are everyday guys too.
That is downright, shitty hitting by guys that were expected to perform better.
It’s pretty much between David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, but it really shouldn’t be. If the award is not given to Rodriguez then this whole award is a complete joke. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Yankees and I especially don’t care for Arod, but he deserves this award WAY more then Ortiz.
Lets do some general comparing,
Offensive stats: Both have about the same HR, Same runs, Ortiz leads in RBI’s, and Arod leads in batting average.
Then here’s what ends this discussion: Ortiz is a full fledged designated hitter. That’s it, no arguments. David Ortiz only plays half of the game great. Arod plays the WHOLE game great and is very comparable to Ortiz offensively. The DH in baseball is one of funniest positions in all of sports because all a guy has to do is hit. Nevermind the fundamentals of fielding 70mph ground balls or diving for balls in the hole, all a DH does is stand and hack for a living.
AL Cy Young
This also seems very easy because Colon’s stats (other than his bs win total) are good but not great.
Riviera is a closer and he wasn’t even statistically the best closer in the league.
Santana dominated every pitching statistic (other than wins).
Although it probably wont happen, the award does belong to Santana for the 2nd straight year. He is, without a doubt, the best pitcher who performed great this year compared to the other two.
Colon has an ERA of 3.50, which is not Cy Young worthy and his stats show that his 21 wins (stupidest stat for a pitcher) are more luck than anything.
Riviera is a closer and although they have won in the past, a closer should only win this award if they are far and away the best god damn closer in baseball. Riviera was great this year, but he wasn’t even the best closer in the league, so that’s bullshit.
As for the other awards, I really couldn’t care less.