The Twins are off today, and there’s no Mauer news yet, so here’s a look at what our guys have been doing in the WBC:
- Justin Morneau: Was completely useless for Canada in his first game against the U.S. While he went 4-for-5 against Italy, it wasn’t enough and the Canucks fell 6-2 at Rogers Centre last night. It was either a stunning upset, or epic failure depending upon which side you were on. Anyway, Morneau will arrive at camp in time for tomorrow’s contest against the O’s and some well-deserved razzing from his teammates.
- Jesse Crain: Made only one appearance for Canada last night, and struck out all four batters he faced. You know, it’s really no mystery why Canada failed to make it past the first round. I mean, look at their starting rotation. Perhaps they should have put Crain in to start. Anyway, I guess I’ll be jumping on that Team USA bandwagon now.
- Nick Punto: Well, Little Nicky hasn’t been that productive at the plate, but his glove has been good enough to help Italy advance to the second round. Um, except in today’s game against the Venezuelans, that is. Punto had a crucial error on a routine ground ball to short that allowed a couple of runs to score and put Italy behind 4-0. Looks like he’s going to be joining his Canadian teammates back in Ft. Myers.
- Luke Hughes: The 3B prospect went 2-for-3 with a solo homer for Australia, helping them upset Mexico in a 17-7 thumping on Sunday night (they also set a WBC record for hits, with 22). He hasn’t been too bad on defense either, turning a double-play to end the second and prevent Mexico from extending what was a three-run lead at that time. I guess somebody wants to go north with the big-league club this year.
- Luis Ayala: Hasn’t had a chance to pitch for Mexico, yet. I guess that’s a good thing in a way, I would hate for him to be the one that gave up umpteen runs to a team that doesn’t even have any major-leaguers on its roster. Still, I would like to see what he has, since he’s probably going to have to carry the bullpen this year. Maybe it would’ve been best if the Twins insisted he stay with the team, but I know they don’t like to deny anyone the chance to represent their country in the WBC.
- Bert Blyleven: The pitching coach for a surprisingly feisty Dutch team. And the Dutch have indeed pitched well so far, limiting their opponents to five runs in the past couple of games. They upset the Dominican Republic on Saturday, and threatened to upset the Puerto Ricans yesterday. However, I think the upcoming game against the DR will be the end of the line for Team Hollandaise. Their offense has been somewhat lacking, having scored an astounding four runs so far. Plus the Dominicans have the whole revenge factor going for them, since they’re still apparently angry over what happened the last time.
In other news, the
Mild Wild will be losing to taking on the Sharks at the X tonight. Well, the Sharks are without Evgeni Nabokov and Rob Blake, so I guess the Wild have a chance to win. Or not.
The last time the Sharks were in town, this happened:
Perhaps our boys will pull off a miracle yet again. Their playoff hopes depend on it.