First off, I added three new blogs to the link list over on the right. The National Anthem before a Cubs Game (TNABACG), a general Minnesota sports blog, and Aaron Gleeman and Stick and Ball Guy - two Twins blogs. Check them out. Additionally, I'm going to try to recap as many Twins games as I can, and certainly which ever ones I get a chance to watch - although with a kid on the way in the next few weeks and a new job, who knows if I'll have time. Hopefully Dawg and Sidler will post plenty of Twins related material for your amusement.
Livan Hernandez: According to Bert, "Livan Hernandez isn't like Johan Santana, he has to change speeds to be successful." Wasn't Santana's out pitch his changeup? Thanks again for all your wisdom, Bert. That's probably why you aren't in the hall of fame, jackass. Anyway, Hernandez was beautiful last night. Kept the ball down, didn't walk anybody, pretty much made the Angels hit his pitches on the ground, and gave up just two runs in his seven innings. I doubt he can keep this up all year, but nice start to be sure.
Carlos Gomez: Granted it's just one game, but he really impressed me. And I'm not even talking about the double, the bunt hit (holy crap is this kid fast), or the two steals. He showed a lot of patience at the plate, not only by drawing a walk but even in his strikeout at bat he drew the count out to 3-2. That was my big knock on the kid, but if he's figured out how to be a little more patient (not quite Rickey Henderson, which was another Bert comment last night) he could be deadly up there already. He's going to be a fan favorite in a hurry.
Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan: Good to know that if the Twins can get to the eighth with a lead, they have a very good chance of winning as these two were lights out once again. They each gave up a hit (Neshek's was a bloop that will be caught in the future as the left side of the defense gets used to each other and the dome) and struck out four between them, including a big Neshek K of Vlad Guerrero.
Torii Hunter: It was nice to see Hunter get a standing ovation. For all about him that drove me crazy, I can't deny his heart, effort, leadership, or charisma and what he meant to this franchise over the years. Of course, it was even nicer to see him strikeout in a close game in the ninth.
Johan Santana: Naturally, Santana rolled through his first NL start, going seven and giving up 3 hits with 8 K's. He's really good.
A couple quick basketball items:
1. There is a new ESPN Top 100 out. In it, Rodney Williams comes in at 66 and Royce White at 71. Fellow Gopher target DaShonte Riley is ranked #54.
2. Speaking of Royce, in case you missed it, he's transferring to Hopkins. He'll be joining top recruits Raymond Cowles, Trent Locket, and Mike Broghammer on a loaded Royals team that will surely be the top team in the State. Hopefully Royce can pull his act together and make the most of this opportunity.
3. Former UCLA Bruin J.R. Henderson is dominating in the Japanese league, and has become a full-fledged Japanese citizen, including changing his name to J.R. Sakuragi. His real first name is Milton. So he's now Milton Sakuragi. Must be odd to walk around Japan being 6-9, what with all the 5-2 people and ninjas and all.