Manager Buck Showalter finally got to meet with reporters tonight after a win.
It took long enough, but it happened.
The eight-game losing streak has gone the way of the dodo bird.
Here are a few quotes from Showalter:
“We strung a lot of good at-bats together, a lot of big two-out hits. Wieters had a good night. Matty had a clutch hit. Really, two of them. I thought the single to center kind of broke the ice a little and gave us the lead. And the ball off the wall really opened it up a little bit. Matty was outstanding with Jake, too. Jake was fighting his command some. Made him keep pitching.”
On Arrieta in the sixth inning:
“We were going hitter to hitter with him. That was a lot of pitches, 90 pitches in five innings. I thought a couple big innings were, after we scored a run or multiple runs, he went back out there and hung up a zero. That was big. I find that a little more to be proud of. I was kidding Mark Connor. He made a visit and (Arrieta) struck out the next guy on three pitches. I said, ‘Is it legal to make another visit? Can you go back out there again?’ He didn’t bite on it.”
More on Arrieta:
“Jake has potential to be pretty good. He’s very focused. He’s driven to be good. He holds himself to a high standard. Sometimes too high, which I’m not going to keep him from doing. He’s going to give himself a chance to be successful. You can’t always say that about everybody. Plus, he’s got pretty good stuff. That helps.”
On Wieters’ adjustments at the plate:
“I think he’s got an approach that he feels good with. He can stay within himself. The ball he hit off the wall, in the back of his mind he’s thinking changeup. He saw what (Carl Pavano) did with Luke 3-2 with the bases loaded. That’s why he carved the first one down the third base line. He’s thinking changeup in the back of his head and was still able to react to the fastball, which is pretty impressive. We all know what Matt’s capable of. He’s got everything in the background to feel like he’s going to be a threat offensively, and he’s showing signs of that. But I’ll say it again: What he does behind the plate, I’d put him up against just about anybody.”
On the two-out hits:
“It just snowballed. When the first run scored, I liked our chances of scoring multiple runs. Jakes goes out and puts up a zero and everybody takes a little breath. I don’t care how long you’ve been playing, whether you’re D-Lee or Vlady, I found at this level, even though you see guys with track records and ability and done things 100 times, there’s still that anxiety mentally that creeps in because you want something almost too much. I like our team. I like our players. They’re a pleasure to manage and they’re going to be as good as they’re capable of being. I like our club, I like our people.”
On the losing streak:
“I was telling Andy, you go through things like this with real good clubs and with bad clubs. This one had a different feel to it for me, and I still feel that way. Who knows what tomorrow brings? It doesn’t mean anything. We all want to know about something before it happens. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. That’s why it’s so much fun to come here. You’re dealing with human beings with emotions and we’ll see what it means. Sometimes it doesn’t mean anything. But this club had a different feel to it. The frustration was due to knowing they were capable of doing better.”
On production from the ninth spot:
“We were getting some help there obviously with J.J., but Izzy’s thrown some things out there for us and Robert had a good game tonight. And the way Robby’s driving in runs, it means a lot to us. Izzy hits Blackburn real well, so I’ll let you make out the lineup tomorrow.”
On being comfortable with Andino’s defense:
“If he stays within himself. He had some very unemotional at-bats tonight and that’s what we’ve been talking to him and some of the other young players. He gets himself out. They seldom get him out. And he spit on some balls and took the walk, and Jonesy did the same thing. And that’s what we’re hoping to get to, where you can trust him emotionally. He’s got a lot of want-to. He’s a pretty talented young man.”
I looked it up, and Cesar Izturis is 3-for-7 with two RBIs lifetime against Nick Blackburn, who starts tomorrow night for the Twins. Robert Andino has never faced him.