How do I know? Well, besides looking at a calendar, I can just tell by the way Johan is pitching. The past of seasons he's been an unstoppable rebel force in the 2nd half of the year, and this isn't a bad start this time around. 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, and his 10th win of the year.
The big contributor on offense was once again Justin Morneau. 3/4 and a solo HR (#24 on the year). Wasn't it just last year that Morneau couldn't hit lefties to save his life? Good to see that Batting Average climb back over .300.
But besides Morneau and Santana, it wasn't just the usual suspects for the Twins contributing to this win. Nick Punto hit a big double early in the game. Jason Tyner had a couple more hits. Mike Redmond drove Punto in with a Sac Fly. Denys Reyes continued to mow down hitters with a scoreless 9th. It was a team effort here.
Unfortunately, some of that team may not be in the best of shape at the moment. Jason Kubel's still got sore knees, Lew Ford just went on the DL, and Shannon Stewart and Torii Hunter left the game early on Saturday. So uh, does anyone have a spare outfielder? Twins Without Spin made an interesting suggestion - maybe a little bit of Denard Span if Torii Hunter is forced to go to the DL. Sure, Span's in AA, but it might be interesting. One thing we do know is that Rondell White will be back. Let's hope he's gotten past the mysterious awfulness that plagued him earlier this year.
On another good note, the Yankees beat the White Sox again, putting the Twins just 7.5 games back of the Wildcard. So there's still a light at the end of the tunnel, however dim it may be.