Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Johan struggles; Twins couldn't care less

By Johan's terms, he struggled in the opener against the Royals. Just 5.2 innings, but he gave up 4 ER, walked 3, hit 1, and struck out 7. When he left the game, the Twins were down 5-3. "Tonight I failed to do my job, but they picked me up big time," Santana said. "We found a way to win the game and that's all that mattered."

But I think the Twins appreciated the challenge.

After a wild 8th innings in which the Twins scored 3 runs thanks to some wild pitches and poor throws from the Royals, the Twins led 6-5. And then came Juan Rincon and Joe Nathan, who shut the door. Nathan now has 15 saves on the season.

Offensively, Justin Morneau continued his onslaught, knocking out his 22nd HR of the year. He also had a key hit in the 8th to extend the inning, and now sits at 71 RBI for the year. He's also creeping closer and closer to that .300 mark, with the average at .298. Raise your hand if you thought you'd be seeing those number from Morneau at the halfway mark.

And finally, Joe Mauer, playing sick, got another HR. Although the average dropped as he was only 1/3, he sits and .391, far and away the best in the Majors.

On the holiday the Twins will send Boof Bonser to the mound to take on Jimmy Gobble of the Royals. The Twins have now won 11 straight and 19 out of 20, putting them only 9 behind the Tigers for the division lead and 6.5 behind the White Sox in the wildcard race. Let's keep it going!