Friday, August 04, 2006

Twins walk their way to a victory

It was nothing to write home about, but the Twins will take it. By the end of the game, the Twins left lots of men on base, but with back-to-back HR in the 9th, followed by 3 more runs in the 10th, it didn't matter.

And it was especially important to pick up the win, because the teams the Twins are chasing - Detroit, Chicago, Boston, and New York - all won their games.

By the time it was all said and done, the Twins had 12 BB, 11 hits, and 8 runs. Not terribly efficient, but they scored when they had to. Down 5-3 in the 9th, Joe Mauer led off the inning with his 9th HR of the year, and Michael Cuddyer followed that up with his 15th (not in this game, that'd be a record). The 10th inning was kind of symbolic of the Royals franchise:

Jason Bartlett singles.
Luis Castillo sacrifice bunt.
Nick Punto strikes out.
Joe Mauer intentionally walked.
Michael Cuddyer walked.
Wild pitch scores the run.
Justin Morneau intentionally walked.
Torii Hunter single drives in 2 more runs.
Joe Nathan pitches a perfect 10th for his 23rd save.

Lots of Twins players had good offensive games, but perhaps none more efficent than Justin Morneau. After doubling in his first 2 ABs (and picking up 3 RBI in the process), he walked the next 4 times up. That'll sure help the OBP.

Meanwhile, and I don't say this to be a downer, but Johan Santana has not been his usual invincible self. Normally, with a 3-run lead facing Kansas City, the game is pretty much money in the bank. Not so much on Friday, as the 4-run 4th for the Royals was enough for the Royals to hang on to the lead until the 9th. Johan walked 3 batters in his 6 innings of work, though he also struck out 8.

But all of the worrying about Johan or all the men LOB doesn't really matter anymore, because a win makes one forget about all of that. Carlos Silva (7-9, 6.49) will take the mound on Saturday facing Runelvys Hernandez (2-6, 7.88). 2 games in, the Twins have done what they needed to do against KC. Hopefully they can continue, because as the other teams showed tonight, the Twins better keep winning if they hope to keep pace.