Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This bullpen is fantastic

I don't really know that this needs to be said, but I love the Twins bullpen. Sure, sometimes they'll screw up and Juan Rincon will have a stretch like he had recently, but then they do something like they did tonight, and I'm right back in.

5 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 W

That's beautiful. And excellent managing of the bullpen as well. They used Reyes for one out, then went with the best guys. Neshek pitched 1.2 innings of good work (even though he did allow a sac fly), Joe Nathan was then brought in for 2 shutout innings, and then Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless inning. Great management of the pen, great pitching by the pen, and a nice win.

And a round of applause for Scott Baker. In my last post way back when, I wondered if it could be Baker's last chance. Well, he has come back and had 2 straight solid starts, including a really good win on Tuesday. 7+ innings, 4 H, 1 ER, 9 K. I'll take that.

Also, another brilliant managing move bringing in Jeff Cirillo in the 12th to pinch hit. This isn't even hindsight bias, as I thought it was an excellent move at the time. Cirillo is a very solid hitter against lefties, and it just made perfect sense to bring him in there. Sometimes managers don't do what seems to make perfect sense, but the Twins did here and it worked out, with Cirillo delivering the game-winning single.

Twins now stand at 39-36, 5.5 games back of the Indians and Tigers... but for some reason, I just have a really good feeling about these guys.