July 25, 2006
Twins 4, White Sox 3
Now this is fun.
One night Joe Mauer smacks his first career homer off a left-handed pitcher, a three-run bomb that propels the Twins to a 7-4 win. The next night Jason Bartlett delivers his first long ball of the season, another three-run shot that allows the Twins to hold on for a 4-3 victory. This afternoon I fully expect Jason Tyner to hit a game-winning grand slam.
I'm going to keep this entry relatively short, because by the time many of you read this today's game will have already been played. I'd feel silly going on and on about last night's win and what it means for the Twins' playoff chances, only to have Carlos Silva give the game back by the time some of you return from your lunch break.
Here are some notes I typed up while watching arguably the most exciting game of the season ...
That was the case right away, as both Luis Castillo and Nick Punto swiped second base during the first-inning rally that ultimately came up short. However, after that the Twins ran just once more on Contreras, with Tyner getting thrown out at second base in the fourth inning. In all, the Twins had six runners on first base with second base open in Contreras' seven innings--Tyner twice and Castillo, Punto, Michael Cuddyer, and Rondell White once each--and ran half the time.
Cuddyer later showed off some leather in right field, making a sprawling grab on A.J. Pierzynski's broken-bat line drive with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. If he fails to make either of those plays, there's a very good chance the Twins lose the game. Cuddyer is still a little shaky at times in right field, but he makes enough outstanding plays to make me think he can develop into a major asset defensively.
I normally disagree with the notion that people like me would benefit much from having interview access to players after games, but this is one of the rare instances where it would have been nice. I'd like to know whether or not Santana made a conscious effort to keep the ball on the ground because of the weather conditions (as opposed to it being due to coincidence or Chicago's powerful lineup).
GS W L WIN% ERA IP SO
47 33 3 .917 1.99 318.0 332