May 8, 2008

Go-Go Cycle (Baseball is a Funny Game)

One night after Joe Mauer's double with two outs left saved them from being no-hit by a guy with a 5.61 career ERA, the same offense that ranked as the league's second-worst erupted for 13 runs on 16 hits (and four walks!) against Mark Buehrle, who had been 20-10 with a 3.69 ERA versus the Twins. As if that weren't enough, Carlos Gomez hit for the Twins' first cycle since Kirby Puckett in 1986, Nick Punto collected five RBIs, and Livan Hernandez took a shutout into the ninth inning.

And people wonder why I love baseball so much.

Gomez was hitting .230/.247/.310 prior to being benched for one game on April 23. In eight games since then he's gone 13-for-30 (.433) with two homers, five total extra-base hits, and four steals. He's now up to .282/.306/.427 in 28 games overall, which along with excellent work on the bases and strong defense in center field is enough to make up for a hideous 29-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And to think, just a couple weeks ago some idiot wrote that Gomez "isn't an MLB-caliber hitter."

That same moron has repeatedly suggested that the Twins made a mistake by signing Hernandez, but after last night's complete-game win he's 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA overall and 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA if you look past his brutal start against the Rangers on April 27. Oh, and the Twins are in sole possession of first place at 17-15, although to be fair to the aforementioned doofus he did predict back in March that the team would have a winning record when many others had them pegged for last place.

Unfortunately, that's it from me today and you have my apologies for the relative lack of content here this week. Between Rotoworld player news guru Matthew Pouliot taking a quasi-vacation and the annual Rotoworld Football Draft Guide being due at the publisher, I've been swamped with stuff that sadly has kept me from blogging when the Twins are doing things that deserve to be blogged about. Everything should be back to normal here next week and surely Gomez has a few more cycles in him this season.

Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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