Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau continue to amaze as they run through their first full-season at the majors together. Today, Mauer went 2 for 4 with a home-run off of Tampa closer Danny Baez while Morneau almost hit for the cycle, going an amazing 4 for 4 with three RBIs, bringing his team-leading total to 20. Its pretty impressive that since coming off the DL, Morneau has been hitting over .500 and now leads the team with a .429 average, 6 HRs, and 20 RBIs. We all expected great things from Morneau, but I think in a way he is going beyod those expectations. He has been simply been off-the-charts. He's projected to hit 32 HRs with 108 RBIs. Those numbers are good, but amazing considering those are projected with 340 ABs. Thats because Mornuea has only had 63 ABs this year and he has produced incredibly. Considering he'll probably get around 500 ABs if he stays healthy, which he should, 40 HRs and 120 RBIs are not out his range. Let's not forget his current .448 OBP and .841 slugging, which are great numbers as well. Every time he steps into the batters box, you see the fear in the opposing pitchers eyes. Baez barely pitched to him, but of course didn't want to give up the cycle. But needless to say, it was a hell of a day for Twins fans to watch.
Other than Morneau and Mauer, who had a great series as well raising his nearly lead-leading average to .356, Matthew LeCroy finally produced again with men on base hitting a 3-run homer in the sixth while Juan Castro also drove in two runs early in the game. The only bleak spots came with pitching.
Joe Mays looked good through the first six innings, but he fell apart completely in the 7th and Terry Mulholland came in to relieve him, fashionably giving up a three-run homer to Jorge Cantu, (Can who?) proving still how useless he is. Every time he steps in, I can see the Twins magically losing their lead, no matter how big it is. I still cannot understand why this guy isn't in Colorado or, for that matter, Tampa Bay. He belongs on one of the worst pitching staffs in the Majors where he can be a veteran and be the flexible reliever they need.
Needless to say, I was relieved when Jesse Crain came in. And on another positive note, Joe Nathan picked up his 9th save of the year, continuing his tremendous sophmore effort as the Twins closer.