Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Positive 3-2?

Well, what a surprise! Lets look at today's afternoon game: It was a one-run game for the 8th straight game and wow it ended in the 9th again. But, yes, the Twins came out on top and actually took the series from the Orioles 2-1. Basically, it was almost a replay of recent games. Our starting pitching, this time Brad Radke, went out and for the most part shut down the potent lineup before them. Radke's only bad pitch (Familiar? Joe Mays?) was to Rafael Palmeiro for a two-run blast in the 4th. Palmiero now has 9 HRs against Radke to go along with those 3,009 hits. (By the way, he's a Hall of Famer. The whole argument against him is pretty sad. Consistency is one of the biggest factors in terms of true Hall of Famers. Hank Aaron anyone? Cal Ripken? Those guys have their stats for the same reason and Ripken is a Hall of Famer for sure but he never won a ring or lead the in any Triple Crown stats either) Otherwise, it was another great stat line. Seven innings, no walks, five Ks, five hits and two runs allowed. Not winning these games for these guys isn't just a slap in the face because, like at the beginning of the season, how long can the staff carry the team?

The offense was here and there as usual. Mauer was put in the cleanup spot as a DH and he went 0 for 4 but he drive in a run, which makes him more productive there than Morneau. Hunter had another terrible batting day, going 0 for 4 and swingly wildly at Jason Grimsley's pitches in the 9th the same way he has for years. Only four Twins had hits, three of them with two. That group is Punto, Castro, and Jones. Shannon Stewart had the other hit in a good 1 for 3 day from the three-spot. Jones should be expected to hit while Punto and Castro's contributions are a nice gift. It was pretty much Jacque's day again, being the hero in the ninth last night, it only seemed natural that he would do the same today. With the score tied 2-2 in the ninth and following Hunter's pathetic at-bat, Jones crushed a Grimsley sinker to the opposite field for a walk-off home run. It basically showed that if the Twins hitters are just a little more aggressive, the results are good. 3-2 is nothing to write home about (in fact, its been written about so much now that it has little life left in it) but it was a win that gave the Twins the series. Now, with the pitching staff running high again, its serious time to go out swinging and to pick up this staff.

Tommorow, they start a five-game series with the Tigers, including a double-header on Saturday that will see Scott Baker start and therefore, a roster move. Stay tuned for what that may be and the analysis that will follow.