Thursday, July 21, 2005


It was a breath of fresh air to come home from a work function an hour into the ballgame tonight, flip on the TV, and see that in the third inning the Twins had already posted 6 runs. They didn't let up, taking advantage of extremely sloppy play by the Tigers to coast to a 10-5 victory. On to the bulletpoints.

*While it was nice to see the Twins' recently anemic offense put up double digits, it wasn't exactly an over-powering performance. While they had 13 hits, 11 of them were singles, and 2 were doubles. They hit no home runs. Nearly half of the Twins' runs came home on throwing errors and wild pitches. Whatever, we'll take what we can get.

*Joe Mauer continued to impress, reaching base in 4 of his 5 plate appearances tonight and scoring three times. He singled, doubled, and walked twice. In the one at-bat where he was retired, he scalded a hard grounder of the glove of first baseman Chris Shelton and was nearly safe in a bang-bang play at first. Mauer's on-base percentage is now .385.

*Bret Boone had a fairly nice today, collecting a couple singles and a couple RBI. However, he did still leave 6 men aboard and still has yet to deliver his first extra-base hit in a Twins uniform.

*The performance of last year's AL Cy Young winner continues to concern. Tonight he lasted only 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits. In actuality however, he only allowed 2 runs on 8 hits, because the Craig Monroe solo home run in the 4th inning was CLEARLY foul, but somehow all 4 umpires managed to see it wrong. The call was so bad that mild-mannered Brad Radke managed to get himself ejected from the dugout. I believe instant replay should be instated into the game solely for situations like this. I'm not a fan of the idea of replay being used for strike zone calls or plays at the bases, but the foul pole is such a clear-cut thing, there is no excuse for getting the wrong call in situations like this.

*Lew Ford went 0/5. He's not having a very good year, hitting just .258 and experiencing a bad slump. His .344 OBP is pretty decent, but I don't think the guy should be hitting leadoff.

*Apparently Detroit pitcher Jason Johnson is having a pretty good year, but the Twins wouldn't know it. They have shelled him every time they've seen him this year. Tonight's line: 4.0 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, and about 50 wild pitches.

*Matt Guerrier pitched 3 perfect innings in relief of Santana, keeping the Tigers' bats silent from the 6th through 8th innings. Then, for some reason, despite having only thrown 26 pitches, he was removed in the 9th so Terry Mulholland could come in and let a couple runs score. I mean, I understand the concept of a big lead and guys needing work, but when a guy is cruising like Guerrier was tonight, just let him finish the game.

*Justin Morneau walked 3 times tonight. Good sign, or just a result of the wild pitching from the Tigers staff? We'll see...

Tomorrow, the Twins will send out Joe Mays, whose name has been hot in trade rumors as of late, against Tigers' lefty (gulp) Mike Maroth. Another win would be nice, especially if it came with another loss from the White Sox, which would shrink the division deficit back to single digits.