Saturday, August 27, 2005

Jacque's Day

It was shaping up like another tough loss resulting from a lack of offense today for the Twins, at least until Jacque Jones stepped up in the 9th inning as a pinch-hitter. Jones delivered a double, and would then score the tying run when Terry Tiffee singled to right. Tiffee moved up to third on a throwing error, and the Twins had the go ahead run 90 feet away with 1 out. I wrote yesterday about the Twins' need to be more aggressive if they wanted to get runs in and win games, and they did just that in this situation. Gardenhire called for the suicide squeeze, which was very nearly successful except that Mike Redmond's bunt rolled just foul. Redmond would then strike out, and Jason Bartlett would fly out to center, destroying yet another opportunity for the Twins. They would redeem themselves, as Joe Nathan pitched two scoreless innings to hold off the potent Rangers' offense and Jones came through big again in the 11th with a 2-run homer that gave the Twins the lead. They would add a couple more runs and JC Romero would finish the inning to seal a 7-2 victory for the Twins.

Despite their inabilities to bring home Tiffee in the 9th, both Bartlett and Redmond had pretty impressive games. Jason had four hits, bringing his average up to .259. Redmond had a couple hits, and is batting .288. He has been excellent as a backup catcher, and has proven to be perhaps the best off-season acquisition for the Twins. Brad Radke, who started the game, pitched 6 strong innings and allowed only one run.

The Twins will be sending a position player down within the next couple days to make room for Scott Baker, who will be starting in place of Joe Mays on Monday. Look for it to be Terry Tiffee, who - despite having a key hit in the 9th today - has been miserable, hitting .214 and playing poorly in the field.