Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Offensive Spark

Well, lets not go too far with this post, considering that this offensive coming happened against the hapless, overconfident Jose Lima and the dreadful Kansas City bullpen. But, the Twins did managed to put up runs early, in the first to be specific, and a total of seven in the game. Michael Ryan double to start the game up and despite an idiot baserunning mistake, Nick Punto managed to get in the same position on a poor play. What followed was a Joe Mauer triple and Lew Ford RBI double after a Jacque Jones flyout. From there, Lima seemed to go right back to what his done to the Twins all year, actually getting them out the way he can't do against ANY other major league teams. But in the sixth, he walked Nick Punto and Mauer followed with an RBI double, giving him all but a homer in the cycle. Jones followed with an RBI single up the middle (Jones isn't the best, but a good choice over Morneau to give some protection to Mauer in the lineup) and Lima quickly hit Ford with a fastball. After Matthew LeCroy's weak at-bat ended in a usually pop fly, Lima was replaced by left-hander Jimmy Gobble to face Justin Morneau.

After my fellow blogger's tirade yesterday, its clear that we are dissapointed with Morneau's season and his lack of execution that lead us to believe he doesnt have much of a future in the majors. Justin looked good most of the game, putting good swings on Lima fastballs and driving them before he creamed a Gobble curveball over the wall for a three-run homer in the sixth. The positive? It was the difference that gave the Twins a win and it should that Morneau still has some power in that swing of his. The negatives? Well, a Lima fastball isn't too much (he has a 6.56 ERA, so its like a Triple-A fastball, which Morneau did well against) and Gobble isn't too great either since he can't make it into the Kansas City starting staff. Hopefully, it will help him get on a roll and have a good last month. That would be great for him and the Twins, but there is no guarantee he'll come out of it.

Pitching-wise, it wasn't the usually Twins stuff of the past month. Silva wasn't great, giving up four runs in 6 and 2/3 innings, but with no walks again, Silva has a total of EIGHT in 180 innings. That adds up to .4 BB/nine innings, which is incredible. The win gives him a 9-6 record, but he should have many more, just as Radke and Santana, as he has been great in the second half. Jesse Crain had an ugly, but wiggled out of it with a double play and Nathan continued his streak of scoreless innings since the All-Star break, striking out two and nearly giving up game-tying home run after putting runners on third and first to start the inning. Nathan leads the bigs in strikeouts/nine innings since the break as well, another indication of how good our pitching has been.

With Kyle Lohse on the mound tommorow, a sweep is no guarantee, but even he should be able to hold them at bay. If not, I'm calling for him to be sent to the bullpen with Mays or even the minors, so we can get Fransisco Liriano up here so we have a chance to win all our games.