After a post in which my associate blasted Michael Cuddyer's failures this year (we have often, and honestly, he hasn't convinced me he has made a breakthrough by any means), Cuddyer had a "breakout" game in which he carried the Twins with his two home runs and three RBIs. It was impressive mainly because not only was it Cuddyer's first multi-homer game, but he got his home runs off of two very good pitchers in Rich Harden (a future Cy Young winner most likely) and All-Star reliever Justin Duchscherer. It was, of course, certainly a huge positive to finally see some power out of Cuddyer, who has three homers in the past two games, after a long dissapointment of a season he has had. The hope is that Cuddyer can, like the Twins themselves, salvage the season and hope to improve for a run next year. Cuddyer has the swing and the tools to be a decent defensive infielder who could hit for power and drive in runs, but he so often underperforms and looks like a future utility player. I just hope he proves me wrong.
As for the rest of the team, there wasn't much going on. The Twins won on Cuddyer's bat, as they had only five hits to go with the four runs. The game was won when Morneau walked in the ninth and Lew Ford followed with an RBI triple caused at least partly by the misplay of Oakland outfielder Nick Swisher and catcher Jason Kendall. I suppose for once things went the Twins way and thats good, because luck certainly hasn't been on their side as of late.
The pitching,as it has been for the most part, was solid. Carlos Silva continues to be a workhouse, as he threw eight innings with only 88 pitches, as he gave up five hits and three runs (one unearned caused by a poor Nick Punto error that ruined a potential double-play) while striking out four and walking none. So in 145 and 2/3 innings this year, Silva has walked an amazing seven hitters! He didn't get the win, which is unfortunate, as he has been the ace of the staff, eating up innings and owning a very good 3.27 ERA. Joe Nathan picked up the win as he pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two. He has looked very good as of late, despite limited save chances, and has been hitting 97-98 MPH consistently.
It was almost the usual story for the Twins, but fortunately, things went their way and a dissapointing player had a career night. Lets just hope its the start of better streak.