The Twins now have six grand slams on the year, their most since 1970 (with names like Allison and Killebrew doing the damage), after Justin Morneau hit one opposite field in the sixth inning last night. With a strike zone about as small as the leash that's been on Jason Bartlett for the last year, the Boston staff walked 10 hitters and the Twins walked eight. If you watched the eighth inning with Willie Eyre out there, you knew how ridiculous it got.
However, it did benefit the Twins. Once again, someone (Joe Mauer) was intentionally walked to load the bases and it ended poorly for the Sox. In this case, Michael Cuddyer walked in a run (one of three walks on the night for Cuddy) before Morneau hit another not-so-towering drive into the Home Run Porch. Just like Kubel's game-winner from Tuesday night, it was hard to predict it would go out when it came off the bat, but the Morneau's showed through as he muscled it into the left field seats.
Justin now has 15 homers and 51 RBI to go with a .267/.326/.521 line. The OBP isn't great, but the .847 OPS is and so is being tied for 6th in the league in RBI with Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada, only five behind the leader, David Ortiz. That's pretty impressive. I realize that a lot of statheads discount RBI, but with this offense it's pretty good and considering we haven't had a guy with even 100+ RBI since 2002, it's worth noting. I think now Morneau is truly getting comfortable and feels like he has a chance every time he is in the box.
The other guy getting comfortable, with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in the past two games, is Jason Kubel. Kubel is hitting .293/.325/.480 now with 4 HR and 14 RBI on the year, greatly improving his .188 average he owned when he was sent down. The hope is that this hot streak will spell the end for Rondell White, despite White's unexplained appereance in a major league lineup last night (he went hitless).
In his first game of the season with the big league club, Jason Bartlett looked like he belonged, going 2-for-4 with a run scored out of the 9-hole. He also started a double-play in the sixth inning.
The last great thing to pick up from this game, other then the absolute clobbering of the Red Sox and the excessive amount of walks, is Brad Radke. His 5.93 ERA, .343 OBA, and just about everything else are ugly. But the guy has four straight quality starts now. He's no longer even a good number two starter, but he looks like he can give some solid innings for the rest of the year. The only problem is that it's unlikely that will matter. Still, it would be nice to see Radke end his career in Minnesota and on a good note.
The good news is that the Twins managed to win this series, but it's questionable whether or not they can get a sweep when the hapless Jose Lima clone Carlos Silva takes the mound against Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball tonight.