Baseball really must be a strange thing or else the last week has only been proof of Ubelmann's (of the SBG nation) contention that the Twins offense is a "pathological kind of offense" that easily goes from absolute anemia to crushing power at any time. If you recall, from the end of the Detroit series through the first two games of the New York series, the Twins scored a total of one run in 30 innings.
Yesterday, in a double-header marathon, the Twins scored a total of 32 runs in just 18 innings. The proof of such a contention isn't just in the obvious difference between the offense of a few games ago and yesterday's offense but proof that the Twins really essentially rely on the bats of Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Torii Hunter. Looking at yesterday's games, the trio went 16-for-28 with 18 RBI, 5 walks, eight extra-base hits, five home runs and 16 runs scored. In addition, Jason Kubel went 4-for-7 with two walks and seven RBI in first game, coming from a grand slam, two sacrifice flies, and one RBI walk. With those numbers, Kubel has improved his batting line to .255/.307/.413 and is currently on pace for 15 home runs and 77 RBI.
Overall, the Twins had an very impressive 14 extra-base hits and managed six home runs in the second game, included one from pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo and another from Michael Cuddyer. More impressive is that the Twins walked a total of 15 times in the two games, continuing to work the Chicago pitchers even when the had large leads. Notably, those walks were evenly distributed, as no Twins batter in either game walked only one time. Other than Jason Tyner's 0-for-6 perfomance in both games, no one really struggled.
Lost in all of this was Matt Garza's very impressive pitching performance in game two. Garza went six scoreless innings, giving up five hits, walking three, and striking out six. What was really nice was seeing Garza use all his pitches and not only use them, but use them well and show the Chicago hitters what kind of nasty stuff he has other than his 96-mph fastball. Along with the heat, which Garza should good command of most of the game, Garza showed a very good curveball and a pretty nasty slider. Garza also apparently has a changeup, but I don't remember him throwing one. Even if he doesn't, with three good pitches, Garza really could end up being the dominant pitcher Twins fans thought was coming up after an amazing minor league season last year.
After seeing such a wonderful and entertaining bashing of the White Sox, which included Morneau's three home-run performance (the first since Tony Oliva in 1973), the hope--as usual after such performances--is that the Twins can continue this. Unfortunately, their opposing pitcher today is Mark Buerhle, who has had a very solid season including a no-hitter this year and the Twins have Boof Bonser on the mound, who has not been very good at all for over a month. Maybe the Twins won't score another 12 or 20 runs in historical fashion, but a complete four-game thrashing of the White Sox in Chitown would be the perfect way to enter the All Star break.
* On a final note, Mike Redmond's injury, which was very hard to watch, confirmed Gardy's three-year fear that caused him to keep such terrible backups Corky Miller, forcing Matt Garza to take a bat. The good news is that Redmond seems to be ok after getting sewn up and Garza went o-for-1 with a good sacrifice bunt.
* Lastly, Aaron Gleeman may be happy to know that the baseball gods decided to punish the worst hitter in baseball history.