As I glanced through the Twins' starting lineup prior to last night's game, I found myself coming across a typical Ron Gardenhire group. No surprises here:
1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Jason Kubel, LF
3. Torii Hunter, CF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
When I got to the sixth spot in the lineup, I had to do a double-take. Could my eyes be deceiving me?
6. Matt LeCroy, C
You may or may not remember, but the last time LeCroy started a major-league game at catcher, the results were not pretty. Playing in a Nationals uniform against the Astros, LeCroy managed to allow seven stolen bases before he had to be pulled in the seventh inning, a move that later caused Nats manager Frank Robinson to shed tears when talking to reporters after the game.
LeCroy's presence behind the plate last night seemed like an adventure waiting to happen. In reality, while he had a poor game, going 0-for-4 at the plate while allowing the Tigers to go 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts, LeCroy didn't embarrass himself. In fact, whether or not he truly deserves credit for it, LeCroy caught a pretty darn good game from Twins' starter Carlos Silva.
Silva went 7 2/3 innings and was in classic form, shutting down the Tigers while inducing 17 ground balls. He struck out only one, but kept Detroit off the board thanks in large part to his ability to throw strikes and work out of jams with a couple of key double plays.
With the 2-0 victory over the Tigers, the Twins moved within two games of .500. They'll need to win five of their last six games to finish with 82 wins and avoid their first non-winning season since 2000.