... And just like that, Craig Monroe is hitting .300/.364/.533.
Monroe entered last night's game with a 656 OPS and with strikeouts in more than one-third of his at-bats on the season. Last night, he carried the Twins offense, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI in a 6-5 victory over the Athletics. This is why we don't put too much stock into individual performances this early in the season. Monroe wasn't as bad as his .231/.310/.346 line prior to last night's game suggests, nor is he anywhere near as good as his hitting line after the game suggests. He's not going to post an 897 OPS overall this season; he could, however, post something close to that against left-handers, and if he's able to do so, he can be plenty valuable to this club. Oddly enough, he's been far more effective against righties than lefties thus far, but I suspect we'll see those trends reverse over time.
Monroe was clearly the biggest surprise in last night's game, but other highlights included:
-A decent outing from Livan Hernandez, who allowed four runs over six innings and kept the Twins in the game.
-Three excellent innings from the Twins bullpen, as Juan Rincon, Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan combined to allow just one hit over three innings while striking out five.
-Three hits from Mike Lamb, who is still hitting just .186/.222/.271 on the season.
-An absolutely brutal game from Carlos Gomez, who went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts and an error in center field.
-Delmon Young's fourth extra-base hit of the season, a double. He's now slugging .316.
Tonight's match pits Boof Bonser against Chad Gaudin. Being a total insomniac who often gets bored at night, I love these 9 p.m. start times.