J.J. Hardy's best game as a Minnesota Twin was, ironically, the one that has largely ruined his 2010 season.
Yet, the ball never got to Young. Hardy flashed his amazing range, sprinting and diving to his right to stop the ball. Avila realized too late that the grounder had been fielded in the infield, and by the time he slammed on the brakes in an effort to get back to third, Hardy had already delivered the ball to Nick Punto, who slapped a tag on Avila to end the inning.
We'd learn a couple days later, however, that Hardy had hurt his wrist while sliding into third base on that game-breaking triple. And what initially seemed like a minor hurdle has transformed into a debilitating issue for Hardy, resulting in two separate disabled list stints and multiple cortisone shots while likely contributing to a punchless .186 average when he's been able to get into the lineup since that date.
Now, though, Hardy finally appears to be back at full strength. He's hit .286 since coming off the DL earlier this month, and while he still hasn't homered since April 23, it does seem like he's finally starting to hit the ball with some authority again. Hardy's strikeout rate is down this year, so it's not like he's looked completely lost at the plate. If his wrist is fully healthy, we can expect his .252 batting average on balls in play and 6.8 HR/FB ratio (both well below his career averages) to both rise in the second half, leading to much better offensive production.