GameChat – Tigers @ Twins #2, 7:10

The Twins win last night was a great way to start this series but I think Twins fans should get used to odd lineups thrown together by whoever is healthy and the regular appearance of our September call-ups as starters.  Today we have Morales and Plouffe up from Rochester with more call-ups coming in a second wave sometime soon.  Today’s lineup has yet another injured back causing a late scratch.  Thome is down with more back trouble and Morales has been substituted in as our DH tonight.

I’m not going to go into GREAT detail about all the injuries in our lineup but I greatly encourage you to check out several pieces done by Phil Mackey that cover the difficulties Ron Gardenhire is going to have to manage around – including Justin’s current status:  Pushed to the limit in battle of attrition, Justin told to stay home, and Call-ups coming in two waves.

But tonight’s lineup quite obviously reflects that Punto is out, Kubel is out (for a couple days at least), Hudson is out (having the foot re-examined) and now Thome is out (again for a couple days).  At least I think Repko is a qualified and productive backup in the OF.  With very little on the bench as far as options go, let’s hope that he, Casilla, Morales and Valencia can hold down the fort – and that Liriano pitches a real gem!

Detroit @ Minnesota
Jackson, A, CF   Span, CF
Rhymes, 2B   Casilla, A, 2B
Wells, C, LF   Mauer, C
Cabrera, M, 1B   Cuddyer, 1B
Peralta, J, DH   Young, D, LF
Inge, 3B   Valencia, 3B
Santiago, SS   Morales, J, DH
Boesch, RF   Repko, RF
Laird, C   Hardy, SS
Scherzer, P   Liriano, P


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 7
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 6


There appears to be some sort of organized conspiracy to keep any of us from being able to get to bed early.

In terms of summarizing the first 7 innings of this game, I think just about the only thing we need to mention is the name Francisco Liriano. 5 hits over 7 shutout innings. 1 BB against 7 Ks. It wasn’t always as pretty as that statistics line makes it look, as he had to work out of a few jams, but that’s what the best pitchers do.

The Twins needed that sort of effort again tonight, since we apparently still have not purged the assbats from the batrack. For his outstanding performance, FranKKKKKKKie was awarded a deep fried snickers on a stick by the GameChat crowd.

For the second night in a row, Danny Valencia gets the GameChat gang’s support for Boyfriend of the Day honors… but this time Danny doesn’t have to share the BOD award with anyone. James called it in the Chat and Valencia delivered the game winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning, scoring Michael Cuddyer for the 2-1 win (nice stolen base to set that drama up, by the way, Mr. Cuddyer!). With the win, the Twins are 31-14 overall since All-Star break, the best in baseball.  Now they are 8-3 in extra-innings and this was our 5th walk-off win.  Nice job boys!  – JC

Boyfriend of the Month for August: Dead Heat at the Wire

The folks who have gathered in our GameChats handed out 22 Boyfriend of the Day (BOD) awards in August (a few more than the actual number of Twins wins because we had some co-BOD games mixed in there). Heading in to the final game of the month, there were no fewer than eight players tied for the lead in the Boyfriend of the Month battle. That’s a far cry from the month of July when Delmon Young had his monster month and walked away with BOM honors.

But before we get to this month’s BOM award, let’s take a glance at where the race for Knuckleballs’ Boyfriend of the Year stands heading in to September. This race is all but over, folks. It will take someone getting awfully hot down the stretch to overtake DY’s lead in the BOY race, given that he holds a 12 to 7 lead over Francisco Liriano on the year. Frankie’s grip on “runner up” honors is much more tenuous, however. Fellow rotation members, Kevin Slowey and Carl Pavano have racked up 6 BODs each, while the group of Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, and Danny Valencia all are still within reach of Liriano with 5 BODs a piece.

Turning back to Boyfriend of the Month… as it turns out, it was very appropriate that Valencia and Michael Cuddyer wrapped up the month of August with co-BOD performances against the Tigers on Tuesday night. Heading in to that final game, those two guys joined Mauer, Liriano, Slowey, Jim Thome, Scott Baker and Brian Duensing with two BOD awards during the month, making August by far the month with the largest number of players earning multiple awards.

But with their efforts on Tuesday, Michael and Danny did just enough to separate themselves from the pack and earn co-Boyfriend of the Month awards for August! – JC











P.S. A huge thank you to Joe Christensen at the Star Tribune for sending out via text message (and his blog) a link to this column by Sports Illustrated’s Steve Rushin. It’s a terrific read for anyone who saw games at the Met, the Dome and Target Field (and a pretty darn good read even for those who didn’t). If you only have time to read one more article online today, make it that one. – JC