Let’s get the injury updates out of the way first. Fuentes threw a bullpen today and his back is still a little tight so it will be a couple days for him yet. Valencia told Mackey today that he feels great but according to the team, there is still about a 20% difference in flexibility between his two legs so Tolbert will have at least one more start at 3B. Punto says he’s feeling good but he’s also taking the advice of trainers who want him to wait out a bit of stiffness a couple more days – in his words, he was feeling fine last time and look what happened. They may activate him if there’s an emergency but they don’t want to push it too hard. The final word on him is that it’s still just a matter of days.
We also have two more guys in the bullpen tonight!! Neshek and Perkins are here and available to pitch. I’m so excited to see Sideshow on the mound for us again and I’m just glad he’s back here with the big boys. That being said, I also hope that he’s got that old magic back!
Tonight’s game is going to be pretty cool and windy so who knows what’s going to happen with the game. There’s no rain in the schedule but I’m not sure that really helps so much. Anyway, I know Frankie isn’t all that fond of the cold so I’m hoping that he’s got a good internal fire going and shuts them down tonight.
|Blanco, G, CF||Span, CF|
|Aviles, M, 2B||Hudson, O, 2B|
|Butler, 1B||Mauer, C|
|Betemit, DH||Kubel, RF|
|Fields, 3B||Cuddyer, 1B|
|Gordon, A, LF||Thome, DH|
|Pena, B, C||Young, D, LF|
|Miller, Ja, RF||Hardy, SS|
|Betancourt, Y, SS||Tolbert, 3B|
|Bannister, B, P||Liriano, P|
I hate to admit it but my brain is only half here so trying to write a good postgame report might be a challenge that is beyond me. But to sum up, that was a fun game to watch! With this win against Kansas City, the Royals are officially eliminated and the Twins are now a full 4.5 games ahead of the White Sox who lost to the Tigers tonight.
Frankie did a fantastic job and got what I think is his 7th straight win. I could have that wrong but I’m too lazy to go look it up to verify. But it was a really good outting. And we had a big enough cushion of runs that we got a couple of our younger guys out there to get a little playing time – including Ben Revere who made his MLB debut tonight. I’m sure that he didn’t really want to strike out in his first plate appearance but that boy was so darn excited, he was bouncing off every hard surface in sight. I really don’t think he’ll even CARE about the strikeout. He just got to be out there in the field running around playing baseball in the big leagues. Perkins came out for an inning back up from AAA. We also got to see Pat Neshek back finally… talk about someone who was a bit too excited! *laugh* Sideshow was totally overamped and throwing a bit crazy. Took him a couple batters, a couple walks, a couple fly outs and a run before he finally got himself all settled in and got out of the inning. That being said, I think that he’ll be a valuable addition to the pen since his delivery is just so unusual and it seems different to me even than it was before. This could be fun.
Of course, with a score of 10 – 3, you can’t have a postgame discussion without talking about the offense. Tolbert is becoming famous for his triples I think. I really love those. And Thome is just … ridiculous. There are really no words to describe how much of an impact he’s had on this team – and apparently on the RF Target Plaza pavement! He hit HR #586 tying Frank Robinson on the all-time HR list. For making it so much fun to watch Twins hitters, those guys have both earned themselves homemade cheesecake and a beverage of their own choosing (there was significant debate in the chat on whether beer is a suitable companion – not in my book).
But the BIG winner on the offense tonight was Delmon Young. He was a machine tonight – 3 Runs, 4 RBI and a LOT of smiles as he ran to the OF looking like a GIANT next to Ben Revere. Chat folk immediately voted him today’s BOD! Congrats Delmon.