WOW do I wish I had been able to catch some of last night’s game!!! I LOVE a good pitchers’ duel!!! Blackburn is giving me the shivers again and I love it. Looking now at the end of the regular season, we have 6 starting pitchers to rotate through – given our history with injury, that sounds just about perfect. I am looking for the next step in Slowey’s progress today. For all that it wasn’t the outting anyone wanted last time, it wasn’t actually a BAD outting. I am looking for continued improvement today. I’m sure he is too. Good luck, Kevin!
|Span, CF||Brantley, CF|
|Hudson, O, 2B||Cabrera, A, SS|
|Mauer, C||Choo, RF|
|Kubel, RF||Hafner, DH|
|Cuddyer, 1B||Nix, J, 3B|
|Thome, DH||Brown, J, LF|
|Young, D, LF||LaPorta, 1B|
|Valencia, 3B||Valbuena, 2B|
|Casilla, A, SS||Gimenez, C|
|Slowey, P||Talbot, P|
Well that was a lot less drama than the 12 inning marathon last night. LOL Not that that is a bad thing but it was good to start definitively and just keep it that way. Mitch Talbot really had a problem in the first inning – I’ll give him credit for trying to keep at it anyway. There was a meeting on the mound after the first batter and he said, no, let me see if I can get loosened up – but no, the Twins quite obviously took advantage of the fact that his pitches were NOT where they were supposed to be. And Masterson just didn’t quite seem ready when he came in to replace Talbot. He got it figured out for the innings that followed but his defense also couldn’t figure out how to play clean baseball. I’ll never forget seeing Thome waved home from second on a Valencia single - his face said, “really!??!” but he made it.
But the Twins didn’t slouch or play down to the Indians today. There was some REALLY nice fielding and Kevin DID continue his progression. He’s obviously still working to get back to free & easy on his delivery and not there yet. He was on a pitch count so he only pitched through the 5th inning. However, the outting was solid and he got himself out a jam in the 2nd inning with only 2 runs and managed to keep it pretty good from there. Perkins had two great innings relieving him and in general the bullpen kept a lid on everything. So the whole pitching staff get’s all-you-can-eat peanuts on the plane ride home.
I’m choosing to award special treats to Delmon Young and Alexi Casilla for some BEAUTIFUL throws for outs that just made me happy so they both get ice cream bars – just to encourage them to keep up good fielding. We’ll call that positive reinforcement.
And the BOD for today is awarded to Michael Cuddyer! For the record, he was not only a leader in hitting and RBI today but he’s been a real workhorse for this team since Morneau went down. All the announcers seem to remind everyone of how many days straight he’s played since then with no time off but I think it goes beyond the physical effort of playing every day. The mental effort of being prepared for anything and still telling your manager and your entire team, “I’m here guys, let’s play” is just not something that should go unnoticed. So congratulations, Cuddy, you are today’s BOD!