GameChat – Twins @ White Sox, 7:10 pm, FSN & am1500

As my boyfriend less-than-amusingly pointed out yesterday, “At least the Twins didn’t lose today.” *sigh* True but sad that this is the point we have come to as Twins fans. That being said, I would really like the off-day to count as some sort of restart button for this team.  Can we please end the losing streak now and try to bring ourselves back into contention as a baseball team?

Quick update on stuff in discussion today: apparently we fans are not the only ones who are seriously questioning Lexi’s ability to be the starting SS for this team. Sadly, it appears that, for the moment, they are thinking about bringing up Plouffe. I mean no disrespect to Trevor because I actually really like him – but he’s not an MLB starter at this point. So I don’t see him as a solution to that dilema in the middle infield in any way. He may function as a bandaid or he may surprise us all and step up in a way that we haven’t seen from him yet. I just don’t know when that move will happen or if it will happen for sure. It’s all still rumor and with the late scratch of Jim Thome who is still struggling with that strained oblique, it appears he might make a trip to the DL to make room for Plouffe.  Joe Mauer will begin light hitting and throwing as part of a return to baseball activities. This is good news – just not happening fast enough for a team that is struggling with too many injuries. Hope his rehab goes well and quickly.

It would be especially good to beat the White Sox even though they are HARDLY doing better than we are right now – but it’s still beating the Sox!  Win Twins! Please!

Minnesota @ Chi White Sox
Span, CF   Pierre, LF
Casilla, A, 2B   Ramirez, A, SS
Morneau, 1B   Dunn, A, DH
Kubel, DH   Konerko, 1B
Cuddyer, RF   Quentin, RF
Tosoni, LF   Rios, CF
Valencia, 3B   Castro, R, C
Butera, C   Beckham, 2B
Tolbert, SS   Morel, 3B
  Liriano, P     Jackson, E, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
Chi White Sox 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

Goodness… yes, read that boxscore again. You don’t get to see those very often and especially not from Francisco Liriano. This is his first complete game ever and he gets a no hitter in the process. That’s just amazing to me from a guy who still managed to walk 6 batters. Interestingly enough though, it’s funny to see how much success he was actually able to have with that much ballyhooed “pitch to contact” process that the Twins have been trying to work into Liriano’s regime.

Of course, ‘contact’ usually means ‘hits’ and they managed to avoid that. In part, that was because of a few stellar defensive actions and one horrible call that went our way. Danny Valencia had one absolutely incredible catch at 3B of a ball that by all rights should have skipped out into the foul territory near LF after hitting the 3B bag fair – but he got it anyway. A few great double plays, a lightening infield grab by Tolbert thrown to Morneau that pulled him off the base and he went for a tag of the runner. We got the call even if Morneau didn’t actually touch the runner in any form I could see. Morneau made up for it by digging out another near out right at the base. There was a gorgeous catch from Span in the OF that didn’t quite look like it was humanly possible to get to. There was a terrifying catch in LF in which Tosoni and Tolbert tried very hard to accomplish a slow-motion merge into one human being – while that might east some of our roster issues just a bit, I really am glad that the out was made without anyone being hurt. All together, the defense did their best to let their struggling starting pitcher know that they have his back and that they’ll do their best to not let him down if he’ll give it a go – what a lovely message.  All you can eat desert buffet for the boys in the field.

Of course, there is another player we have to mention. There’s really only one way to win a 1-0 game – you have to get the 1. The 1 tonight belongs to Kubel - a solo homerun that put us on the board and allowed us to actually enjoy a no hitter, complete game, WIN. Kubes? This win’s for you.  Party like it’s your birthday and enjoy a great big ol’ cake on us here at Knuckleballs.

And yeah, normally, having the one and only RBI/Run in a winning game is almost always the best way to have yourself declared the BOD for the night. But yeah, a No Hitter? That kind of tops it I think. The chat unanimously agreed. So for going just that one step above and beyond, FranKKKKie Liriano is today’s BOD.

I’m praying that this is the key moment – the turnaround this team needs. Taking a no hitter into the home of the White Sox is a HUGE mental victory for these guys not to mention the fans. All over Twins Territory, fans were finally smiling again. They were smiling in the clubhouse just the same. Liriano got the boost he needed (we might have to tell him his job is on the line before every start) and we broke the losing streak in dramatic fashion. It does make me look forward to tomorrow in a very different way.

On a side note, the situation with Thome that I mentioned in the pregame became official and was announced after.  He’s been placed on the DL retroactive to Saturday and Plouffe will make his way up here. According to Twitter, Revere is also coming up but no one seems to know who is going down to make room for it. I’m sure we’ll know by morning!

The Real AL Central Standings

We all need to feel better, right now. So, here today I present the REAL AL Central Division Standings. We all know the Indians and Royals will be faltering at some point, right? At least that’s our story until they prove us wrong. So that leaves the following as the REAL standings:

Team                            GB

Tigers                           –

White Sox                    1.5

Twins                           2.0

See? Things aren’t so bad! :)

- JC