GameChat – Twins @ A’s #1, 9:05pm, FSN & am1500

The Twins continue their road trip down the left coast as they open another two-game series against an AL West foe tonight. Oakland hasn’t been great… they have won two more games than they’ve lost… but they’ve managed to turn that mediocrity in to a first place tie at the top of the AL West standings. Then again, right now I wouldn’t mind seeing some mediocrity out of the Twins. It would definitely be a step in the right direction.

Let’s see if ‘Stache can hold the Athletics in check and then maybe hope a few hits start dropping in. Here’s tonight’s lineup.

TWINS @ ATHLETICS
Span, CF DeJesus, D, RF
Plouffe, SS Barton, D, 1B
Kubel, DH Willingham, LF
Morneau, 1B Matsui, H, DH
Cuddyer, RF Suzuki, K, C
Valencia, 3B Sweeney, R, CF
Revere, LF Ellis, M, 2B
Butera, C Kouzmanoff, 3B
Casilla, A, 2B Pennington, SS
Pavano, P McCarthy, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Minnesota 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 10 1
Oakland 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 1

Hey hey! That’s two in a row, boys and girls! This one took 10 innings to accomplish, but it’s a win… on the road even!

We saw the Carl Pavano we have been hoping to see all season… not overpowering, by any means, but effective. He gave up just 1 earned run over seven innings of work. He certainly deserves kudos and perhaps even a nice basket of baked goods for his work.

As a matter of fact, every pitcher who toed the rubber for the Twins tonight earned our respect and praise. Glen Perkins not only worked a clean 8th inning, giving up just one hit and striking out two hitters, but he also returned in the 9th inning to retire Hideki Matsui before stepping aside in favor of Joe Nathan. Twitchy gave up a hit and a walk, but he managed to escape the 9th inning without being touched for a run, sending the game to extra innings, which was good enough to earn Joe the win. Matt Capps pitched a perfect 10th inning for his 7th save.

But while the pitching staff certainly had some support in the GameChat for BOD consideration, that honor went to shortstop Trevor Plouffe in a split decision. Plouffe’s throwing error in the second inning resulted in two unearned runs for Oakland, but Trevor wasted no time making up for his mistake by driving in two runs in the top of the 3rd to allow the Twins to regain the lead. Then, for an encore, Plouffe drove in the game winning run for the Twins in the top of the 10th inning with a sacrifice fly. Those three ribbies were enough to earn Plouffe the Knuckleballs Boyfriend of the Day award!

- JC

Trevor Plouffe