Movin’ On Up! 1 Down, 3 To Go!

The Twins’ dramatic win today over the Padres, combined with the Royals’ 5-4 loss to St. Louis, moves the Twins out of the AL Central cellar and up in to fourth place in the Division for the first time since May 8.

Our guys didn’t gain on the Indians, who outlasted the Pirates in an extra-inning game to gain a sweep of their own, or the Tigers, who slapped the Rockies around, or even the White Sox, who beat the D-Backs again. The Tigers remain 1 game behind Cleveland and the Bitch Sox are 5.5 games back of the leaders (just 2.5 games ahead of the Twins). The Twins have Monday off, while all three of the teams ahead of them start new interleague series on Monday.

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the Twins to continue winning games at the pace they’ve been on as they not only go on the road, but do so against the defending World Series Champion (and current NL West leader) San Francisco Giants and the current NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers.

But a 9-1 home stand is nothing to sneeze at and after this 6-game road trip, they’ll come back home for another nice long home stand.

Five weeks ago, the Twins trailed the Royals by 7.5 games in the standings. Today, they passed the Royals and are taking aim on the team ahead of them, the White Sox, and there’s no sign of any “quit” in this team.

I’m already on record as saying the Indians simply don’t matter and I stand by that. Take a look at their schedule between now and the All-Star break and tell me they won’t be lucky just to stay in the top three of the standings. They get the Rox, the Giants, the D-Backs, and the Reds before hosting the Yankees and Blue Jays just ahead of the break.

The White Sox will very possibly be looking up at the Twins in the standings by the break, but the Tigers will be a lot tougher to close the gap on. Their schedule is softer and I’m betting they’ve got a three game lead in the division by the break.

It’s too early to know whether the Twins will use this stretch of success to springboard them up in to serious contention as the summer goes on, but a while back I wrote that I would be happy if they’d just show the kind of effort and skill that would make it fun to watch them again… and they’ve certainly done that.

Whether or not the Twins WILL turn themselves in to legitimate contenders remains to be seen, but I think we’ve reached the point where nobody should dare tell them that they CAN’T do exactly that.

– JC

GameChat – Padres @ Twins #3, 1:10 (sorry it’s late!)

My deepest apologies folks – demands of Fathers Day have made the day a little harder to predict than I was able to plan for.. here you go!!

 

San Diego @ Minnesota
Denorfia, LF   Revere, CF
Bartlett, SS   Casilla, A, 2B
Headley, 3B   Mauer, DH
Ludwick, DH   Cuddyer, RF
Guzman, J, 1B   Young, D, LF
Maybin, CF   Hughes, L, 1B
Hudson, O, 2B   Nishioka, SS
Venable, RF   Rivera, R, C
Johnson, Ro, C   Tolbert, 3B
  Moseley, P     Liriano, P

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 4 11 1
Minnesota 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 5 7 0

 

SWEEP!!!!  AND it even made the Twins hit SEVEN on the winning streak which I think is a record this season (I didn’t look it up to be sure but that’s my recollection.) It actually was a great game to watch but I’m not going to take too much time for a wrap up today – still doing family stuff.  Here’s a link to the Play by Play if you are curious. But the heroes of the game really were unexpected…  Alexi Casilla started it with a solo homerun in the first inning… but the big one was in the bottom of the 9th – Drew Butera hit the winning RBI.  For that, he gets today’s BOD! (and a face full of shaving cream from his teammates.. )

Drew Butera, BOD!

A Wild Red Wing Weekend

Here’s a little something to check out before the Twins go for a sweep of the Padres this afternoon.

The Rochester Red Wings have had a tough season, largely because the Twins’ injuries have decimated their roster. Of course, as the Twins get their regulars back, the Wings should get a bit better, as well.

Also, it doesn’t hurt when a couple of rehabilitating Twins show up for a few games in Rochester. For example, does this guy look familiar?

Photo: an rong xu, Democrat/Chronicle

Joe Nathan made an appearance with the Red Wings in the 7th inning of the second game of their doubleheader Saturday night and you can read all about that here.

As you can tell, the Wings were sporting some fancy jerseys. If you like the Star Wars jersey Joe’s wearing there, you can have it for yourself! They’re being auctioned off for charity, along with a set of powder blue throwback Twins jerseys the Wings wore Friday night and a set of blue Fathers Day jerseys they’re wearing for today’s game.

Last night’s game finished with a bit of extra-curricular activities, as a 2B Steve Singleton was on the receiving end of a hard and late slide as he took a throw from Trevor Plouffe for an inning-ending force play. Plouffe had some choice words for the Indianapolis manager, bringing Rochester manager Tom Nieto out to join the fun. In fact, both benches emptied before order was restored.

You can read all about it at Jim Mandelaro’s blog. If you aren’t a regular reader of Mandelaro’s work at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, this is a good time to change that!

- JC