GameChat – Cubs @ Twins #2, 1:10 pm

It turns out all of the Knuckelballs were AWOL last night, so we didn’t get a GameChat post up. Our apologies to anyone who came around looking to hang out during the game.

Maybe the most unfortunate part of not having a GameChat is that we missed an opportunity to award Josh Willingham a well-deserved BOD designation for his 10th inning walk-off heroics! So, we’ll make up for that right now by passing on that honor to Willy. A day late is better than never, right?

Josh Willingham

Now, on to today’s game.

The good news is that we see the return of Joe Mauer and Denard Span to the line up. Mauer has been out of action for almost a week with a sprained thumb, while Span has missed a couple of games with the flu (although he did make a cameo appearance as a pinch runner in the 9th inning Friday night).

We all know the Twins have been winning more regularly the past couple of weeks and that certainly makes their games more fun to watch. But here’s something you may not realize… the Twins are now 23-34 for a winning percentage of .404. This is the first time that Twins players are waking up to a day where they’ve won at least 40% of their games since the morning of September 14, 2011.

I realize that the reason for this stretch of wins has a lot to do with playing some pretty bad teams. But I’m also a baseball romantic so forgive me if I indulge myself, just for a little while, with the fantasy that it really does have something to do with the ‘M’ caps they’ve been sporting.

And they just beat the Cubs last night. For those of us who have to live amidst way too many Cub fans, that makes today a pretty good day.

CUBS

@

TWINS
Johnson, Re, LF Span, CF
Castro, S, SS Revere, RF
DeJesus, RF Mauer, C
Soriano, A, DH Willingham, LF
Baker, Je, 1B Morneau, 1B
Mather, CF Doumit, DH
Clevenger, C Plouffe, 3B
Barney, 2B Dozier, SS
Stewart, I, 3B Carroll, 2B
  _Samardzija, P   _Diamond, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi Cubs 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 11 0
Minnesota 0 2 0 6 1 2 0 0 x 11 16 0

I gotta say, Nuke LaLoosh was right when he said, “I love winning. It’s like… better than losing!”

The Twins put another W on the board, this one in far less dramatic fashion than the game Friday night. The built up an 11-0 lead before the Cubs put up some meaningless runs late in the game off of Jeff Gray. Six different Twins had more than one hit, led by Joe Mauer who had three hits, and seven different hitters drove runs in. That’s a pretty balanced offensive attack. Jeff Manship (with his name spelled correctly on his jersey today) pitched a final shutout inning in the 9th.

But Boyfriend of the Day consideration really came down to two players. Scott Diamond threw six scoreless innings, spreading out 7 hits, while striking out five Cubs without issuing a single walk. Trevor Plouffe continued his hot hitting, with a double and a home run, totaling four RBI and scoring a couple of runs himself, and racking up five assists from his 3B position, just for good measure. For those performances, Scott and Trevor, you are our BODs.

Trevor Plouffe

Scott Diamond (photo: Genevieve Ross/AP)