Thursday, July 27, 2006
This afternoon, the Twins beat the Twins again beat the White Sox 7-4 to sweep the three game series in Chicago! The win puts the Twins and the White Sox tied for the AL Wild Card lead. They are currently 1/2 game ahead of the New York Yankees who play the Rangers later this evening.
What a game! Carlos Silva got through five innings and gave up just three runs. That isn't good, but for him and what the Twins needed from him, it was enough. Pat Neshek came in and worked a perfect sixth. He finally gave up a run in the 7th when Rob Machowiak hit a home run with no outs. He got the next batter out. Dennys Reyes came in to get the final two outs of the inning. Juan Rincon got the 8th, and Joe Nathan closed the door in the 9th for his 21st save. The bullpen did its job again! So really, the Big 3 starters only have to go six innings before the bullpen can come in. The other starters, if they can give anything over five innings of quality work, the team should be happy and have a chance!
The bats were alive again too starting right away in the first inning when Michael Cuddyer hit a 2-run homer off of Mark Buehrle. Justin Morneau had a two out single in the 3rd inning after Buehrle had intentionally walked Michael Cuddyer to get to him. Silva had his one bad inning, the 4th, when he gave up three runs including a 2-run homer to Jermaine Dye. But right away in the top of the 5th, Justin Morneau hit a two run homer, his 27th of the year, to regain the lead for the Twins. Nick Punto gave some insurance with a two-run single in the 6th.
Morneau went 3-5 with the home run and three RBI. He is up to 84 on the year. Josh Rabe got the start at DH and responded with a 3-5 day! That is always fun to see. And, of course, Jason Bartlett had another 3-4 game. The top two hitters, Luis Castillo and Nick Punto each had two hits. Punto's first inning single gave him an 18 game hitting streak. Michael Cuddyer's home run was his 14th of the year.
Now the Twins will head back home and take on the division leading Detroit Tigers who got another great start from Justin Verlander to beat the Cleveland Indians 4-1. The Twins are still 8.5 games behind the Tigers. That is a big number, however, that is about what the Twins were behind the White Sox just two weeks ago! The Twins will also start Francisco Liriano, Brad Radke and Johan Santana against the Tigers. It should be a very entertaining series, to say the least!
The Twins have a much-needed off day on Thursday. I believe that I am going to take one too. Therefore, I feel the need to point you in a few directions. The first is to the left-side of this screen, to the Twins-Related sites. There, you will find several Twins blogs worth reading. Secondly, I would like to encourage you to head over to the Twins scout.com page for excellent updates. Their message board is excellent. Also, they posted my article on Matt Garza today.
Also, scout.com has come out with its new minor league player rankings. It is done in a great format with plenty of sorting options so you can look at player rankings by team or by position. They have ranked 300 players. I have to say that I don't necessarily agree with all of these rankings, but it is a fun list to start discussion on.
I want to comment on one blog. It is called St. Louis Twins Fan, and it is written by a Twins fan, ironically, in St. Louis! He was listening to the end of the game last night on WCCO radio and posted his thoughts!
On that note, I'm going to try to have a nice, relaxing evening basking in the glow of the Twins sweep!! Don't you just love beating those White Sox?!
OK, one final note. We are quickly approaching the 300,000th hit on this site. That is a large number. It is fun to see how many more hits I get each day when the Twins are winning. I should pass this milestone sometime tomorrow morning!
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