Monday, September 20, 2010
Twins/Sox Lose, Magic Number Falls
The Twins lost 6-2 to the Aís yesterday to lose a home series for the first time in a long time. The Twins were without Denard Span, Orlando Hudson, and Jason Kubel at the start of the game, and Joe Mauer left with a jammed knee later in the game. Bobby Cramer did a nice job of throwing curveballs and slow and slower pitches to keep the Twins hitters off balance. Ben Revere notched the first two hits of his big league career, and Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome homered for the Twins.
The White Sox and Tigers were the national game of the week on Sunday night. The two teams arenít playing well, but they did provide an exciting game. Down 7-3, the White Sox rallied to send the game to extra frames. But the Tigers scored two in the 11th inning and held on. That meansÖ the Twins Magic Number to win the AL Central is reduced toÖ
The Twins start a three game series tonight against Cleveland. Brian Duensing will take the mound against Jeanmar Gomez.
Here is a quick look at the standings in the race for top record in the American League:
New York Yankees††††† 90-59
Tampa Bay Rays†††††††††† 89-59
Minnesota Twins††††††††† 89-60
Texas Rangers††††††††††††† 83-65
So the Twins are one game back of the Yankees for top record as the Yankees and Rays begin a four game series in the Bronx. I know a lot of people who are upset at some of the lineups that the Twins threw out there against the Aís this past weekend. I kind of think itís a little silly. Denard Span jarred his shoulder. He canít swing. Yet people are upset at Gardy for having him out of the lineup. Jason Kubel had another MRI on his wrist. He was not available to pinch hit, yet some are upset that he was not in the lineup. Drew Butera caught the first two games of the series, so there were many that were upset. Based on Joe Mauerís knee injury, maybe it would have been good for him to sit out completely for a game or two.
I would love for the Twins to have home field advantage as much as anyone. I also happen to believe that going into the playoffs with full health is way more important. So I am glad they have the lead that they have so that they can afford to sit some guys. Gardy and the Twins went all out in the series last week in Chicago, and they cut six games off of the Magic Number. Those were important games in putting the division title concerns to rest. With the Magic Number now at four games, the Twins can focus on getting people healthy. But what I donít understand is when fans seem to think that when two or three Twins starters are out of the lineup, it means they are throwing the game away. When Span and Kubel were out of the lineup, the team still had Hudson, Mauer, Cuddyer, Young, Hardy and Valencia. Iíll take my chances with that group any day. Add in that Ben Revere can hit a little bit and they want to see him play, and there is no negative there. Add the defense and arm of Jason Repko and the overall defense is improved. The starting pitchers have done well. I guess I donít understand people being up in arms about a few lineup decisions. They are not NOT trying to win home field. They are still giving everything to win these games, but they are doing it with intentions of getting some key people healthy too.
The hope would be that by this weekend, or certainly by early next week, the team could be at full strength and have everybody ready to go by the playoffs. But maybe Iím just too positive and optimistic and I should choose to be more negative. Oh well.†††
Any thoughts? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.