Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Achieving Junior Ortiz Status!
Twins Win AL Central Title!!
It was a great night to be a Twins fan. The game didn’t start out well. Fausto Carmona again did a great job of controlling the Twins offense. But the Twins made him throw a lot of pitches, and after he left the game, the Twins offense showed up. In a big bottom of the 8th inning, the Twins got big hits from Delmon Young, Danny Valencia, Denard Span and Orlando Hudson. They got a sacrifice fly from Jose Morales as a pinch hitter for Drew Butera, who was 2-3 in the game. The Twins won 6-4. Scott Baker returned and pitched five solid innings. Jon Rauch did a nice job in relief. Matt Capps shut the door to save a win for Glen Perkins.
It was a great day for the Twins. Joe Mauer’s MRI on his knee reveals some inflammation but no concerns. Jason Kubel returned to the lineup. Ron Gardenhire won his 800th career game as the Twins manager. Jim Thome is on a very cool Sports Illustrated cover this week, and he delivered his 25th home run of the season. The Yankees won, but the Twins win meant that they remained just one game behind in the race for best overall record. The Twins are now 1.5 games ahead of the Rays in that race.
By about 10:15, the Twins clinched a tie with the White Sox in the AL Central with nine games to go. In order to clinch the division title outright, the Twins needed a little more help from the Oakland A’s. Trevor Cahill provided it. The A’s righty gave up just two runs. The A’s bats were able to score four early runs off of Mark Buehrle. They added three more later in the game, and Craig Breslow got Paul Konerko to ground out for the final out of a 7-3 A’s win.
That’s right Twins fans. As I have been posting pictures of players with the uniform number of current and former Twins players corresponding with the Twins Magic Number, the whole time, the goal was to be able to announce that the Magic Number would correspond with…
There you have it… a photo/card of Junior Ortiz, the only player in Twins history to wear the number Zero. He wore that number for the Twins in 1990 and 1991. Is there any irony that 1991 was the Twins last World Series championship? The Twins magic number is now zero, meaning that even if the Twins lost the rest of their games and the White Sox won the rest of their games, the Twins would still win the division.
Any thoughts on the season, the game, or looking forward. No matter what you think of Gardy, the coaching staff, some of the players, the GM, etc., tonight should be all about giving the Minnesota Twins team and organization the respect that it deserves. They have a ton of talent that have come together thanks to Gardy and Bill Smith, and they have the second best record in all of baseball. This team is fun to watch, and frankly, they are really good. Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.