The Twins won.
I am shocked. I am stunned. I am thrilled.
I am mindful that four of those six runs were, in essence, gifts.
The Twins scored four in the first inning when, after two routine outs, a single and two walks loaded the bases for Jacque Jones. And Jacque, who is in an almighty funk at the plate lately (along with two-thirds of the lineup) promptly struck out. Inning over...right? But the third strike went wild, and Jones sprinted for first. A run scored, and the Detroit pitcher failed to cover home while his catcher was recovering the ball, so a second run scored. A single (which should have been a popout, but wasn't scored an error for reasons unknown to this blog) by the next batter scores two more, and a flyout finally ends the inning.
Four runs scored after a two-out strikeout. You don't see that every day. And it was great, it really was, since it was happening for our Twins and not against them (as usual). But those fluke runs that won't happen every day, or even every month, were the difference in the game, which says to me that despite the utter joy of breaking a season-long losing streak, our boys aren't out of the woods yet.
Twins pitching, on the other hand, was phenomenal yesterday, a sparkling performance from the starter with the lowest ERA on the staff. He's also got the fewest losses (tied with 2 others), the fewest runs allowed, the second-fewest home runs allowed, the fewest walks, and is the only Twins starter who has yet to throw a wild pitch.
Nope, Carlos Silva, who has quietly begun to assume the mantle of "stopper". He does not have the veteran presence of Radke, or the (occasionally erratic) dominance of Santana. But he's spent the last year and a half, since making the sudden switch from average National League short reliever to unlikely American League starter, throwing strikes and getting outs. He gives up boatloads of hits but gets boatloads of double plays in return. He eats innings, throwing on average less than 12 pitches an inning (the staff average is over 14).
At this point in time, he is the Twins' best chance at ending a losing streak, and yesterday he came through with a 2-run complete game. He had more luck than real run support behind him, but we'll take it.
Friday, June 24, 2005
The Twins won.