"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, September 11, 2006

Un-freakin'-believable (In A Good Way)

Think back two months. It was just a few days before the All-Star Game, and although the Twins had a very good June, they were about a jillion games out of first place in the Central Division. And before June? Loading the bases with no outs and failing to score was less surprising than squeezing a run or two out of the situation. I do believe we led the league in stranded runners. On the rare occasions that the Twins hitters remembered that you have to get back home before the third out to score, the pitchers were so confused by these unprecedented happenings that they completely fell apart out there.

Now, if you went into the All-Star break believing that the Twins had a real shot at the playoffs, I'd appreciate it if you'd drop me a line. I'd like to question you extensively with a view to figuring out how anyone so optimistic survived to adulthood.

And then, you know, after the All-Star break the hitting continued and some mistakes were rectified and some pirhanas were specially shipped in from Rochester, NY. But behind the fierce hitters with their pointy teeth was a rotation of JOHAN!, The Duct Tape Shoulder, CISCO!, The Amazing Longball, and I Can't Bear to Watch.

But CISCO!, it turned out, was pitching through some pain when maybe he should have been talking to a doctor about that pain, and the end result was a trip to the DL and a rotation of The Duct Tape Shoulder, JOHAN!, The Amazing Longball, I Can't Bear to Watch, and Oh Please God No Not Again.

And then, of course, The Duct Tape Shoulder became The Broken Shoulder, which led to the Amazing Vanishing Pitcher. So then, for a while, the rotation was JOHAN!, The Amazing Longball, I Can't Bear to Watch, Oh Please God No Not Again, and This Is A Top Prospect?.

And somehow, don't ask me how, I really don't know, in the midst of all this chaos and nail-biting and hair-pulling and the sudden reappearance of whole racks of ass-bats, the Twins have pulled into the Wild Card lead and snuck up on the Detroit Tigers in a big way and with just a couple more steps they'll be able to reach out and grab that kitty's tail and give it a little kitty coronary, 'cause those Tiggers sure didn't see the Twins coming, did they? But you can't blame them, because NOBODY saw the Twins coming.

Along the way, I Can't Bear To Watch has transformed himself into Boof Bonser: Serviceable Starter, and This Is A Top Prospect? has edged his way into the role of Hey This Kid Might Be Okay. Also, we hear that CISCO! may pitch in the bigs again as early as this week.

And now, the cherry on TBL's sundae, her favorite undervalued longman is finally getting a shot at the rotation.

Guerrier gets a starting nod

MINNEAPOLIS -- Matt Guerrier has been waiting a long time for his first Major League win.

Having gone 87 appearances without a victory to make him the active leader among Major League pitchers, Guerrier has shown plenty of patience in waiting out his first "W."

That patience might not have to last much longer, as it was announced on Saturday that Guerrier will get the start on Tuesday in place of Scott Baker. It will be the first start for the right-hander in the Major Leagues since he made two for the Twins in 2004.

"I'm not saying it's going to be easy," Guerrier said of getting that first win. "I'll be on a pitch limit and everything, but I'll go out there and see what happens."

Getting back to being a starter, the role in which he has spent most of his career, is something that Guerrier had hoped he'd get the chance to do. There had been musings, with the Twins' recent rotation struggles, that Guerrier might get another shot as a starter, especially after he threw 49 pitches in his outing against Detroit on Thursday.

"People have always said stuff like, 'Do you think this is something that's going to come?'" Guerrier said. "I didn't really even think about it. I didn't want to think about that and have it not come, but I was very excited when [Anderson] told me today."

So, the rotation now reads: JOHAN!, The Amazing Longball, Mr. Underappreciated, CISCO!, and The Serviceable Starter.

Now, if Silva can just find his sinker (last sighted somewhere south of Birmingham) and the pirahnas keep those teeth nice and pointy, we'll be nigh invincible.

1 rejoinders:

frightwig sounded off...

I'm really unhappy that they've yanked Scott Baker again, just because he lost a game to the 1st place team, just so they can see what happens if they throw the long reliever out there a couple times.

They say they want young pitchers to be efficient and not give away free passes. Baker was doing that, even when he lost his last game. And Rick Anderson says he thinks Baker just needs to find his confidence again. So what are they doing here? As long as he was throwing strikes and trusting his defense to back him up, just as he's been told, why not give him another chance to succeed against a weaker offensive opponent?

And what's the point of giving Guerrier a spot start or two? He was doing fine in his limited role, which is his future ticket to staying in the big leagues. He's not going to stay in the rotation for the postseason, and probably not next spring. Right now, he can't even top 4 innings. So why do this now?