"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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Taking a Lead(off Hitter)

Normally, three in a row would not be very impressive. But, considering what came just prior (a five game losing streak), TBL just has to say:

Holy winning streak, Batman!

Win the Third came on the backs of Scott "May I Stay, Please?" Baker (8 IP, 7 K, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB) pitching a gem, Joe "Sorry About Going 0-for-Cleveland" Mauer (3 RBI) accounting for all Twins runs and Jason "Who, Me?" Tyner (3-for-4, 2 R) hitting like a madman in the unfamiliar role of leadoff hitter (more on that, later).

Win the Second was due largely to an excellent pitching performance by Matt "I'd Like To Stay, Too" Garza (6 IP, 11 K, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 ER) and three errors by a surprisingly helpful Cleveland squad.

Win the First, you may recall, featured a return to form for Johan "En Fuego Again" Santana and the first major-league home run by Jason "Woo-Hoo!" Tyner, snapping his streak of 1,120 at-bats without a longball, which was the longest active-player streak in the ML until it snapped.

Now, if you've been living in a cave you may be wondering why Jason Tyner was batting leadoff last night. Never fear, subterranean friends, TBL will fill you in.

Yesterday, the Twins traded second baseman and perennial leadoff man Luis Castillo to the Mets for a double-A catcher and an A outfielder. And that, in a nutshell, is how Tyner got the leadoff job last night.

But, TBL
, you may ask, don't the Twins have more of a leadoff hitter type somewhere on the roster?

Apparently not, dear readers. Apparently not. There's Bartlett, of course, but it's been proven time and again that when you're waiting for this organization to give Barty a little love, you'll be waiting until just shy of Doomsday. Punto would be a candidate, if this were last season. He'll have to hit something this season to see the first half of the order, however, much less leadoff. The new kid's too untried, Mauer's too slow (ditto Cirillo), Hunter's too free-swinging, and everyone else is either a power hitter, a bench player or on the DL.

And what, you may then inquire, does this trade mean for the Twins, TBL?

That depends, dear readers. That depends.

It depends on what does or does not happen before 3:00 this afternoon. Either the Twins will take the 2 million bucks they're saving on Castillo's salary for the rest of this season and use it as part of an action to acquire someone really good to boost the club in the second half and (oh please oh please oh please) next season as well.

Or, they'll do nothing.

(There is, one supposes, the third option of using that money to make a really lousy trade for, say, Jason Giambi or someone equally appalling, but TBL prefers to cling to the belief that the Twins haven't sunk that far until events prove otherwise.)

If they use the salary savings and make a big splashy wonderful trade, then the Castillo trade means that the Twins were willing to tighten their belts and make a sincere and difficult sacrifice in order to better the team.

If they do nothing, it means they've given up and Pohlad needed two million bucks to buy himself something almost as pleasant as a playoff run.

Clock's ticking, my dears.

1 rejoinders:

Suzy sounded off...

Actually, it was Tyner's first home run in 1,221 at bats. . . but close enough. It was still a hell of a long time!