Matt Guerrier, although his performance was not spectacular, got his first major league win in 90 career appearances. Rondell White led the team in hits, with 4, but the offensive player of the game has to be Torii Hunter.
Torii hit a very key 2-run homerun (his 29th, which also gives him 92 RBI on the year) in the 5th to break the tie and make the game 6-4. It also put Guerrier in line for the win.
Michael Cuddyer might be considered co-MVP for the offense, as he scored 3 of 4 times that he got on base. He had 1 hit and 2 walks. He also struck out, but the ball got away from the Baltimore catcher. His throw went into right field, allowing the runners on 2nd and 3rd to score. They were unearned runs, though, so they don’t count towards Cuddyer’s RBI mark.
Joe Mauer had the day off completely, but Mike Redmond filled in very nicely. He went 2-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout.
Justin Morneau had a subpar night at the plate, but didn’t have to play 1st as Phil Nevin started the game there. Justin had 1 hit, a single, but it drove in a run. He now has 126 RBI on the year. I can’t find the chart, but I believe that ties him at #2 for the most RBI in a season by a Twin. Nevin also hurt his hand on a collision at first, but the x-rays taken after the game were negative and he expects to be ready by Monday’s game.
Some negatives about yesterday’s game (skip past italics if you don’t want to read them):
Scott Baker pitched pretty poorly, but he isn’t on the postseason roster and I read that Gardy might skip him for his next start.
The Twins left a lot of guys on base, again. I’m kind of worried about these streaks of scoring 2-4 runs a game for a series, and then scoring 7-10 in another series.
We had to use 7 pitchers to finish the game today. Granted, the 4 guys who threw an inning or less combined for only 40 total pitches, but using a reliever is using a reliever. Kind of weird seeing 4 different pitchers with an H next to their name (meaning they are credited with a hold).
The MVP is an award that I feel is often misunderstood, and there are times when it goes to the wrong player. As Shackelford said, “This is a team game”. Looking past that, though, it will be handed out each year, probably to the wrong player (as voted on by the public). Here’s a look at the current, most talked-about candidates for the AL MVP award (all stats include Saturday’s games):
Derek Jeter: Look at his lineup. Wait, don’t like at his lineup. He plays for the Yankees; that should be enough for you to draw your own conclusions with. 14 HR, 95 RBI, 110 runs scored, .338 average. Interesting note: through 1,400 career games played, amassed 1,775 hits; the most in that time period since Kirby Puckett‘s 1,830.
David Ortiz: He doesn’t play defense, and that hurts his chances the most. Second biggest disadvantage: Red Sox aren’t going to the playoffs. Many feel that the MVP must come from a playoff team. 52 HR, 133 RBI, 110 runs scored, .286 average. Interesting stat: holds record for most homeruns in a season by a Red Sox player, with 52.
Justin Morneau: Great season, obviously. Plays defense, and the guys around him are not considered as dominant as the Yankees’ hitters. 33 HR, 126 RBI, 92 runs scored, .322 average. Interesting career stat: has a total of 3 stolen bases but 5 times he’s been caught stealing.
Jermaine Dye: Having a pretty quiet, yet good, season. His team is most likely not going to the playoffs, and that hurts his chances. 43 HR, 119 RBI, 100 runs scored, .317 average. Interesting note: 2005 World Series MVP
Frank Thomas: If he doesn’t get the MVP award, he might be a lock for the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Played only 108 games in the last two years, but has played in 131 this year. 38 HR, 107 RBI, 75 runs scored, .272 average. Basically is the Oakland offense. Interesting career stat: 299 more walks than strikeouts.