There’s some cause for concern watching a game on ESPN. In the very first inning you could hear a cuss word, once used on-air by our own Bert Blyleven, from a Red Sock after he struck out. Later on one of the announcers gave us some insight on whether or not to steal when you’re up by 5 runs: “When you’ve got ’em on the ropes, you go for the jugular don’t you?” Is ESPN owned by the mafia? Turns out, the Twins needed to go for the jugular.
Mother’s Day and the pink commemorative bats used to celebrate it turned into Craig Monroe‘s Day. Monroe started it off in the 2nd inning with a 3-run homer, his third of the year, putting the Twins on the board with a 3-0 lead. 3 batters later, Adam Everett hit a 2-run homer that barely cleared the left field wall, giving the team a 5-0 lead. He’s hitting exactly .200 so it was definitely a surprise to see. Monroe would add a solo homer in the 7th that proved to be vital; the team won by just one run.
Justin Morneau went 3-for-3 with 2 runs scored. All three of his hits were singles.
Carlos Gomez only got one hit in 5 trips to the plate but he made the most of it, stealing his 16th base of the season.
Nick Blackburn was a little shaky, to say the least. After the Twins get him a 5 run lead, he responds by plunking the first two batters he faced. He got out of that inning with only one run coming into score, but it was a pretty dangerous situation. In total he gave up 4 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings. Blackburn is kind of like Livan Hernandez (tonight’s starter) in that they both give up more hits than innings pitched, generally. 7 of Nick’s 9 hits allowed were singles though, with a double and a triple thrown in there too. Matt Guerrier gave up a 2-run bomb in relief. Dennys Reyes pitched a scoreless inning and is the only reliever to not have allowed a run this year.
Joe Nathan is thankful he had a 3-run lead going into the 9th. He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs and the tying run was just 90 feet away with 2 outs, but Manny Ramirez grounded out to end the threat and the game. Nathan needed 26 pitches to finish the inning, that’s the most he’s thrown this year in a game. His ERA went up to 1.93 but after a few more scoreless outings it should drop into the 1.50 range.
As I said, Hernandez tries for his 6th win tonight against the Sox. It’s on ESPN again and would really be a boost to the team if they can pull out another win. That would give them 3 wins in the series to Boston’s 1, with two of the three on national television.
It’s funny how baseball works. Gavin Floyd, the Chicago pitcher that was 1 out away from no-hitting us (thanks again, Joe Mauer!), gave up 5 runs on 9 hits in 3 and 2/3 innings last night. He walked 2 and struck out none, whereas he walked 3 but struck out 4 against us. Oh well, the past is the past.