June 14, 2006

Game of the Year?

What a game in the American League tonight between my two favorite teams, the Twins and Red Sox (sorry, Phillies). Two of the best pitchers in baseball, Johan Santana and Curt Schilling, started for the respective teams, and both dominated, with Johan striking out 13 in 8 innings and both pitchers giving up one run through 8. And after the Twins failed to score after threatening Boston's invincible closer, Jonathan Papelbon, the game went into extra innings.

It stayed that way into the 12th, as the Sox scored a run in the top of the inning when the Boston runner was called safe at first in what would have been an inning-ending double play. But the Twins came back in the bottom of the 12th to win it on a grand slam by Jason Kubel. And all this on the day that David Ortiz appeared on the cover of SI, talking about how he's been motivated in recent years by the way the Twins released him without compensation after the 2002 season.

What a weird, weird year the Twins are having. Yes, they're way out of the AL Central race, with the back end of their rotation utterly imploding and just about every one of their offseason acquisitions failing completely. And they're giving hundreds of at-bats to the likes of Juan Castro, Tony Batista*, and Rondell White.

But look on the bright side: the team's young nucleus is starting to show up and play, with Joe Mauer hitting in the .380s to become the talk of the league, Justin Morneau finally showing a power stroke, Michael Cuddyer having a career year, and Francisco Lirano giving them a second dominant starter to go with Santana. And on top of that, the new stadium is finally on the way as well. I look forward to going to my first home Twins game in about three years when I visit home next month.

And finally, speaking of the Twins, the team's foremost blogger, Aaron Gleeman, got his 2 millionth hit yesterday. Congrats, Aaron!

*Batista was designated for assignment after last night's game. At last, progress!

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 14, 2006 12:32 AM

I've seen White in action a couple of times this year and been, um, unimpressed. Really unimpressed. How's that for Minnesota Nice?

It is a weird year. They seem to have the talent but it's not in sync or something. They are more fun to watch this year than the past couple, give them that.

Posted by: Dave E. at June 14, 2006 08:55 PM
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