Twins Clinch Tie

28 Sep

That was one of the more strange baseball games I can recall attending. There were just shy of 43,000 people there, all hoping to see a Twins win, all watching the scoreboard, hoping that Cleveland could beat the White Sox again. The Twins did not hit well at all. The Royals did all they could to give the Twins the game. Brandon Duckworth was throwing as many balls as strikes. But I believe he fit the definition of “effectively wild” holding the Twins bats down. In reality, it was not a very good baseball game at all, but in the end, the Twins got their win and clinched a tie. Unfortunately, Bryan Bullington wasn’t able to hold down the White Sox enough and the Sox will have to play Detroit tomorrow. If they win, the Twins will head to Chicago to play Tuesday. If the White Sox lose, the Twins will head to Tampa to play the Rays starting Thursday. Here are more thoughts:

  • Joe Mauer went 0-3 in his first three at bats, dropping him to just .328. At that time, Dustin Pedroia had been 2-2 for the Red Sox and was at .327. However, Mauer had hits in his final two at bats, including the two run double that helped the Twins to that final score of 6-0. He ended the day at .330. Pedroia was 2-3 in the Red Sox first game and is at .327. At this time, I don’t know if he will be playing in the Red Sox second game tonight against the Yankees. I would love to say that Mauer has won the batting title, but because the Twins may have to play on Tuesday, and that would be a regular season game, we can not say that yet.
  • Also, Mauer’s two run double in the bottom of the 8th was hit on a rope! Again, more insurance is always a good thing. It also gave him 85 RBI. Not bad at all!
  • Likewise, Justin Morneau’s recent struggles allowed Josh Hamilton to by-pass him in the RBI race, 130-129. Hamilton didn’t drive in any runs on Sunday, so if the Twins play on Tuesday and Morneau drives in 2 or more, he will still win the title.
  • A stiff neck? Are you serious? Twins fans need to remember this day and Cliff Lee should fit in right alongside the likes of Mark Buehrle and AJ Pierzynski in the minds of Twins fans.
  • Through three innings, Scott Baker had to work. He threw a bunch of pitches, and I commented that I couldn’t see him getting through seven, which didn’t bode well. But after that, he was remarkable. Seven shutout innings is terrific. He allowed just four hits, walked only one and struck out nine hitters.
  • It was good to see Jose MIjares against get the 8th inning. When he started warming up, the Twins held just a 2-0 lead. There is no question that he would be on a potential postseason roster. And Joe Nathan closed out the 9th inning with two strikeouts.
  • I’ll jump to that top of the 9th. Everyone was standing up cheering, but I could help but wonder how the Twins would respond to the win. It only clinched a tie, so they couldn’t cheer excessively. But since it is possible that they clinch tomorrow afternoon, if the White Sox lose, maybe they would do something. They could do an on-field celebration in Chicago, which would be incredibly cool(!), but I would prefer not to even have to play that game. And in the end, there may be no cause for celebration and then they just look silly. So, not celebrating too much was the way to go. It was equally strange as a fan knowing how excited to get.
  • Nick Punto again had a very good game. He went 2-3 with a walk.
  • Delmon Young picked up a very big hit in the bottom of the seventh. His bases loaded, two run double gave the Twins a little breathing room. He did so after fouling off five or six pitches.
  • It was good to see Justin Morneau take walks in his first two at bats rather than going outside the strikezone. I know he wanted to come up big, but in the end, you only hurt things more by trying to do too much.

 

I had the chance to finally meet Marty Andrade. He stopped by Section 220 and gave me a copy of his recently released book TC Burger Tour. After having been on his podcast each Sunday night for the past two months, it was good to put a face to the name. I’m looking forward to the book and possibly verifying several of his recommendations!

 

Speaking of… There will be a Marty Andrade Weekly Twins Podcast tonight at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Andrade. It will be live from 8:00 until 9:00. The chat room will be open, so I encourage your questions. Should be a fun show.

 

And while I’m touting podcasts, I will have a BONUS SethSpeaks.net Twins podcast on Monday night at 8:00. There will be plenty to talk about related to the Twins. We will know by then if the Twins had to travel to Chicago or Tampa Bay and what their schedule might be. Normally I don’t mention the guests or the schedule until the afternoon before the show, but I am very excited that one of Monday night’s guests will be Tampa Bay Rays reliever (and former Twins pitcher) Grant Balfour. So, that should be a lot of fun and very timely.

With that, I am going to post this. Again, check out Marty’s podcast tonight at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Andrade at 8:00. Should be fun. Also, I will begin my series on the Top Twins prospects later tonight by posting Part 1, prospects 31-50.

Isn’t this fun? Please feel free to e-mail me at sethspeaksnet@hotmail.com,

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4 Responses to “Twins Clinch Tie”

  1. Travis Aune September 29, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    with a 4 point lead what does mauer need to clinch the batting title on tuesday if necessary. I know 1 hit would do it but if he is hitless how many at bats can he have and still win it

  2. Beth September 29, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    I don’t have my scorecard, but if I recall Baker didn’t have more than 16 pitches in any one inning, so it’s hard for me to agree with “Through three innings, Scott Baker had to work. He threw a bunch of pitches, and I commented that I couldn’t see him getting through seven, which didn’t bode well.” He threw more pitches than he should’ve needed to in order to get the nine outs in those three innings, but never was it a lot of pitches.

  3. mike wants wins September 29, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    Great season, win or lose the division. Ton of fun, and unexpected.

  4. James M. September 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    Travis: Relax. If Joe goes 0-for-5 on Tuesday his BA would drop to .327, still a point better than Pedroia. It’s OVER.

    Beth: You are correct. 16 was his max, in the 1st and 7th innings. In between he was amazingly consistent, always in the 12 to 15 range. He only threw 14 pitches in the 2nd despite facing 5 batters. Moral of story: if you must walk a batter, do it on 4 pitches!

    Seth: A couple corrections.
    1)DP went 2-for-4 in Game 1 and ended at .326.
    2) Mauer’s second hit was a triple, not a double. He finished first in triples among catchers with 4. He was also first in runs (98 to 87 for #2 Russell Martin), first in hits (176-155), second in walks (84-90) and fourth in RBI (85 to Bengie Molina’s 95). What a year!

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