Twins/Sox Lose, Magic Number Falls

20 Sep

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The Twins lost 6-2 to the A’s yesterday to lose a home series for the first time in a long time. The Twins were without Denard Span, Orlando Hudson, and Jason Kubel at the start of the game, and Joe Mauer left with a jammed knee later in the game. Bobby Cramer did a nice job of throwing curveballs and slow and slower pitches to keep the Twins hitters off balance. Ben Revere notched the first two hits of his big league career, and Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome homered for the Twins.

The White Sox and Tigers were the national game of the week on Sunday night. The two teams aren’t playing well, but they did provide an exciting game. Down 7-3, the White Sox rallied to send the game to extra frames. But the Tigers scored two in the 11th inning and held on. That means… the Twins Magic Number to win the AL Central is reduced to…

The Twins start a three game series tonight against Cleveland. Brian Duensing will take the mound against Jeanmar Gomez.

Here is a quick look at the standings in the race for top record in the American League:

New York Yankees 90-59
Tampa Bay Rays 89-59
Minnesota Twins 89-60
Texas Rangers 83-65

So the Twins are one game back of the Yankees for top record as the Yankees and Rays begin a four game series in the Bronx. I know a lot of people who are upset at some of the lineups that the Twins threw out there against the A’s this past weekend. I kind of think it’s a little silly. Denard Span jarred his shoulder. He can’t swing. Yet people are upset at Gardy for having him out of the lineup. Jason Kubel had another MRI on his wrist. He was not available to pinch hit, yet some are upset that he was not in the lineup. Drew Butera caught the first two games of the series, so there were many that were upset. Based on Joe Mauer’s knee injury, maybe it would have been good for him to sit out completely for a game or two.

I would love for the Twins to have home field advantage as much as anyone. I also happen to believe that going into the playoffs with full health is way more important. So I am glad they have the lead that they have so that they can afford to sit some guys. Gardy and the Twins went all out in the series last week in Chicago, and they cut six games off of the Magic Number. Those were important games in putting the division title concerns to rest. With the Magic Number now at four games, the Twins can focus on getting people healthy. But what I don’t understand is when fans seem to think that when two or three Twins starters are out of the lineup, it means they are throwing the game away. When Span and Kubel were out of the lineup, the team still had Hudson, Mauer, Cuddyer, Young, Hardy and Valencia. I’ll take my chances with that group any day. Add in that Ben Revere can hit a little bit and they want to see him play, and there is no negative there. Add the defense and arm of Jason Repko and the overall defense is improved. The starting pitchers have done well. I guess I don’t understand people being up in arms about a few lineup decisions. They are not NOT trying to win home field. They are still giving everything to win these games, but they are doing it with intentions of getting some key people healthy too.

The hope would be that by this weekend, or certainly by early next week, the team could be at full strength and have everybody ready to go by the playoffs. But maybe I’m just too positive and optimistic and I should choose to be more negative. Oh well.

Any thoughts? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.


7 Responses to “Twins/Sox Lose, Magic Number Falls”

  1. mike wants wins September 20, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    I’m ok with Mauer not playing, I’m never ok with Butera playing. He’s not a MLB player on a good team (or even, really, a bad team). I’m really ok with Span and Kubel not playing. They both need to get healthy.

    Fuentes or Flores make the postseason roster, in your opinion, Seth? Should they, will they?

  2. DrJubal September 20, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I’d sure love to see a Justin Morneau pinch-hit sometime in the next week or so.

  3. Seth September 20, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    MWW – like it or not, Butera is the best option they have behind the plate if Mauer is not playing. His defense may not make up for .180, but him being in the lineup is not something that will make the Twins lose.

    Fuentes is an absolute given. Dude is amazing against lefties. He led baseball in Saves just last year and did ok this year in the same role with the Angels. He’s about as easy a choice as their is.

    Flores is terrible. He will not be on the roster.

  4. Adam September 20, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    What? No pictures of Paul Molitor or Chip Hale? I’m disappointed. Only a little, though.

  5. mike wants wins September 20, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    I hope you are right Seth, that’s how I feel about the two lefties also. I’ve been out of the loop for two weeks, so I don’t know how Gardy has/has not been using them.

  6. torgo23 September 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I smell sweep in the Indians series, but I don’t think the Twins will be holding the broom. Tonight is reliable Duensing vs “other team’s bad pitcher”, since the Twins love making terrible pitchers look like all stars. Big loss tonight, Indians 12 – Twins 1.

    Tomorrow is Pavano vs Carmona. Pavano has been holding steady around the “ready to trend downward” mark for a while. Carmona devastated the Twins last time they met. Indians 5 – Twins 2

    Wednesday. Carrasco and Baker. Again the Twins will be nice and make Carrasco feel good about himself, probably award him with a no hitter. For Baker, two words “elbow explosion”. Indians 7 – Twins 0

    Thankfully the White Sox are still terrible.

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