If you are a Twins fan you have to be pretty happy with the way the team is playing this year. Last night, a two-run pinch hit home run by Kennys Vargas ties the game up in the bottom of the 9th, and a fly-ball by Polanco brings Mauer in to score in the 10th for the win over KC.
Hector Santiago gave up 3 runs in his five innings, and Duffy, Belisle, Rogers, and Kintzler shut the door after that.
Last year at this time: 10-28. (ouch.)
Today’s a rain out, and, so, a very good day to read a book about baseball. I have been busy in that regard, and have read some excellent books, and I’ll leave that teaser there for another post.
The highly-touted (if not vaunted) Jose Berrios pitched a pretty darn good game yesterday, winning his second of the season, going 7 2/3 innings, striking out 11. It was nice coming after a loss in the first game of the day-night doubleheader. Nothing sucks the life out of a day like losing both games of a doubleheader. But no: the youthful Berrios climbed up and set them down.
I watched a bit of video on those 11 strikeouts.They were brutal. Could we only be so lucky to see this on a regular basis from Mr. Berrios?
Berrios came up last season and had a less-than-auspicious start. 3-7, 8.02 era. He had a bit of trouble finding the plate. This season he started in Triple A, and located the pale platter. He went 2-0, with a .59 ERA and .391 WHIP. He got called up and made his first start with the Twins on May 13th in Cleveland, and got the win, 4-1, pitching 7 2/3, giving up 2 hits, a run, and striking out 4. Yesterday, another 7 2/3 innings, 2 hits, a run, and 11 strikeouts.
We’ve been hearing about this Berrios for quite awhile. Let’s hope he’s finally arrived, for we could surely use him.
Joe Mauer gets his first career walk-off homer last night as the Twins take one from Boston. As all Twins fans know, a Twins game isn’t over until it’s OVER. That is to say, the Twins took a 3-1 lead into the top of the ninth, and started the bottom of the frame tied 3-3. Nothing is ever really in the bag for the Twins, except for this, the walk-off HR in the bottom of the ninth. That’s a lead that’s pretty safe. In the bag. Put it in the win column. Touch ’em all, Joe Mauer.
The boys have been showing some resiliency this season. Or maybe it’s just that Ervin Santana has been untouchable? No, I guess there’s a bit more too it than that. But, as we say in Minnesota, So Far, So Good.
The Twins found some hits yesterday, and beat Detroit 11-5 in Detroit, moving back into a first place tie wit dem Tigers. They unleashed the heavy lumber, as Grossman, Kepler and Sano all homered, and the boys came back from an early 2-0 deficit to grab an 11-2 lead in the 6th. Hughes goes 5 and two-thirds for the win, gives up a couple of homers himself, five hits and three walks, but also strikes out five.
The boys drop a tough one in Detroit, 2-1. They tallied one in the ninth, on a Sano double and a Castro single, then a Mauer single put runners at first and second with one out. But Rosario flied out and Kepler popped out to end the game.
Santiago took the loss, giving up two in 6 and a third. Nice game, but we wind up on the short end.
The Twins continue to play good ball to start the season, winning a nice one tonight, 3-1 in Chicago. First four games, Twins have given up 6 total runs. A nice change from last season. First time the Twins have won four in a row to start a season since 1987. (Yikes! 30 years ago!) I like how Molitor is getting everyone in the games. Our new back up catcher, Gimenez, goes 2 for 4 tonight, knocks in a run. Buxton makes some pretty nice catches in center, but had a brutal day at the plate, 0 for 4, four strikeouts. Well, tomorrow’s another day. I also like to see Sano at first base. Kintzler made it a bit too interesting in the ninth, giving up a couple of walks. But he persevered, and the Twins get another one in the win column.
April 8th marks the birthday of Catfish Hunter, born in 1946.
Catfish broke into the big leagues in 1965 with the then KC Athletics. He was a huge part of all the great Oakland A’s clubs of the early 70s. He then was able to leave the A’s because of a contract violation, and became baseball’s first “big money” free agent. He ended up playing for one of those east coast teams, don’t remember which one. I believe he did pretty well there too.
A’s owner Charlie Finley gave him the nickname “Catfish.” Probably a marketing thing. Catfish never played in the minors. I wonder if that’s happened since? He also pitched a perfect game against the Twins in May of ’68, a night game out on the west coast. It was a wednesday night, so I probably caught just the beginning of the game on the radio. It being a school night.
Catfish passed away on 9 September 1999, age 53, from Lou Gehrig’s disease.