Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Michael Young Wins Game for Twins

A day after losing on a walk-off error the Rangers suffered another defeat because of some not-so-slick fielding. This time, Michael Young had three errors in the game, and two in one inning, which allowed two unearned runs to score. This gave the Twins their margin of victory in a 4-2 win. Carlos Silva had a good start, giving up only two earned runs in six innings, and improved his record to 12-14 in the process. Glen Perkins came into a tight spot in the seventh and was very un-Dennys-Reyes-like by getting the batter, Hank Blalock, on the first pitch. In other words, he didn't look like he was just guessing where the ball would end up. Joe Nathan finished the game for his 33rd save in 37 chances.

The offense also had some good performances. Torii Hunter went 2-4 with 2 RBIs, Joe Mauer had a ground-rule double and RBI, Jason Kubel went 3-4 with 2 doubles and 3 runs scored, and Nick Punto had 2 hits, including a double, again! On the other hand, Justin Morneau and Luis Rodriguez both had tough days. Morneau came up twice with a runner in scoring position and two outs and didnt get a hit either time, while Rodriguez grounded into two double plays and went 0-4 overall.

The aforementioned four players (with good games) totaled five doubles for the game. As a team, the Twins have not had that many doubles in a game since June 23rd in an 11-1 win against the Marlins, and only two other times this year (April 21st in a 7-5 win over the Royals and April 14th in a 12-5 victory versus the Devil Rays). The last time-- and only time this year-- they had more than 5 doubles in one game was way back on April 17th, in a game that ended 11-2 in favor of the Twins over the Mariners. Mauer had three doubles and the team combined for eight. That was so long ago that Ramon Ortiz started and Josh Rabe played, that Jason Bartlett was collecting his first extra base hit of the year, and that Mauer was batting .364.

And now I move to the topic of Nick Punto again. Luis Rodriguez needs to be warned that Nick Punto may surpass him in batting average if he continues his recent pace. He has already jumped over Richie Sexson in order to not be last in the majors for batting average by going 7-17 (.412) with two doubles and an RBI over his last five games. And yes, those are significant; he's only had three RBIs now since July 21st and the two doubles are the same amount he had in each of three individual months. And, of course, these last five days have made the whole season of Punto worthwhile.

Lastly, I'm awarding retroactive game balls for the two games which I posted entries about before I had that idea. For Friday's game, it goes to Justin Morneau, who went 1-4 with a 2-run home run. For Saturday's game, it goes to Johan Santana, who pitched eight innings, gave up four earned runs, and allowed six hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts.

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