Monday, May 5, 2008

It doesn't get much better

Oh, it didn't start off well. A home run by Curtis Granderson. Four straight hits following that. A wild pitch. A throwing error by Joe Mauer. Finally, after six runs scored, Boof Bonser escaped the first inning. Needless to say, it wasn't looking good; I was already consoling myself with the "at least they won two of three" routine.

But what a change between the first inning and the rest of the game. Bonser pitched beautifully; the defense made great plays; the offense came through with big hits and made all those runs back. The Blyleven/Bremer combination, as with many, isn't my favorite, but I listened to their call of Mauer's go-ahead, 2-RBI single at least four or five times--"High chopper, over the mound, INTO CENTERFIELD, and the Twins take the lead!"

Truly everyone contributed to Sunday's victory. I know it's cliched, but it really was a team effort. Of course, some individuals stole the spotlight. For me, Boof Bonser was incredible. To come back after that horrid first inning which included 42 pitches, and then pitch five more great innings... it was really good to see that. I can't say enough about how impressed I was with his composure. In the end, his overall line was below average, but every starter is going to allow six runs once in a while, and the fact that he was able to keep it at six and keep the game within reach, and save the bullpen a little, was fantastic.

Joe Mauer had the clutch hit in the seventh to complete the four-run inning to go along with a double earlier. Carlos Gomez and Brendan Harris had already had two-out run-producing hits in the inning, though of very different variety. Harris smoked a ball into left for a ground rule double, while Gomez bounced the ball high of the plate and easily beat Renteria's throw to first (and he made a good play on it). Justin Morneau also had a two-out RBI single in the fourth inning, and Nick Punto picked up his first two RBIs of the year in the fifth with a two-run double.

Oh, and the infallible Joe Nathan picked up his eleventh save.

To win this game, and complete the sweep, is definitely the high point of the season so far. Saturday's win moved the Twins into first place and above .500, and this game, after a simply great comeback, gave them their best record as of yet and subsequently a 1 1/2 game lead in the AL Central. It was also their fifth straight win, and the fact that the victories were against the White Sox and Tigers makes it that much better.

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