I used a random number generator to pick a season from the past with the idea that I would quickly highlight the Twins history that occurred today in that year. The generator sent me to the year 2008.
Twins 3, White Sox 2 - BR Boxscore
The Twins pieced together four shutout innings of relief to win their second straight game against the White Sox while pulling within a half game of first place in the AL Central. Nick Blackburn allowed two runs in five innings despite pitching around ten baserunners (sound familiar?). Craig Breslow, Boof Bonser (?!), and Jose Mijares each pitched a scoreless inning before Joe Nathan's 1-2-obligatory-4 ninth inning save, the 200th of his career. “You couldn’t ask for anything better than that,” Blackburn said of the bullpen. “They came in, did their job and got those guys out. No drama. It was great.” In Mijares's eighth inning, he retired JI JIM, Paul Konerko, and Ken Griffey, Jr. in order.
Offensively, the Twins scored all of their runs in the first two innings (with Joe Mauer twice driving in a run while grounding out). Carlos Gomez bunted for a single in the second inning, the sixty-fourth bunt hit of the season for the Twins (Cincinnati had the second-most bunt hits with thirty-three). From there, Mark Burly settled in and the Twins failed to move another runner as far as third base while Burly retired thirteen of the last fifteen men he faced. Describing the Twins after the game, Burly simply said, “They’re a pain.”
Once the Twins built their early lead, they fell into the classic trap of chasing Burly's junk. “I think we probably got a little too aggressive at times, but I told our guys to play,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Play the game and have some fun.”
Here's the final pitch (posted on YouTube by what appears to be New Guy!):
Fun, but the final pitch the following night was WAY better.
Other Twins notes: Blackburn had been scuffling entering the game allowing twelve runs on fifteen hits in his previous two starts spanning just 5.1 innings. After the game, he explained, “It was just a big mind boost for me.” He also acknowledged over-thinking his struggles during a recent slump. “I just tried to convince myself to make a pitch and not try to press and overthrow anything.” Blackburn would end up making one more start during the season: Game 163.
Jason Kubel started the game and went 0-for-3 with a walk against Burly. Gardenhire initially had Michael Cuddyer in his pregame starting lineup, but changed his mind because he was still not convinced Cuddyer had fully recovered from the broken foot he suffered during a rehab assignment.
Other notes: It was panic time in Chicago: