As we observed the other day, it's fun to win games late. The offense was again stymied by a not-very-good starting pitcher, but at least this time they were getting hits and simply couldn't get enough of them in the same inning. Fortunately, the Astros were having the same problem (not that Tommy Milone is a not-very-good starting pitcher, just that they were getting hits but couldn't get enough of them in the same inning). In the ninth, though, the Twins took advantage of a couple of walks as Joe Mauer delivered a two-out, two-run single, with Dozier apparently scoring all the way from first. Mauer was only credited with one RBI, so something must have happened there that was not revealed in the play-by-play, but even so, it was a clutch hit that put the Twins ahead and ultimately won the game.
Milone didn't exactly dominate, but he pitched well enough. Six innings and two runs is something we'd take from him every time out. One of the few hopeful things about this season is that the Twins now appear to have three legitimate major league starters (Hughes, Gibson, Milone) who are young enough to be around for the next few years. The bullpen did it's job, allowing only one hit in three innings, a one-out single in the ninth.
It was really good to have Mauer back, and even better to have him get on base three times with two hits and a walk. If Joe Mauer could play like Joe Mauer over the last month and a half of the season, everyone would feel a lot better about this team. They also, of course, would have a much better chance of avoiding 90 losses.
As you know, the Twins traded Josh Willingham yesterday for Jason Adam. As with Correia, we thank Willingham for his service and wish him well, but it was a move that needed to be made. He wasn't going to be around next year, anyway, so we might as well get something for him and let him go to a team that has a chance to win something.
So who's Jason Adam. Well, all I know about him comes from his stats. His full name is Jason Kendall Adam, so he apparently comes from a family of baseball fans. He just turned 23 last week and is already in AAA, which seems like a good sign. He's been a starter most of his career, but his eight AAA appearances were in relief. He did not pitch particularly well as a starter in AA. He seems to strike out a decent number of guys, not walk that many, and not give up a ton of home runs. It looks like he simply has given up too many hits. I don't imagine he'll be a superstar, but he's young enough that he might turn into a serviceable major league pitcher. One presumes he'll be sent to Rochester, so we'll keep an eye on him and see how he does.
Tonight, Yohan Pino makes what may well be his last start as a Twin, depending on what the Twins choose to do when Nolasco comes back. He faces Collin McHugh, who hadn't done much in the majors before this year but has pitched very well in 2014. No matter. We've won the first two of our season-ending forty-seven game winning streak. We're still on track for 98-64!