Weather: 64 degrees, clear
Wind: 12 mph, in from left field
The baseball season spans half a year. Old timers will tell you how teams need to use that time: Two months to figure out what's wrong, two months to fix it, and two months to make a run for the top of the standings.
For the Twins this season, it didn't take long to assess the problem -- the clubhouse was as much emergency room as dressing room, and player after player was shuttling back and forth between the active roster and the disabled list. Morneau, Mauer, Span, Thome, Young, Baker, Slowey, Nishioka, Kubel, Casilla, Nathan -- all spent time on the DL, seriously testing the depth of the Twins organization.
Continue reading 2011 Game 106 Recap: Twins 9, White Elephants 5
Weather: 74 degrees, overcast
Wind: 9 mph, R to L
I <3 Ben Revere
This game was all about pitching. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Nick Blackburn pitched a good game. Luke Hochevar pitched a good game. Both went seven innings. Blackburn gave up no runs on four hits and two walks, Hochevar gave up one on three hits and three walks.
Coming out of the bullpen in the eighth, Joe Nathan and Tim Collins were good, neither giving up a hit and only Collins allowing a base runner on one walk.
Continue reading 2011 Game 91 Recap: Royals 2, Twins 1
Weather: 77 degrees, clear
Wind: 7 mph, left to right
The South Side of Chicago is a place where people end up. They end up packing meat or assembling machinery on a line. They end up in the bar or pool hall Friday and Saturday nights and in church on Sunday morning. They end up in the hospital or jail. Sometimes they end up at the bottom of the lake, sleeping with the fishes.
The Twins blew into Chicago riding the crest of a winning home stand that saw them take two of three from the Dodgers, Brewers, and Rays. And this with a team that's still largely patched together with duct tape and baling wire. Morneau recovering from surgery. Span and Kubel nursing lower extremities. Delmon... okay, forget about Delmon, but having the others unavailable has been a big chunk of why the Twins are in fourth place, seven games back of Cleveland. You have to think had they all been healthy, they could have turned around the outcomes of several of those 19 one-run losses so far this year. But after two days of dominating the White Sox, again, the Twins end up just two wins from overtaking the Hosers for third place. In the best case scenario, the Twins would sweep the Sox while Cleveland and Detroit lose out to the All-Star break, with the Twins having gained 11.5 games on the division lead since the first of June. I won't hold my breath, but stranger things have happened in the game of baseball.
Tonight, even with Blackburn struggling to control his pitches and giving up five early runs, the Twins chipped away with single runs in the first and third. But in the fourth inning they opened fire on Gavin Floyd, who would exit the game after recording just eleven outs and adding seven earned runs to his stat sheet. The Twins, down early, came back from behind and beat the White Sox, and it really doesn't get much better than that. Shoot, if the Twins aren't careful they just might find themselves in a pennant race before this season's over.
Weather: 71 degrees, rain
Wind: 15 mph, in from LF
Francisco Liriano was the bomb, going seven strong and giving up just two runs on four knocks with seven sit-downers.
Joe Mauer went three for four, all singles, and scored twice. At the suggestion of Ron Gardenhire, Top Jimmy was last seen flagellating his own face with a trout.
JIM THOME MASHED A TATER OVER THE OPPOSITE FIELDERS HEAD AND DROVE IN THREE RUNNERS.
Twins win to climb back to eight games out of first with nine to play before the break. And it's Independence Day weekend. Where I come from that means fireworks. Stay safe, kids.
Weather: 67 degrees, cloudy
Wind: 12 mph, out to center
The Case of the Missing Mojo - Part II
The doll had no idea what she was getting into when she poured herself into my office on a dreary summer night a couple of weeks ago. Then again, I had no idea myself that the hunt for the Twins' mojo would take me from the Twin Cities to the sunny California coast and all the way back east to Brewtown. The name's Twayn. I'm a shamus.
I'd been on the case for two weeks, trying to find out who had the mojo, but this puzzler had more twists and turns than a barber pole. It seemed clear as gin at first - the starting rotation had to have it. Pavano, Baker, Liriano, Blackburn, they were pitching like a carnival barker - hard, fast, crooked and all night long. How else could you explain the way they've been dominating on the mound? Then in San Fran the offense took off like a Chinatown rocket, at least for an inning, so maybe they had the mojo. One thing was sure, there was no shortage of guys suddenly playing better than they were before the start of June.
Continue reading 2011 Game 74 Recap: Twins 3, Brew Crew 4
Weather: 60 degrees, overcast
Wind: 10 mph, in from LF
It was a cool and cloudy night in the Twins Cities, the kind of night when the impending rain is a foregone conclusion and a shot of rotgut whiskey is the best way to warm up fast. The name's Twayn. I'm a shamus.
I was halfway through a pint of Kentucky's Apologies with my feet propped on the desk when I heard the knock on the door. I was in no mood for company after a day of hound dogging a cheating husband, trying to get the pictures his wife needed to squeeze a nice fat divorce settlement out of the louse, so I ignored the knock, hoping whoever it was would make like the wind and blow. When the doorknob started to turn I reached into my jacket, wrapped my fingers around the butt of my Colt .45, and pulled it from the shoulder holster. The dame walked in, took a look down the business end of my gat, and gave a little wide-eyed gasp.
Continue reading 2011 Game 63 Recap: Lone Star Rovers 9, North Star Dopplegangers 3
Weather: 53 degrees and overcast
Wind: 10 mph, right to left
The boys from last year, so freewheelin',
are back on their heels now and reelin'
from a punch to the nose
and a heel to their toes
and a knee to the groin they're still feelin'.
It's not what we thought we were getting
and I'm glad that I'm not fond of betting;
I'd be down on my luck
and I'd lose my last buck
on a wager I'm best off forgetting.
Intemperate spring soon turns to summer,
but this season has been such a bummer
that I don't think I'll mind
when we leave it behind.
Reading Souhan always makes me feel dummer.
The Twins tilt tonight was no fans delight,
carnage in the bullpen's a terrible sight.
But no crying, no sorrow,
there's another game tomorrow
and maybe we'll have something go right.
Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy
Wind: 5 mph, R to L
Umpires: HP - Tim Tschida. 1B - Jeff Nelson. 2B - Marty Foster. 3B - Bill Welke
Three times this season the Twins have won three games in a row and failed to extend the streak to four. Three times. They failed again tonight in Arizona, their inaugural inter-league game of the 2011 campaign, but you have to give the boys credit for making it interesting. If you told me after the seventh, down by four runs in the wreckage of a five run Diamondback inning, that the boys would come back and break my heart in the ninth I would have offered up an earnest guffaw.
Continue reading 2011 Game 43 Recap: Gemini 7, Crotalus Atrox 8
Weather: 54 degrees, overcast
Wind: 13 mph, L to R
Right now, the Minnesota Twins are the worst team in baseball, and it's not even that close. Twelve games under .500 and 11.5 games out of first place. A paltry .333 winning percentage and a losing streak that now runs to six games. Watching this team play baseball is about as much fun as growing up in a Dickensian orphanage. It's damp and drafty, it's cold, the beatings are frequent and severe, and there's never enough gruel in your bowl.
Continue reading 2011 Game 36 Recap: Toronto Bautistas 2, Minnesota Replacement Levels 0
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy
Wind: 21 mph, out to CF
What's not to love about this game? The Twins jet into Beantown on a wing and a prayer, a wisp of momentum, and a sigh of relief that they were able to best the offensively impotent Pale Hosers in a series deuce on the South Side, a short set featuring a no-hitter the hard way that F-bomb rolled for a 1-0 win. The boys haven't exactly been swinging hot lumber lately. With Butera and Casilla mired below the Mendozza line like sloths in La Brea tar, and Morneau barely above it, and Mauer and Delmon and JI
JIM THOME bruised and benched, our lineup doesn't have the punch of a full-strength squad hitting to expectations. But you wouldn't know it tonight.
Continue reading 2011 Game 30 Recap: Twins 9, Crimson Hosiery 2