Game #58: Twins 6, Royals 0

Twins record: 21-37
Fangraphs

Whoops, I forgot I had to do one of these, so I'm going to get in, get out, and go to bed. The Twins won, we swept the Royals in KC, baseball is fun again, Duensing was on top of his game, there's some cool pictures from the WGOM get-together in the CoC, I can't think of as many things to say when the Twins win as when they lose. That's all I've got.

Hitter of the Week: I suppose I ought to give one of these to Alexi Casilla before he turns back into Alexi Casilla.
Pitcher of the Week: Carl Pavano

Game 58: Twins at Royals

Brian Duensing vs. Jeff Francis

This is the Twins' fourth three-game winning streak of the season and they do not have a four-game winning streak. So, the Twins are due, right? This will be the third time that Duensing is the starter as the Twins go for a fourth consecutive victory.

The Twins have followed the three previous three-game win streaks with six-, nine- and four-game losing streaks, so the Twins need to find a way to keep this going, but the current health of their roster is likely to make this difficult. With a lefty on the mound, I wouldn't be surprised if both Justin Morneau and Denard Span get an extra day off to help with their minor injuries.

Duensing is 0-5 in his last six starts. This bad stretch started in Kansas City, so hopefully coming full circle will help Duensing put an end to it.

Alexi Casilla is now hitting .301/.370/.390 in his last 34 games (119 PAs).  The Twins desperately need some production and consistent defense from a middle infielder, so this is a good sign. GO TWINS!!!

Game 57: Twins 7, Royals 2

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire rubbed the champagne out of his eyes as he reflected on the wild ride of the past five months that had concluded with the franchise's third world championship following another epic seven-game World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

"I've never had as much fun managing a team as I have these past five months," Gardenhire said. "But I've never been as miserable managing a team as I was the first two months."

So, what keyed the turnaround?

"No. 1 was getting healthy," Gardenhire said. "It was ridiculous there for awhile. They should have just called us the Red Wings. I'd never seen anything like it. Once we got our horses back, we started to play like we expected to. Then we started to get our bullpen straightened out as well as healthy. Chuck James was just a godsend. He gave us three strong lefties along with Glen Perkins and Jose Mijares. Then we could match up Slama with righties, who have a real tough time with his motion. Of course, just getting Joe Nathan healthy enough to resume his closer role was big so Cappy could go back to setting up.

"But what I think really helped us turn it up to a high level was getting back to Twins-brand baseball."

Was there any point in the season to point to that began the turnaround?

"That series in Kansas City in the beginning of June," Gardenhire said. "We had almost the entire starting lineup on the DL or on the bench with injuries, so we had almost no power at all in the lineup, so we talked to the guys about just being more aggressive with the small ball. Taking extra bases, hitting-and-running, bunting, that sort of thing.

"Lexi (Casilla) and Benny (Revere) really took to it.  It was fun to watch."

That series was during Casilla's resurgence. Casilla had nearly played himself off the roster with his terrible hitting and inconsistent defense the first six weeks of the season, but Casilla turned it around and became a key member of the Twins and formed an exciting double-play combo with Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Revere, of course, took advantage of the injuries and played so well he eventually displaced Delmon Young as the starting left fielder.

With Revere and then Nishioka added to the lineup along with Casilla and Denard Span, Piranhas II: The Comeback was born.

Game 57: Twins at Royals

Last night at my mother-in-law's retirement party, the subject turned to our favorite baseball team. The (extremely drunken) consensus seemed to be that the team should trade Mauer to beef up our relief pitching. That's not a joke. That's an example of the fine analysis straight from the type of people whom I am privileged to talk sports with on a day in, day out basis with. You guys are truly a lifeline.

I mocked Swizzlestick last week, and he responded with might end up as the best Twins start of the season. Do I have to make fun of Blackburn's mom or something? Because so help me, I will.

As it turns out, Blacky's actually been doing pretty well, last start excepted. Tonight, he goes against Luke Hochevar, who has to be about the most "Royal"ish Royal out there. I feel pretty good about the Twins chances of grabbing a third straight, as well as my chances of picking up a third game log victory.

The Sun Ra Arkestra – Shadow World

in what is sure to be a gratuitous star-grab, i give you sun ra, in all his glory.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtHmqbnuZQs
(i've been trying to pin down an actual date for this video, but i've found contradictory answers. in all honesty, the quality of this video may belie it's actual "classic"-ness, and the technological advancement of some of the instruments lead me to believe it's sooner than later. however, i firmly believe sun ra transcends both space and time, so...)

7 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 107 votes, average: 4.86 out of 10 (7 votes, average: 4.86 out of 10)
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Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.