8/10 Game Thread: Toronto Blue Jays @ Minnesota Twins

First game of the series.  Twins:  67-46.  Toronto:  60-54.

Lineups
Minnesota Twins
Name        POS  AB  AVG HR RBI  OBP  SLG
Castillo    2B  419 .291  3  43 .349 .377
Punto       3B  273 .311  0  31 .400 .418
Mauer       C   374 .369 10  64 .448 .535
Cuddyer     RF  367 .264 16  71 .355 .493
Morneau     1B  404 .322 30 101 .376 .604
Hunter      CF  366 .276 15  59 .348 .451
Rabe        DH   39 .308  3   7 .341 .538
Tyner       LF  102 .314  0   7 .358 .324
Bartlett    SS  169 .355  1  19 .423 .467

Toronto Blue Jays
Name        POS  AB  AVG HR RBI  OBP  SLG
Rios        RF  315 .317 15  58 .370 .540
Catalanotto LF  301 .312  7  48 .400 .465
Wells       CF  424 .325 27  83 .385 .601
Glaus       3B  390 .267 31  85 .372 .559
Overbay     1B  420 .302 18  69 .361 .505
Hinske      DH  189 .270 12  29 .355 .529
Molina      C   295 .275  9  30 .312 .410
Hill        2B  377 .297  2  35 .353 .387
McDonald    SS  148 .216  2  12 .272 .291

Pitchers
Name        ERA    IP   H  HR  SO  BB  K/9 WHIP
Silva      6.37 118.2 172  24  49  17 3.72 1.59
Lilly      4.20 126.1 125  20 111  60 7.91 1.46

How about them Jays?

On June 30, Toronto was 45-34, 7 games back of Chicago in the Wild Card race and 1.5 games in front of the Twins.  Over the next month they went 12-14, and while they were usurped by the Twins in the push for that precious fourth playoff slot, they had managed to pick up ground on both the Yankees and the White Sox, trailing each team by only 5.5 games.  At 57-48 going into August, Toronto has gone 3-6 to start the month, leaving them 7.5 games back of the race-leading Twins.  Over the past month and a half, they haven't done themselves any favors.

Starting tonight, they have what could be their last real chance to make a push and stay competetive in the sprint to the finish.  With both Chicago and Boston still ahead of them in the Wild Card standings, a series vicotry against the Twins would go a long way in helping their dwindling chances.  A series victory for the Twins, on the other hand, will keep the pressure on Sox both red and white.

The top half of the Toronto batting order is formidable, as positions one through six contain OBP's no lower than Hinske's more than respectable .355.  Five of the six top hitters in the order are slugging over .500; formidable indeed.  Don't forget they also have Russ Johnson coming off the bench (.342/.420/.513).

We'll need Carlos Silva to turn in another good performance tonight, or things could get ugly early.  Good luck, Mr. Silva, and godspeed.

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