Perkins puts the team in a hole early, bullpen doesn't help.
When Jose Morales knocked it up the middle off Bobby Jenks and a pair of runs crossed the plate, things looked good. Sure, it was the ninth inning and there was one out, but now the score was 8-7 and the top of the order was coming up. The Twins had been chasing the White Sox for the last half of the game, and it did finally look like they were about to catch them.
After all, Joe Crede had been a superstar throughout the game. A pair of home runs, one to the home run porch plated three, while the one to center was a solo shot, and he's now hit four of his 14 home runs on the season against the boys from the South Side. He had single-handedly put up a brick wall in front of Chicago's momentum, and put life back into the crowd in the Dome.
Denard Span's double play brought down the axe. It was a fastball right over the plate and up in the zone, a fat pitch if Jenks ever offers one, but Span wasn't quite quick enough to get around on those 95 mph. He grounded to Alexei Ramirez at short, moving to his left and stepping on second base before firing onto first for the double-up.
That the game was even as close as it was came as a bit of a surprise, considering how the pitching went over the first six innings. Glen Perkins faced 23 batters in his four-and-a-third innings, allowing ten of them to reach base. He was charged with five runs, and it could have been more if R.A. Dickey didn't come on to get the final two outs without surrendering a base runner.
Dickey did manage to walk the bases full in the sixth, with the last two free passes coming with two outs. Brian Duensing came on, and Jim Thome took the first pitch he saw and went inside-out to drop one right in between Span and Carlos Gomez to clear the bases. Neither outfielder held up, each racing in to try and make the play, so when the ball bounced and Gomez couldn't bare-hand it before it got behind them it looked like another lack of communication in the outfield. If they were going to make the play it would have been a collision course, which helps nobody. One of them needed to pull back and be available to back the other up, which could have avoided the third run scoring, but both were coming with a head full of steam. They both need to speak up, not to mention listen.
It was another game the Twins could have won, but considering they were lucky to be in it in the first place maybe we should just be happy that they didn't give up. The boys gave it a shot, they just fell a bit short.
Stars of the Game
#3: Brian Buscher (HBP, .070 WPA)
#2: Jose Morales (1-for-1, 2 RBI, .134 WPA)
#1: Joe Crede (2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .244 WPA)