Twins pick up another series victory, but fall one hit short of a sweep. Tough way to end your first stint in The Bigs, Trevor Plouffe.
Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Twins were down by two thanks to (once again) failing miserably with runners on base. Part of the issue is that the Twins get a lot of guys on base, which is a good "problem" to have, but it's getting tiresome. Let's step it up, people! And you know what? They almost did.
Orlando Hudson cracked a double to lead off the frame and was nearly stranded before Jason Kubel came up with a big two-out single to bring the Twins to within one. Delmon Young followed that up with another single before pinch hitter Jim Thome was unintentionally intentionally walked.
Now you laugh when I tell you the Twins used Kevin Slowey to pinch run for Thome. For real, I'm not making it up. It's a seasonal highlight for sure, and I wouldn't be surprised if this already showed up as a joke in Marthaler's 2010 Season In Review.
All of this set the stage for rookie Trevor Plouffe, who was already 1-for-4 on the day. Talk about a big situation. Plouffe took a first-pitch strike before John Axford's mustache made him climb the ladder for strike two. Axford's mustache wasted a fastball outside before dropping a curve over the plate, getting Plouffe to swing through it for strike three to end the game.
Welcome to The Show, Trevor.
- Carl Pavano largely did his job, going eight innings and giving up four runs. He takes the loss, but deserved better from his offense. This game should have been 10-4, Twins.
- Jesse Crain looked good in the ninth, including a big strikeout of Corey Hart. STOP TOYING WITH MY EMOTIONS, CRAIN.
- Denard Span is day-to-day after getting beaned in the shoulder. It's being called a "shoulder contusion".
- Alexi Casilla played center after Denard's departure. He was 0-for-2.
- Joe Mauer was used as a pinch hitter in the eighth, but his smashed grounder was snagged on a nice play by SET-UP MAN Trevor Hoffman. Something is odd about that sentence.
- Is anyone else tired of Carlos Gomez after this series? And he doesn't even play for us anymore. Showboating on a home run when his team was already roadkill on Friday night, dropping a pop-up on Saturday, somehow managing to tie the game yesterday and then a hissy fit today. The typical Gomez combo of electricity, futility and ego. Just shut up and play until you prove something.
- Oh, Brendan Harris. Just...ouch. What's wrong?!?
- The Twins left a combined 26 runners on base today. Futility, thy name is RISP.