A few Twins bits as you scarf down that bowl of Honey Nut Cheeriors...
- Nick Blackburn came one out short of his fifth career complete game last night, and his first career shutout. Maybe next time.
- Inside Edge graded Blackburn's offspeed stuff as a C last night. That's all he needs to have a chance the rest of the season: his offspeed stuff just needs to not suck, that's all.
- Orlando Hudson's sprained ankle means he's day-to-day. His cleats must have stuck in the dirt at first base...or something, because I still can't see what really happened. Hudson will likely have today off, and the Twins will take it from there.
- Jim Thome's stiff back acted up again last night. With the Twins facing off against southpaw Luke French this afternoon, he'll probably have the day off, too.
- Monday is an off day for the team, but with the season wearing on it wouldn't surprise me to see a getaway lineup in Seattle. The Mariners obviously aren't a very good team, meaning that if Gardy wants to do it he can't ask for a better opportunity. Being able to give players two days off in a row is a luxury most teams can't have this time of year, but Gardy might give it a shot. Even with Hudson and Thome sitting today, I can see a lineup like this: Span - Casilla (SS) - Mauer (DH) - Cuddyer - Young - Valencia - Repko - Tolbert (2B) - Butera.
- The Yankees made Hawk cry (tears of acid laced with evil, sure, but still tears) last night by taking down the White Sox in grand fashion. It probably wasn't as close as the 9-6 score indicates. Combine that with the Twins win, and Minnesota's magic number is 29. There's nothing safe about a 4.5-game lead, but there's no doubt the Twins are in the driver's seat...and it's certainly better than a 4.5-game deficit.
See you for the game this afternoon. Remember, it's another three o'clock start.