MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 17: Denard Span #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a walk off single against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifteenth inning on June 17, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Brewers 5-4 in fifteenth innings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Ben Revere made a handful of catches that fell somewhere between good and great, particularly one in the top of the eighth with nobody out and in the top of the eleventh with nobody out. Both of those could have easily gone for extra bases, but Revere's speed and willingness to lay himself out helped the Twins hold serve.
Joe Mauer played through a tweaked hamstring and a collision at the plate to deliver not one, but two game-tying singles. In his last ten games, Joe is batting .432. In the month of June he's hitting .390/.444/.512. If you're still booing him...STOP.
Jamey Carroll picked up not two, not three, but four hits. In the last 13 days his batting average 34 points and his on-base percentage 31 points. And as a bonus: he's slugging .449 this month.
Then there was the bullpen. Nick Blackburn had been pretty decent, until Corey Hart's three-run bomb in the fifth. Blackburn didn't have it easy today, he had to work around a rough first inning to escape having allowed just one run. Rickie Weeks tripled with one away in the second but couldn't score thanks to a good block at the plate by Mauer. In both the fourth and fifth innings Blackburn was it situations with two men on base but didn't allow them to score, either. He wasn't great, but until that Hart homer he was getting the job done. The relievers picked up the entire team.
Alex Burnett, Jared Burton, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Jeff Gray, and an exhausted Anthony Swarzak combined to throw nine...NINE...shutout innings. Duensing finished the eleventh and could have come back out, except the skies opened and caused a 48-minute rain delay. Gray stepped up and delivered three innings, walking two and allowing just one hit. Swarzak, who luckily only had to pitch the top of the fifteenth, might have been stuck out there for the duration unless position players were going to get involved.
Oh, and before I forget...did I tell you about Denard Span's day? He scored on one of Mauer's RBI singles. He picked up four hits of his own. Juan Perez, who had been called to the mound to deal with Span specifically, threw him three consecutive sliders. Span took the first two before slapping the third into the gap on the right side of the infield, scoring Plouffe to end the game.
This was a game nobody really wanted to lose. When you go 15 rounds with a team, you deserve to win the game. At the very least, those are the games that are really tough to lose. But the Twins came out on top of this one, avoided the series sweep, and have a lot of good reasons to be happy tonight.