I have no shortage of wonderful things to say about how Liam Hendriks pitched tonight.
Liam Hendriks was amazing tonight. He pitched 9 innings, walked three, struck out six, and gave up only 3 hits. Unfortunatly, one of those hits was a home run off the bat of Eric Thames in the 8th inning. Hendriks was outstanding. Hopefully we can get something anywhere near this quality of pitching out of him in the future. Good for Hendriks. That's enough about how great Hendriks was. Let's talk about Felix Hernandez.
Hernandez dominated this game. He didn't give up a hit until the 4th inning when Joe Mauer took his fastball right up the middle and it landed right in front of center fielder, Franklin Gutierrez. Hendriks would hit Josh Willingham four pitches later, but came back and struck out Justin Morneau to end the inning.
The Twins really only had one chance in this game. And that was in the bottom of the 7th inning when Justin Morneau hit what I, Felix Hernandez, and everyone in Target Field thought was a home run, but instead was a triple. Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Jamey Carroll would hit ground balls, and strand Morneau and waste a rare triple from our concrete footed first baseman.
In the eighth inning, Thames would lead it off with a home run, and Hendriks would retire the next 3 batters.
When the top of the ninth came up, Gutierrez was walked, and stole second. Kyle Seager struck out trying to bring him in to pad the lead a bit. Jesus Montero was next, and hit a fly ball to Denard Span, who caught it and was able to throw out Gutierrez who was trying to take third.
Hernandez would get Mauer to ground out in the bottom of the 9th, and got a double play off the bat of Morneau to end the game. Studs and duds after the jump.
Studs: Liam Hendriks for going the distance and getting the hardest hard luck loss of them all. Justin Morneau for hitting a triple, and Denard Span for making a laser throw to third base to nail Gutierrez.
Duds: Everybody else.