On a 1-1 pitch in the bottom of the ninth, Chris Herrmann jumped on Ramon Troncoso's meatball of a fastball and it found a hole into right field. Doug Bernier, pinch running for Chris Colabello, was waved around third base and slid in around a wide throw from Avisail Garcia.
There. I just rattled off five names that nobody outside of Minnesota and Chicago fans would recognize.
In terms of command, White Sox starter Andre Rienzo turned in the best start of his Major League career. As a guy who usually has trouble walking fewer than three or four per outing, the Twins were able to draw a single free pass off of him in six innings. Rienzo allowed just four hits, one of which was Trevor Plouffe's solo shot in the fifth that drew the Twins to within two.
Mike Pelfrey, meanwhile, struck out four and walked one in six and a third innings. A single and a sac fly in the first put Chicago up 2-0 early, and a manufactured run in the third made it 3-0. The first inning was really the only time Pelfrey struggled until the seventh, when he was pulled with one away and runners on the corners. Caleb Thielbar got his man on one pitch, and Josh Roenicke needed just three pitches to get the final out of the inning and hold the score at 3-2.
Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau paired up to knot the game in the eighth when Joe cracked a "patented Joe Mauer double" and Justin followed it up with a single. Garcia made a good throw but Mauer slid in just in front of the tag. An inning later, Herrmann's walk-off single ended a good game and a great comeback.
Bullet Point Highlights
- It's a tough night when a single outfielder has an opportunity to make two relays home and misses out on them both, but Garcia's throw in the eighth couldn't have been any better and I'm not sure he could have been accurate enough to get Bernier in the ninth. He's going to be a very, very good player in years to come.
- Trevor Plouffe's 12th home run of the season just looked so easy. Some players make it look like they want to destroy the baseball and take out upon it all the frustrations and all the hatred of the world, while others can make it look exceedingly easy - almost like a flick of the wrist. On this home run, at least, Plouffe made it look very, very easy.
- A big reason for today's win? Success with runners in scoring position. The Twins were 3-for-7 in that category today, as Willingham, Morneau, and Herrmann all came through in the clutch.
- Jared Burton, Caleb Thielbar, Josh Roenicke, Anthony Swarzak, and Glen Perkins all have sub-3.00 ERAs. A pair of rough outings have pushed Casey Fien out of that category, but basically: the Twins have a fantastic bullpen this year.