When Kevin Correia blitzed opposing offenses over the first five or six weeks of the season, we all said "It's only a matter of time." But while there have been a few rough patches, that time really hasn't come. Not yet. And maybe it's time we think that maybe it won't come at all this season.
Facing the Texas Rangers for the second time this season, Correia stymied the Best In the West for five hits over seven innings of one-run baseball. The lone offense was a home run from Mitch Moreland. Correia didn't allow a single hit today while a runner was on base. That's fantastic, and in most cases is going to translate to a win.
Offensively, the new guys did a lot of the heavy lifting. A three-run fifth was catalyzed by a Josmil Pinto double, a "whoops" ground rule double off the bat of Doug Bernier, and a flare single from Alex Presley. It's like Javier Valentin, Brent Gates and Chris Latham leading the Twins to a win in 1999.
I'm referencing 1999 as often as I can from now until the end of the season. Blame Stu.
Presley's leadoff single in the eighth led to another run, and I think it's safe to say that the-guy-we-got-for-Justin had a pretty good debut. Going 3-for-4 with a run batted in and a run scored is a good way for all of the Morneau fans in the house (read: all of Twins Territory) to go: "Hmm. Well, okay. But don't think this let's you off the hook forever."
Brian Dozier, who apparently led all of baseball with 34 extra-base hits since June 28 entering today's game, added to that total with a double. Josh Willingham was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, driving in Presley in the eighth. Glen Perkins emphatically shut the door in the bottom of the ninth for his 32nd save of the season.
A win is a win is a win. And it's particularly nice to have one today.
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- Josmil Pinto collected two hits in his debut, including the game-tying double in the fifth inning. Especially on that swing, he looked confident and balanced, turning inside with the pitch. It's always nice for that first hit to get out of the way, and now we can see how he adjusts as these last few weeks wind the season down.
- Willingham was credited with a single in the eighth, but not the RBI. I can only imagine that, because his knock was fielded by Ian Kinsler (I'm still not sure how he even got to the ball, which is a feat in and of itself) who then threw the ball up the line at first base, it was credited as a throwing error. Presley would have advanced to third and Willingham would have been safe at first base regardless, but the throw up the line allowed Presley to score. A better throw wouldn't have gotten Josh at first, but it would have held Presley at third.
- Chris Colabello made a great diving stop in the eighth, and was able to convert the out by flipping the ball to Jared Burton covering first base.
- A.J. Pierzynski's solo shot off of Burton in the eighth brought us to our final score. Pierzynski, who was coming off the bench as a pinch hitter, now has 16 homers in what has been another good season. I may get into this at another time, but with all the nostalgic conversation going around about bringing back ex-Twins next season, would you be opposed to a Twins-Pierzynski reunion? I wouldn't be opposed.
- Every Twins player got on base at least once today. Clete Thomas was the only player without a hit, but he did take a walk.
- Glen Perkins is just so good, you guys. So good.