Twins, Brewers Defeat Brewers
This is clearly not the same man the Twins toyed with in 2006, calling him when they needed him then telling him to hit the road, to get back to Rochester...kind of like that one college relationship you're not too proud of. Shudder.
Watching Scott Baker work Saturday night was like watching a man possessed. You could see it in his eyes, in the way he worked, in the way he nodded at Redmond's call and just threw the ball. Baker worked at the pace of a man determined not to lose this opportunity.
Set, motion, release, follow through, get the ball, climb mound, repeat.
Through 8 1/3 innings Baker threw only 96 pitches, and topped himself out with a 14-pitch bottom of the third. He struck out five, allowed six hits, walked none and gave up two solo home runs for Milwaukee's only runs of the evening. Relying primarilly on his fastball and curve, Scott attacked the strike zone and forced the Brewers to swing. His fastball reached 94 mph, including the pitch he threw to record his final out of the evening: an upstairs fastball to send Prince Fielder down on strikes.
As Baker ate his way through the Brewer lineup like Pac Man to so many Pinkys and Blinkys, the NL Central Division leaders didn't do themselves any favors. They only had two official errors on the evening, but between booted balls, bad throws and mis-executed plays there wasn't much reason for the Wisconsin faithful to cheer. The end result being Minnesota taking their first series since winning two of three in Detroit April 27-29.
Offensively, the Twins played well for the second game in a row. Torii Hunter gave the Twins a 2-1 lead with his 10th homer of the year in the top of the second inning, on a ball that bounced off the wall. Castillo, Cuddyer, Morneau, Redmond and Ford all collected at least a hit a piece as well, with Cuddyer tagging up on a fly ball in the eighth inning that eventually led to a Hunter sacrifice fly.
It's amazing what winning two games in a row can do to change your perceptions of a club. Two complete games by the offense and by the pitching staff, and now the Twins find themselves with a situation not nearly as dire as it looked only 48 hours ago. Baseball is always a beautiful game, but two consecutive wins have made it fun to watch again.