I didn't think I'd be able to say that in May.
Saturday night's victory was the fourth consecutive for the Twins, and with a 15-14 record find themselves sitting atop the AL Central. While there's nothing spectacular about the record, our boys are still in first place. And that's fun to say.
Craig Monroe's two-run bomb in the bottom of the seventh last night made it a 4-0 game, and the Twins had more than enough offense to win the contest. Monroe's been a decent pick up for the Twins to this point, at least offensively, as he's contributed to a couple of big moments and wins. In 16 games (50 at-bats) he's hitting .280/.321/.500 with two homers and five doubles. He's only taken three walks versus 15 strikeouts, but it's not like that's unusual for him. But he's been used pretty effectively so far. He was happy to get a shot against his old team :
"The emotions build up because it is my old team. I'm a little geeked up, a little wired up right now, and to have some success was definitely cool...There's just something about playing against your old team. You have this different -- I don't know if you'd call it anger -- but it's when you're in there and you have a chance to beat up on your old team, and today felt incredible."
Joe Mauer was 3-for-4 with a double last night, and is batting a much more Mauer-esque .326/.393/.421. On the year his power is still lacking, but he's much improved over the last couple of weeks.
While the Twins have picked up a couple of wins on blowouts, it's the pitching that's enabled Minnesota to pick up wins in close ballgames. Their pythagorean record is only 14-15, so it isn't much of a difference, but they've still been outscored on the season by seven runs. Last night it was the pitching again, as Brian Bass's performance took pressure off the rest of the bullpen. Four innings, no runs in relief of Scott Baker stymied the Tiger batting order through seven. Scott Ullger was impressed :
"He worked professional, and he worked fast," Ullger said. "He threw strikes and kept the ball down. He's a sinker-ball pitcher, and that's what he's supposed to do. He looked very very poised."
This team has been a lot of fun to watch, just as much fun as frustrating really, but right now there's a lot to be happy about. Sure, 15-14 isn't great, but it's a winning record...and it's first place. Hopefully Boof can fend off The Gambler this afternoon.