When any starting pitcher, and in this case Francisco Liriano, gives you eight innings of two-hit ball, you need to win the game. At this point in the season, you have to take advantage of what's been given to you, and even though the Twins took two of three from the Royals I'm coming away from the series disappointed.
Delmon Young was given the afternoon off, with Jason Kubel getting the green light in left field, Mike Redmond behind the plate and, thankfully, Joe Mauer still in the lineup at designated hitter. It wasn't a bad decision, it was a decent lineup, but the Twins gave away too many outs. Carlos Gomez picked off of first: embarassing. Two double plays: infuriating. Gomez again, this time caught stealing: d'oh. An increasingly maddening inability to score with runners in position and two outs: le sigh.
There were bright moments. Justin Morneau's 42nd double of the year, Brendan Harris' diving play at third in the eighth inning that retired the leadoff hitter where otherwise extra bases would have been assured, and...yeah...Liriano's great start.
In 2006 when he took the mound, you expected Cisco to give the offense a chance to help the team win. Strangely enough that's exactly what's occurring now as well. Even now Liriano can struggle with command at times, but now it's a stray pitch or two...not a stray inning or two. And I know I do this after almost every one of his starts, but it deserves to be said: Liriano's been incredibly effective since returning from the disabled list. It's now become a pretty impressive streak of eight starts.
If the White Sox win tonight, the Twins will fall back to their two-game deficit. It was hard to watch the game end the way it did, but I can't deny that it really was a pretty good game. And if the Twins can win two of every three the rest of the way out, that would likely be good enough.
At any rate, here's the roll call for the Royals series. 33MorneauMVP embiggens us all with his fearless haberdashery of updates.
|Name||# of Posts|
|Alexi Casilla All-Star||46|
|Eric in Madison||4|
Stars of the Game
#3 Denard Span (2-for-4, BB, R)
#2 Justin Morneau (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)
#1 Francisco Liriano (8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 6 K, 0 BB)