(Editor's Note: The great Stu is, unfortunately, stuck without an internet connection in Willmar, MN. This means that, unfortunately, you are stuck with me tonight. Apologies all around.)
We miss Joe Crede. Even though he's not around enough for us to really miss him, still, we miss him. He's been one of the better defensive third basemen in the AL this year, and it's easy to forget how nice a sure-handed fielder is at the hot corner. And then, we watch Brendan Harris wrestling a ground ball to the turf, giving it noogies and slaps on the way down, or we watch Harris throw one of his patented one-foot-short sinkers at Justin Morneau, and we miss Crede.
Harris kicked a grounder to lead off the sixth. He threw the ball away on the first batter of the seventh (somehow credited to Morneau, but trust me, it was Harris). Both runners came around to score, turning a 3-2 game into a 5-2 game. Throw in another miscue in the fifth that Harris was charged for, and if Morneau hadn't dug out another wayward Harris throw to end the fifth, we'd be talking about a FOUR-error night for Harris.
As it was, the Twins committed four errors total, including an errant throw by Orlando Cabrera on the back half of a double play that should have ended an inning. Cleveland went on to score three runs in that inning. Yes, that's right - any kind of decent defense on the left side of the infield might have prevented all five Indian runs.
It's almost enough to make a guy long for Nick Punto.
Jeremy Sowers tossed six pretty good innings to get the win, scattering six hits and walking nobody while giving up just the two runs. The Cleveland bullpen was positively effervescent as well, retiring nine straight batters to close out the game.
Anyhow, what's done is done, and the Tiggers hung on to beat Tampa as well, to drop Minnesota six back in the AL Central race. It's been in vogue to mention that the Twins have seven games remaining with Detroit, but it's starting to look like they'll have to win every one to climb back into pennant contention.
The three duds of the game:
3. Justin Morneau - Over the past month, he's hitting .171 with one homer. Apparently NOT being in the home run derby wears him down, too.
2. Orlando Cabrera - Committed an error, but partially redeemed himself by being the only Twin with two hits.
1. Brendan Harris - He made me long for Nick Punto, a crime for which he cannot be pardoned.
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