Thanks to Stu for posting my game thread today.
I'll be honest, I was out of the house all day. England is six hours ahead of Minnesota time, and so when I walked in the door about three minutes ago, turned on the Twins game and saw Jose Morales facing down Kevin Gregg, suffice it to say I walked in at the right time. The Twins were trailing by a run, and it only seemed too perfect that the ninth inning rally would fall a hair short.
But, in spite of a couple of questionable strikes, Morales took a walk after being down 1-2. He ended up seeing six pitches in the at-bat, and didn't swing once. Gregg's walk loaded the bases for Alexi Casilla.
Gregg immediately put Casilla in the hole, 0-2. And then Casilla showed some balls. A trio of breaking balls buzzed the strike zone but were quite clearly balls, before Gregg came back at him with fastballs. Casilla fouled one off, then two...
...and then he delivered.
Alexi Casilla delivered the big hit that this team has seemed to have been waiting a week and a half for. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat he struck Gregg's fastball right back up the middle. Gregg's leg couldn't knock it down and the ball snuck through, scoring Ben Revere and Jason Repko.
That's a win.
This game doesn't mean anything right now. In a couple of weeks, if the Twins manage to sneak through to the ALCS, maybe they look back at this game and think "if Casilla didn't get that hit, we wouldn't have home field advantage", but there are a lot of ifs involved there. But for a game that, quite possibly, doesn't mean anything...it feels pretty damn good to get that win.
Let's win one more.
Alexi Casilla, .767 WPA
Delmon Young, .198 WPA
Jose Morales, .176 WPA
Kevin Slowey, Matt Guerrier, Brian Fuentes, Matt Capps, .228 WPA
Brian Duensing, -.165 WPA
Danny Valencia, -.216 WPA
Joe Mauer, -.167 WPA
Denard Span, -.139 WPA