That, kids, is how you finish strong.
It's hard to beat good pitching. Today the good pitching came from Roy Halladay, for sure...but Carl Pavano out-pitched him where it matters: runs.
While Halladay looked sharp for the most part, the Twins were able to put a few good swings on once or twice, and in spite of eight strikeouts and no walks over eight innings Doc did allow 11 hits. The Twins touched him for single runs in the first, fifth, sixth and eighth innings; it wasn't much but it was enough.
Joe Mauer singled in Orlando Hudson in the first to kick off the scoring, while solo home runs by Denard Span and Justin Morneau sandwiched an RBI single for Jason Kubel.
For Philly, a Wilson Valdez homer was the only blemish on one of Pavano's strongest outings of the season to date. Phillies batters rolled over on pitch after pitch, and none of them seemed like they ever really had a chance. Recording just two strikeouts, Pavano matched Halladay's walk total of zero but became the definition of "scattering hits" by allowing just four all afternoon.
This was a huge series win for the Twins, not just because of how this series started (bombs away, welcome back to life Phillies hitters!) but because this was a quality team that Minnesota had to take on while on the road.
Congratulations on a big weekend, boys. You've earned a day off.
Carl Pavano: CG, 4 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 R, .454 WPA
Justin Morneau: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, .052 WPA
Denard Span: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, R, .124 WPA
Roy Halladay: 8 IP, 11 H, 8 K, 0 BB, 4 R, -.056 WPA
Michael Cuddyer: The only Twin to not reach base today. Sorry, Cuddles. We still love you.