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Twins 7, White Sox 6: Chicago Bullpen Categorically Destroyed In 9th, Twins Rally for Four to Win Series

And just like that, this team is back on its feet.

Did you see that?  Did you?!?  DID YOU SEE IT???

Some early fireworks off the bat of Delmon Young helped give the Twins an early lead, but Nick Blackburn scuffled in the sixth after five very strong innings and Brian Duensing couldn't keep the sudden deficit at one.  When the White Sox plated four in the top of the sixth to make it 6-3, my heart sank...just a little bit.

Minnesota rallies would fall short in the sixth and eighth...but not in the ninth.

Freddy Garcia pitched alright today.  And I hate that.  When he departed and Chicago turned to their bullpen, things looked dire.  Matt Thornton is too good to only be pitching the seventh inning, but that doesn't mean he won't put up a zero.  J.J. Putz has a last name he probably still gets made fun of for, much less getting made fun of for it in grade school, but that doesn't mean he won't put up a zero.  Finally, Bobby Jenks has the facial hair of a douche (like we should talk, what was that on Blackburn's face today?), but that doesn't mean he won't put up a zero.

Oh.  Wait.  He didn't.

In fact, he didn't record a single out.


Orlando Hudson gave the Twins life by coaxing a ten-pitch walk out of Jenks.  Hudson refused to quit, fouling off pitches six through nine before laying off an outside slider to start the inning.


Jenks went into one of two modes at this point:  be careful to Joe Mauer mode, or just-throw-a-fastball-and-pitch-to-contact-with-a-three-run-lead know, hoping to get an out to avoid the tying run coming to the plate.  Whatever the plan was here, Jenks threw four straight fastballs and none of them skinned the strike zone.


Jason Kubel took two strikes before fouling off a curveball and then driving the next one into center field.  Hudson scored to make it 6-4 with runners on first and second.


Still in control of the game, Jenks went after Michael Cuddyer but the zone was dancing on him.  Cuddyer went 2-2 before driving a low fastball into center.  Rios made a nice stop, as the ball could have rolled to the wall, but Mauer scored and Kubel moved up to third.  6-5, runners on the corners, still no outs.


With Jenks out, Sergio Santos on the hill and Ozzie Guillen deciding on the most painful way to remove Jenks' terrible facial hair, Jason Repko stepped in.  Repko, who had pinch ran for Jim Thome in the bottom of the eighth, was 3-for-10 on the season.  He took five consecutive 96 mph fastballs off Santos, a strikeout machine, and did his job.  He loaded the bases.


Delmon Young missed a fastball before driving another liner into center.  Kubel scored, but Cuddyer had to wait at second to be sure Rios didn't catch the ball.  He advanced to third, glanced to his left...

...and saw Rios' throw to nobody.  Rios' throw sailed through the infield, and Cuddyer jogged home for the winning run.

And that, my friends, is how you win three of four from the first place Chicago White Sox.  The Twins were patient, they took good swings, and with a little help from a couple of shook up relievers completed an incredible comeback.

Notes, studs and duds after the jump.  Oh yeah, take a look at this win expectency graph, too.  It's awesome.  You can find it at FanGraphs.


  • Danny Valencia picked up two more hits today.  If he's not earning his starting spot right now, I don't know how you'd do it.
  • Joe Mauer echoed Drew Butera's fine throw last night with one of his own, cutting down Alex Rios mid-steal.
  • Since coming back from the disabled list, J.J. Hardy is hitting .361 with three doubles.  Of course his on-base percentage in this stretch is also .361, but let's not look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Cuddyer and Young continue to rake, combining for five hits and five runs batted in.
  • Kubel and Thome also combined for five hits, but just one run batted in (Kubel's).
  • Speaking of hits, both Minnesota and Chicago laced 16 today.
  • Did Duensing get stretched out today?  He went four innings, and while he did allow an inherited runner to score he also allowed just one of his own runs to score.  Seven hits, one strikeout and one walk complete his line.

Michael Cuddyer:  3-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI, R, .419 WPA
Delmon Young:  2-for-5, HR, RBI, R, .321 WPA
Jason Kubel:  3-for-5, RBI, R, .120 WPA
Brian Duensing:  4 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 K, 1 BB, -.050 WPA

Denard Span:  0-for-4, BB, no hits in big situations, -.100
Nick Blackburn:  5+ IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 K, 0 BB, -.277 WPA...and it was all going so well through the first five!
Bobby Jenks & Sergio Santos:  0 IP, 4 R, -.951 WPA