Here's how beaten down I am about the Twins playing the Yankees: at the end, I was honestly pleased that it wasn't really that bad. The Twins outhit the Yankees, held them off the board for the final seven innings, and heck, Scott Baker actually struggled all the way through six whole innings. Progress!
Yes, that's ludicrously stupid. But it looked bad there for awhile. Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, Jorge Posada did the same in the second inning, and it took the Twins until the fourth inning to get a hit. When it's 4-0 Yankees and you're hoping the scoring on a Jim Thome infield roller gets changed from error to hit so Ivan Nova doesn't throw a no-hitter, then things are not looking up.
Finally, Justin Morneau doubled to break up the disaster. Delmon Young got on base with an "infield hit" (read: weak topper that didn't roll far enough to give away an out), and Thome mashed a double to right-center to score both teammates.
In the fifth, Alexi Casilla and Tsuyoshi Nishioka strung together a pair of doubles to score a third run. The way those two look at the plate at the moment, that might be the only time it happens this year, so savor it.
About the only other highlight was a sliding catch on the warning track by Young, taking away what would have been a two-run liner from Brett Gardner. Delmon has attempted that sliding catch before, posting a 0% success rate up until now, so it's nice to see him actually get one.
Nova got through six innings, something he's struggled to do in his young career, and then the Yankees went Joba Chamberlain - Rafael Soriano - Mariano Rivera and the game was basically over. Maybe they'll all be unavailable somehow tomorrow. Granted, it's Captain Cheeseburger on the mound for New York, so it might not matter.
But let's look at the positives:
- The bullpen only had to pitch two innings.
- Delmon got a hit, so we know he won't be stuck on one the whole season.
- Nishioka didn't make an error and Derek Jeter did. Take that, Yankees!
Studs and Duds after the jump.
Studs: Kevin Slowey pitched a real nice seventh inning. Thome got his first hit and first RBIs of the year.
Duds: Joe Mauer went 0-4 and is still hopeful that someday he'll hit a line drive again. Denard Span struck out three times, so I guess his hot start to the season is officially over. And Scott Baker was pretty bad - two homers and four walks, that's the bad Scott Baker right there.
Twins vs Yankees coverage