Something funny happened today: Scott Diamond started for the Twins, and he did not give up a single run in seven innings of work. That's right folks--for the first time this season, a Twins starting pitcher managed to not surrender a single run. Go ahead and pinch yourself.
But it wasn't just Diamond's terrific performance that made the difference today. The Twins took the lead early, scoring three runs in the first inning off Angels starter Dan Haren, who made his shortest start since September 7th, 2005. Two of the first inning runs were scored on a Ryan Doumit homerun, his third in the past three games. Brian Dozier, in his second day as the Twins everyday shortstop, made several exciting defensive plays--something Twins fans have not exactly been accustomed to at that position. Matt Capps pitched a scoreless ninth on only thirteen pitches. Joe Mauer was intentionally walked. All this even though the Twins hottest player--Denard Span--wasn't even in the lineup.
If the Twins hadn't left the bases loaded twice tonight, I probably wouldn't have even recognized what team I was watching.
Notes on Span, Morneau, fan stupidity, studs and duds after the jump.
- Denard Span was not in the lineup today due to his collision with the outfield wall during a catch he made on Monday. Span--who's battled concussion symptoms and odd cases of vertigo in the past--apparently felt a little woozy, but it doesn't sound too serious (of course, that's what they always say).
- Per Danny Gladden, Justin Morneau is leaving the team to go to Cleveland for a second opinion on his wrist (thank the lord almighty, considering the Twins recent track record with diagnosing injuries).
- Jamey Carroll would likely have had a triple in the second inning, except a fan sitting in the front row on the third base line decided to lean over and grab the ball off the field while it was clearly still in play. The offending fan was ejected by security at the bottom of the inning (per the norm) to the cheers of all surrounding Twins fans in left field.
- How about that Scott Diamond?
- Scott Diamond: 7 IP, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 career-high 6 strikeouts.
- Brian Dozier: 2 for 4, 1 walk, 1 RBI, 1 run, great defense at SS.
- Ryan Doumit: 1 for 3, 2-run HR, 1 walk, 1 extremely freaking awesome mustache.
- Jamey Carroll: 2 for 3, 1 SB, and turned a fantastic double-play.
- Torii Hunter: 0 for 4, 3 SOs--thanks Torii!
- Danny Valencia: 0 for 4, 1 SO, bailed out on some defensive plays by Dozier.