At some point in the last week, things got interesting for me as I wondered whether or not the Twins could creep to 70 wins. They did. The 2014 club finishes the season with a 70-92 record, a fourth consecutive 90+ loss season - but is there a silver lining in reaching the 70-win benchmark?
Kyle Gibson turned in a valiant effort, holding the Tigers to three runs over seven and a third innings. He struck out six, and two of those three runs came in the eighth. A two-out single from Ian Kinsler after back-to-back one out walks brought in the second run, and when Lester Oliveros took the hill he allowed a sac fly off the bat of Torii Hunter.
Offensively the Twins were just 4-for-31 in the game, throwing up a doughnut in five chances with runners in scoring position. The Tigers were just 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position, thanks to the aforementioned Kinsler single. Gibson actually did a really good job, as Detroit only managed four hits off of him. But those two walks in the eighth bit him - not that it mattered much considering Minnesota couldn't scratch across one run anyway.
On the plus side, Gibson's final two starts saw him throw 14.1 innings while allowing four runs, striking out 14 and walking three. It's a good way to finish the year. Danny Santana stole his 20th base of the year by snagging second in the third inning. Josmil Pinto, who had been awful all month, was 1-for-2 with a walk. We also got to see old friend Joe Nathan notch his 35th save, to the chagrin of Tigers fans everywhere who are tired of his fallibility; for me it was an entertaining way to end the year.
We'll have plenty of post-mortem stuff coming up in the following days (and weeks), but we'll also be looking forward. Because we have to. I think we'll also have some coverage of the post-season, so if you're looking forward to the baseball playoffs as much as I am we'll have some game threads for you.
See you back here in a short while for some immediate reaction stuff from the end of the 2014 campaign.