Most of us have seen Finding Nemo. If you haven't, there's a fish called Dory who's quite forgetful and her mantra is "Just keep swimming." You can hear it now, right?
Right now I feel like Minnesota's mantra is "Just keep winning." A well-intentioned but perhaps over-matched character, a bit out of its depth, seeing nothing but the few inches in front of its collective face: just keep winning.
Mike Pelfrey was hitting his spots and some of the movement he was getting on his pitches was astounding. When he's able to paint the corners and get good sink on his pitches, Pelfrey has the chance to get through a lineup two or two and a half times. In what can only be described as a surprising career renaissance, nothing Pelfrey throws is straight and rare is he hanging something right over the heart of the plate. If you can get hitters to swing at your pitches, that can help mitigate a lack of swinging strikes.
Clay Buccholz certainly didn't deserve a loss for his performance. Three first-inning doubles from Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, and Kurt Suzuki put up two quick runs for the Twins. Buccholz didn't allow a run after that, allowing just four additional hits through the next six and one-third innings.
But Pelfrey matched him. A run in the second didn't unravel anybody. Dustin Pedroia's double play capped off a tougher fifth, but ultimately that was the name of the game on Tuesday night: Minnesota's defense was the star. Trevor Plouffe bare-handing a relay to first. Kurt Suzuki's great play to throw out Xander Bogaerts to lead off the seventh. Brian Dozier's diving stop to save a run in the eighth. I still think that 6-4-3 double play to end the first might have been my favorite play of the night.
Blaine Boyer got into a spot of bother in the eighth, but Glen Perkins came on for the four-out save and locked down another series victory for the Twins - who are now 27-18, one game out of first place in the AL Central, and own the fifth-best record in all of baseball.
The Twins have a chance to sweep the Red Sox with a win tonight. Call it luck all you like. Minnesota is taking that ball and running with it.
WIN EXPECTANCY GRAPH
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COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD
SooFoo Fan: "And then no one commented on TT ever again."