An Entertaining Loss (?)
If such a thing as an “entertaining loss” exists, the Twins sure had that kind of a game yesterday afternoon. Despite losing a 4-2 contest that lost them a chance to gain another game on the White Sox, for some reason the game was thoroughly entertaining. A few observations:
Another home run from Jason Kubel! He has been on quite the power streak during the recent month. If this continues, it could be a HUGE lift for the Twins, who are always starved for power hitting. The last few years, everyone has said that if Kubel could just get consistent playing time (in the field or at DH) that he would start to produce with the bat. Well, he is getting the playing time now, so hopefully he is finally starting to mature as a hitter.
Scott Baker made a bit of history yesterday as well, striking out four batters in a single inning (the first time a Twins pitcher had ever accomplished such a feat)! Three of the strikeouts were “normal”, while one came on a called third strike to Prince Fielder that Mike Redmond let get by him allowing Fielder (of all people) to reach first base.
Speaking of Fielder, I was quite tickled to find out that he went completely “vegetarian” over the offseason. If there was one guy in the entire major leagues I would not have pegged as a vegan, it would have been Prince. I remember watching the tail end of Cecil Fielder’s career, and he looked like a walking blimp, so I guess Prince isn’t doing too bad with the genetics he was given!
Finally, for the first time in my life yesterday, I came to understand the “mysterious” double switch of the National League. Being an American League guy all my life, I’ve just never watched enough NL games to figure it out, but yesterday for some reason the light bulb just went on. Basically (in case you are confused as well), if a team replaces a pitcher, as well as replaces one other position player, then the pitcher’s batting spot can be swapped with the batting spot of the position player that was replaced. For example, yesterday Twins third baseman Brian Buscher (batting sixth) struck out to end an inning. The pitcher’s spot would have been due up the next inning, but Gardy pulled a double switch, replacing his starting pitcher with a reliever and pulling Buscher for Matt Macri. Thus, the pitcher would now bat sixth in the lineup (where Buscher used to be) and the third base slot will bat ninth. Simple, huh?!
Preview (34-36, 2nd, 4.5 GB CWS): After today’s much-needed off day (it’s only been a month since the last one!), the Twins host the Washington Nationals (featuring old friend Cristian Guzman) beginning Tuesday. The Fat Man (6-4, 5.84) gets the opening game against John Lannan (4-7, 3.43). The Nats are by all means the worst team in the National League so far this year, so it would be a disappointment if this does not result in a series win for the Twins.