Until the seventh inning of tonight’s late contest with San Diego, the game was relatively normal. Michael Cuddyer singled home a lone run in the first inning, and the Twins carried that 1-0 lead on the back of Kevin Slowey (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H). In the seventh inning, however, things started to unravel a bit. Jesse Crain came on in relief of Slowey and allowed a run (although it wasn’t Crain’s “usual” style of collapse…just a few dink hits) to tie the game at 1-1. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Matt Guerrier put two Padres on and then got two outs before being relieved by Dennys Reyes. Reyes proceeded to throw one pitch and retire Brian Giles on a ground out to end the inning.
In the 1-1 tie, San Diego called on future Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman. The all-time leader in saves struck out Cuddyer and Kubel, then only had to set down Brendan Harris to preserve the deadlock. Harris had been having a terrible game, striking out in two key situations–leaving runners on base–and slamming his helmet and bat down in frustration. This time, though, Harris launched a deep bomb into the left field seats. This was quickly followed by a similar result from Brian Buscher…except he launched one out to right field, giving the Twins a 3-1. Of course, Nathan nailed down the save and the Twins won their seventh in a row.
So, by throwing the final pitch of the eighth inning, Reyes picked up his second win of the season…unbelievable! Twins TV broadcaster Bert Blyleven joked on the telecast that it took him 5,000 innings to get to 287 wins…and Reyes gets a “W” with one throw! Essentially, tonight the Twins continued their dominance over the National League.
Note: Just reported today, Juan Rincon signed a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians. So, let’s see here…Rinky wouldn’t accept his demotion to the Twins’ minor leagues, but he will with Cleveland’s Triple-A team. That’s loyalty for you.
Preview (41-36, 2nd, 1.5 GB CWS): Glen Perkins (3-2, 4.39) vs. Greg Maddux (3-5, 3.17). Maddux has always been one of my favorite pitchers to watch, so I will thoroughly enjoying watching him on Wednesday night. I’ve always been amazed that in the age of steroid sluggers and beefed-up pitchers, Maddux can still “make a living” with pinpoint control and knowledge of opposing batters, not heat.