The Moose Is Loose
In his career against the Minnesota Twins, Mike “Moose” Mussina is 21-6 in 31 starts with four shutouts and a 3.18 ERA. True to that form, Mussina dominated the Twins once again this afternoon, holding them to six hits and no earned runs over eight innings while striking out seven. Besides perhaps Roger Clemens, no single pitcher that I can remember has enjoyed as much individual success against the Twins as Moose has. Whether it be his awkward delivery or his ability to pick apart young batters (probably the latter), the Twins just cannot figure this guy out.
Pitching-wise, Glen Perkins (6 IP, 5 ER) pitched the best game of the series for a Twins starter…but this time was done in by some unusual suspects. Besides a “typical” A-Rod RBI double, the other Yankee runs were scored on a double from Justin Christian (the #9 hitter) and a sacrifice fly from new Yank first baseman Richie Sexson. Here is the problem in a nutshell: while the Twins had Mike Lamb and Brendan Harris in the sixth and seventh slots in the batting order, the Yanks had Robinson Cano and Miguel Cabrera. Enough said.
When the final out is recorded in this “House of Horrors”, will anyone be happier than Ron Gardenhire and his boys?!
Preview (55-46, 2nd, 2.5 GB CWS): Livan Hernandez (10-6, 5.29) vs. Cliff Lee (13-2, 2.29). After Thursday’s day of rest, the Twins head into Cleveland for the weekend. This series is interesting for the following two reasons:
1. On Friday night, Livan Hernandez may be pitching for his job. With Francisco Liriano dominating the minor leagues, the Twins may think he is just the spark they need, and the Fat Man is the only cog in the rotation that could use a replacement.
2. With the White Sox coming into town at the beginning of next week, the Twins can’t fall out of striking distance. If we can get back to 1.5 GB after Sunday I would be happy.
Of course, the Twins only have to defeat the best pitcher in the AL on Friday night…but at least ‘ole Carsten Charles isn’t following him!