Settle For A Slow-Down
At first glance, the pitching matchup (Slowey vs. Buerhle) for tonight’s Twins/White Sox contest seemed like a mismatch. While Buerhle typically owns the Twins, Slowey has no overpowering pitches against a lineup that feasts on sub-par pitchers. This is where the Twins needed Johan Santana to come in and dominate, right?! Think again!
Using his pinpoint control and putting an astonishing amount of movement on his pitches, Kevin Slowey absolutely stymied the White Sox hitters tonight, holding them to just six hits and no earned runs over the full nine innings for a complete-game shutout. Slow-Mo only needed 102 pitches to accomplish this task, as batter after batter swung either underneath his pitches (pop-ups) or on top of them (weak ground balls). No Chicago players (with the exception of Jermaine Dye’s long fly to left) made solid contact the entire night.
Offensively, the Twins finally found a way to silence their most nefarious current foe…with the long ball. In the third inning, Denard Span sent a bomb to right field off Buerhle to give the Twins a 2-0 lead, while Morneau soon follow with a two-run shot of his own…this time to straight-away centerfield, a real screamer. In the fifth, Morneau drove in another run with a single, while Brendan Harris doubled late in the game to score two for the 7-0 final.
-Isn’t it great to beat Mark Buerhle?! Perhaps the fans were blowing again, huh Mark?!
-It was nice to see Carlos Gomez enter the game in the late innings and get a nice ovation from the fans. Perhaps, in my earlier post today, I underestimated his value as an exciting, fan-favorite. Jason Kubel or Craig Monroe (the outfielders who could replace him if he continues to struggle) don’t generate nearly that kind of fan response.
-Are you sure that Brad Radke didn’t just go back in time and put his essence in Slowey’s body and arm? They are so similar. On one hand, they can struggle mightily if their control is off, but when “on” that type of stuff frustrates batters to no end.
Preview (58-47, 2nd, 1.5 GB CWS): Glen Perkins (7-3, 4.08) vs. Clayton Richard (0-0, 9.00). This pitching matchup is pretty one-sided, but Wednesday and Thursday are another story. Richard is making just is second major league start, while Perkins has been pitching very well of late. Wouldn’t it be great to assure at least a split this early in the series?!