The Long Walk
With respect to author Stephen King, I think that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire should be the rightful owner of the “Long Walk” title, as over the past month+ he has sure done it enough times.
Today, both the Twins (hits from Morneau and Gomez) and the Royals (German and Guillen) scored early to knot the score at 2-2, but then neither team could push a run across the plate until the extra frame. Twins starter Francisco Liriano (8 IP, 2 ER) held the Royals’ bats completely in check, as did Joe Nathan in the ninth. Sadly, so did the KC pitchers, albeit in a different fashion. The Twins seemed to get a runner on base nearly every inning, but just could not seem to push any of them home. Basically, it was one of those games (that Twins fans know so well) where the bats went completely silent and the game could have gone 20 innings and the Twins probably wouldn’t have scored more than a couple more runs.
The “knockout punch” (more like a weak, glancing blow that happened to hit the perfect mark) came in the tenth, when they blooped two hits off Twins reliever Matt Guerrier. With David DeJesus up, Gardy played his lefty-lefty matchup by bringing in Reyes from the pen, who promptly (one pitch) gave up a run-scoring single and was quickly hooked. In the bottom of the inning, the Twins couldn’t touch the nasty stuff of Joakim Soria and went down 1-2-3.
Chalk up another blown tie for the pen, but blame the loss mainly on the bats, who should be able to rough up a guy like Duckworth.
-At least the Twins were able to take the series from the Royals. Now, the road trip consisting of Baltimore, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay begins. The bad news: We’re on the road again. The good news: Baltimore and Cleveland stink.
-I know I’m probably just jinxing things by bringing this up, but here is what I feel is the ultimate scenario for the Twins to reach the playoffs and succeed in them: Angels (AL West, Best Record), Twins (AL Central, Worst Record of Division Leaders), Tampa Bay (AL East), Boston (AL Wild Card). If that were to happen, the Angels would play the A’s and the Twins would play the Rays. Call me crazy, but I think that the Twins can beat the Rays for some reason. We would almost surely lose to Anaheim, and I think Boston would pitch us to death.
Preview (80-66, 2nd, 1.0 GB CWS): Scott Baker (8-4, 3.66) vs. Daniel Cabrera (8-9, 5.26). The Twins often times do not play well in Baltimore, but the Orioles are just playing out the string right now so hopefully we can catch them in a funk.