Earning His Stripes
I imagine that just seeing this picture brings up the gag reflex in most Chicago White Sox fans. Not because they hate Joe Crede, but for exactly the opposite reason…they let him get away. Until Crede landed with the Twins, I had no idea he was so revered by the ChiSox and their fans. It would probably be like Torii Hunter roaming the outfield at U.S. Cellular Field, to put things into perspective.
Until last night, Joe Crede had contributed some very nice plays at the hot corner (something not seen when Brian Buscher was at the same post last year) but not much offensively. Maybe he’s just a slow starter, or maybe he was pressing to try and impress his new club, but the hits just weren’t falling in for him. However, he bailed his new club out of a game last night that could have been an incredibly demoralizing loss.
Glen Perkins (8 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) turned in another gem of a performance, but the Twins could only muster two runs of their own (hits from Morneau and Redmond) in the required nine, sending the contest into extras.
In the bottom of the eleventh inning, Joe Crede came to the plate with Morneau on first and two outs. The game had not been going well for New Joe up to that point, as he had ground into a pitcher-home-first double play to squash a potentially huge rally in the sixth, then struck out in the home half of the ninth.
This time, though, Crede smacked a ball deep to straight-away CF that hit the base of the wall and allowed Morneau to touch three more bases for the “W”. Crede was mobbed by teammates as he ran in from second base, and his “initiation” into the Minnesota Twins family had begun.
-I noticed that only 15,000 fans attended Tuesday night’s game. To me, this seems really poor. I know it was a Tuesday night against a team that has zero drawing power, but c’mon…15,000?
-I also have to give Jesse Crain credit for pitching two nice innings (the 10th and 11th) in picking up the victory. I get on him quite a bit, so it was nice to finally see him contribute in a positive way.
-Finally, Carlos Gomez is completely lost at the plate right now. As much as this may be called a form of heresy here in Twins Territory, I would rather see Delmon Young in the lineup at this point. Gomez is up there flailing at pitches he has no business even flinching toward.
Preview (4-5, 4th, 1.0 GB DET & KCR): Scott Richmond (0-0, 6.75) vs. Scott Baker (0-0, 0.00). Baker is making his first start of the season after elbow tightness forced him to miss his scheduled Opening Day assignment. Baker was our most consistent pitcher down the stretch last season and has the stuff to be a bona fide staff ace, provided he can make it through 6+ innings on a regular basis.