Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Recap 5/8/2007 Twins 7, Black Sox 4

Anyone who reads this site knows that I've been ragging on Morneau hard these past couple weeks but my goodness did he ever break out tonight. Big Time. I think its fair to say it... Edmonton, we have lift off... I couldn't be happier for Morneau, he really deserved to have a big, "In your face!" game with all the trash I've given him. Hopefully he can feed off this and really get his stick going, because of all the times the team needs him, now is that time.


Coming off a tough series loss that saw a continuation of the Twins offensive struggles and worse yet, the loss of pretty boy and #3 hitter Joe Mauer who headed to the disabled list with with a quadriceps injury, the Twins were in need of a serious pick me up. On a positive note today marks the expected return of Michael Cuddyer who is coming back from a back injury suffered on a comical tumbled during the Tampa Bay series as he rounded second base.

Taking the mound tonight for the Twins was Boof Bonser. Bonser has had a decent season with a 4.53 ERA and has showed increased strikeout ability but has struggled mightily in his last two starts, allowing eleven walks in as many innings. He also is now sporting a not-so-healthy 1.61 WHIP, and has allowed a Major League leading seven home runs. He came into tonight looking to improve on those numbers.

Through five innings the game was shaping up to be a pitchers duel, and may have stayed that way had it not been for a wild throw to third by Bonser. Leading off the sixth for the Black Sox Darin Erstad lined a double to right but the next hitter, Pablo Ozuna, attempting a sacrifice bunt hit it right back to Bonser. Bonser fielded the ball cleanly and turned to third for the easy play on Erstad but his throw was wild up the line allowing Erstad to score and Ozuna to move to second. It unraveled after that and by the time the dust settled the Sox had scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead. A lead which would hold until the eighth when the Twins bats finally got going.

In the eighth the Twins strung together three straight hits from Redmond, Punto, and Bartlett to cut the lead to 4-2. A groundout by Castillo to third scored Punto and after a strikeout by Kubel, Torii Hunter tied the game with a single, his first hit of the game. Cuddyer ended the inning with a groundout but the Twins were back in the game.

After that it was the bullpens time to shine. Matt Guerrier worked a solid eight, Nathan nailed down the ninth, and Rincon had the tenth. In the tenth, Castillo started off the innings by hammering a ball down the left field line, just by Joe Crede who was playing the line (thats amazing since Crede is a very good third baseman). Another strikeout by Kubel, a walk of Hunter, and a pop out by Cuddybear set up Justin Morneau, and tonight he walked walked off the field in style.


- Justin Morneau. God does it feel good to say that. MVP was 2-4 on the night and those two hits went about 800 feet. Two runs, four RBI's.

- Luis Castillo. He reached base tonight three times, with a walk, a single and a double. Once again all of his hits actually managed to leave the infield, amazing.

- Torii Hunter. I don't usually think 1-4 nights are that great, but when the one hit ties the game late in the game and extends a long hitting streak, thats a good night.

- Jason Bartlett. Another guy with a 1-4 but his big double in the eighth really got things going.

- Boof Bonser. I know a lot of people may disagree with me, but he really did a much better job tonight. He had a number of quick innings enabling him to go seven innings, and had it not been for his bad throw to third, its likely that he could have go deeper into the game with only 1 or 2 runs allowed. His command came back and he continued to get timely strikeouts.


- Jason Tyner/Jason Kubel. 0-5 with two strikeouts.

- Jeff Cirillo. After having a couple games worth of good looking at-bats, he looked terrible tonight swinging at pitches well off the plate and not really making solid contact on anything. He also very nearly screwed up a sacrifice bunt attempt, but was saved by David Aardsma's bobbling blunder.

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