Posted at 12:16 AM on May 13, 2006
by Josh Lee
Each of the Twins' starting batters got at least one hit in the team's 10-1 victory over the White Sox (they also managed this trick in Tuesday's clobbering of the Rangers). Minnesota hit no less than three home runs: One was by Justin Morneau, which is to be expected; less expected (but no less welcome) were dingers by Joe Mauer and Tony Batista. The Twins didn't do it all with the long ball, though; they also showed that they can, on special occasions, actually hit guys over and even hit them in, rather than grounding into inning-ending double plays.
Ten runs in a game will get the fans fired up, but 10 strikeouts? That will make them feel downright weak in the knees, which is probably why the Twins chose to skip Scott Baker's start to bring Johan Santana on tonight. Baker's been pitching pretty well, and with the run support the hitters were giving, probably would have won this game handily. But Baker doesn't make people swoon the way Santana does, and when you're kicking off a four-game series against a division-leading team that's won six straight against you, you don't want pretty good pitching; you want to see people fainting in the aisles, which is pretty much what happened tonight.
Let's take a moment, though, to think of poor Joe Nathan. One of the league's best closers has been stuck cooling his heels most of the season (only five save opportunities, all converted) because Minnesota has developed this weird habit of either losing ugly games or hitting the stuffing out of opposing pitchers (thankfully, it's been more of the latter than the former this week). One can only hope that he's got some crosswords or sudoku puzzles out there in the bullpen to keep him occupied.