The Twins have now won their first four series for the first time in franchise history. And, for the first time since I can remember, there isn’t anything about the team that makes me nervous. The starting pitching looks pretty solid, the offense is dangerous, and the bullpen is about the best it’s ever been, even without Joe Nathan. This is definitely going to be a fun team to watch this year. On to your WPA studs and duds:
1) Orlando Hudson: .192 The O-Dog went 2-for-3 with a walk and the game-winning home run. I could get used to this production from the 2-hole.
2) Jon Rauch: .176 I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but color me unsurprised that a decent reliever can convert save opportunities, especially against the worst offense in the AL.
3) Brian Duensing: .172 The Dunce, FTW.
Honorable mentions: Jim Thome (.169) hit a 2-run homer that tied the game in the second. Joe Mauer (.142) broke out of his mini-slump, going 2-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs. Justin Morneau (.106) hit the very first triple in Target Field. That explains those horsemen outside my window:
1) Nick Blackburn: -.240 Blackbeard has apparently been battling soreness in his right arm. That might explain the 6 home runs he’s given up in only 19.1 innings, including two to Rick Ankiel.
2) Jason Kubel: -.202 Not one of Kubel Khan’s best games: 0-for-4, and he wasted Justin Morneau’s lead-off triple by grounding into an inning-ending double play. Kubel Khan is currently slugging .484 though, and the Twins won anyway, so I guess I’ll forgive him.
3) Michael Cuddyer: -.124 Cuddles was an unhelpful 1-for-4, including 0-2 with runners in scoring position.