I had this thing written before the sixth inning. So much for that. For the second game in a row, the pitching staff gave up eight runs in less than three innings, but this time the offense came through, so it was cool. Cole Hamels was shaky at first, giving up three runs in the first inning, but settled in and gave up just one more run through eight innings (a solo shot to Justin Morneau) before exiting the game with a 9-4 lead. Then the Phillies’ bullpen imploded. Jose Contreras gave up a two-run homer to Jim Thome. When he walked Nick Punto, he was lifted in favor of Brad Lidge. Punto stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a single by Denard Span, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to two. Then Joe Mauer homered to tie the game, then Drew Butera homered (!) to put the Twins ahead, 10-9. Of course, that didn’t last long, as Ross Gload homered to re-tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Delmon Young and Matt Tolbert put things to bed in the eleventh, when Delmon drove in Mauer on a single, then Tolbert drove in Morny and Delmon on a double (and got thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, ending the inning). The Tigers lost to the Diamondbacks earlier too, so the Twins’ lead is back to a game and a half in the AL Central. WOOOOOO!!!!
Best hitter: Delmon Young, .376 WPA. Young Mr. Young went 3-6 with a pair of runs scored and drove in the go-ahead run in the eleventh.
Worst hitter: Orlando Hudson, -.111 WPA. The O-Dog collected just one hit in six at-bats, though he did walk three times.
Best pitcher: Matt Guerrier, .146 WPA. The Mayor was the only Twins’ pitcher who didn’t give up any runs in this game. He also recorded four strikeouts in two innings, which is pretty unusual for him.
Worst pitcher: Kevin Slowey, doing his best Nick Blackburn impression. Luckily, the offense came through and bailed him out, but the bullpen would certainly appreciate it if the starters could make it past the second inning.
Most important play of the game:
According to win probability added, it was Ross Gload’s game-tying homer, with a .487 WPA. According to Twins fans, it was Drew Butera’s homer. He of the .026 isolated power nearly won the game with a home run. Go figure.
Topics: Brad Lidge, Cole Hamels, Delmon Young, Denard Span, Drew Butera, Joe Mauer, Jose Contreras, Justin Morneau, Kevin Slowey, Matt Guerrier, Matt Tolbert, Minnesota Twins, Nick Punto, Orlando Hudson, Philadelphia Phillies, Ross Gload