When it comes down to it, the philosophical difference between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox can be summed up in one word: patience. This is reflected rather nicely in the dispositions of their respective managers.
Ron Gardenhire is thoughtful, measured, patient, dull, and dry to listen to. Bobby Valentine reacts quickly, seems to talk first and think second, makes rash decisions, and draws a lot of attention to himself. Maybe that list is harsh, but the dude is definitely not patient. If things are not going the way he wants them to, it shows in his public comments and in his actions as manager. These range from ripping former player Kevin Youkilis in the media to claiming that his players go behind his back to management to overhauling his lineup for a game against Brian Duensing.
You know Duensing. He is the spot starter with the 2-6 record who brought his ERA down to 4.53 with a great start against the Cleveland Indians last Sunday. Prior to that he was not even in the rotation. It might seem a bit hasty on Valentine’s part, but perhaps it will still work out for the Red Sox. They are still in the playoff race, after all, which is more than the Twins can say.
Here is Ron Gardenhire’s lineup for tonight’s game, in which Duensing will face off against the solid Felix Doubront:
It appears that Valencia will have every chance to prove he belongs while Trevor Plouffe is on the shelf. He has shown some promising signs as of late, and will look to continue that positive trend against the left-handed Doubront tonight. Ryan Doumit gets the night off as Gardenhire opts to keep Willingham at DH.
Here is Bobby Valentine’s altered lineup for the Red Sox:
Searching for offense with David Ortiz on the shelf, Valentine opts to insert hot prospect Lavarnway in the 5 hole. Ross is a good player, but the Red Sox definitely did not acquire him to ever bat 3rd. Ever. The Twins will hope that their recent stretch of outstanding starting pitching will continue against this tweaked lineup.