Twins Win The Central
Wow. What do you even say to a game like that? I’ve been sitting at my computer for a solid 20 minutes now, looking at the cursor blink. I’m alternating between racking my brain for something to write and laughing hysterically. A couple weeks ago the Twins playoff expectancy was around 7%. Now it is 100%.
No team had ever led their division since May 10th and lost it in the last week. The Twins were up against history, a 20 year old phenom (as Chip Caray and Ron Darling reminded us 85,000 times) and themselves. They played without their second best player in Justin Morneau, their best pitcher, Kevin Slowey, had been out for two months, and the latter third of the game featured these 4 hitters in the lineup: Carlos Gomez, Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert and Nick Punto.
In the 7th, Orlando Cabrera hit just his 9th homer of the season to give the Twins a lead. Next inning saw Magglio Ordonez hit an 18 million dollar home run to tie it up. In the 9th inning, Detroit had 1st and 3rd in a tie game, but a lineout to Cabrera turned into a double play. In the 12th, Gerald Laird had the bases loaded and a full count when he swung through a pitch that would likely have been ball 4.
The bottom of the 12th was pure magic. Carlos Gomez started it off with a single, then advanced to 2nd on a Michael Cuddyer chopper. The Tigers then intentionally walked Delmon Young to get to Alexi Casilla. Casilla hit a grounder through the hole that was hit far enough away from Magglio that he had no chance to throw out the speedy Gomez at the plate. Smash cut to me jumping around my bedroom, probably breaking my foot, and throwing clothes all around my room before finishing like Roger Federer after winning a grand slam.
Nick Punto had a hell of a game today. He went just 1-4 with a walk, but had three great plate appearances and made a couple great defensive plays including a game saver in the 9th. Jason Kubel also hit a homer in this game. It was his 28th of the season.
With Jose Morales struggling as of late, I have to think that the Twins will go with a Span-Gomez-Young outfield to maximize their defense. The Yankees are one of the few teams the Twins could potentially matchup with defensively. Since they can’t offensively, they need to take every advantage they can.
Honestly, even if the Twins get swept by the Yankees, this season will have been worth it just for this game. The Metrodome was supposed to be closed on Sunday, but she’s still got some magic left.