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Taking Care of Business


Here's a question for you: what do Jason Bartlett, Jeff Cirillo, Nick Punto, Lew Ford, Jason Kubel, Luis Rodriguez, and Jason Tyner all have in common?

Answer: They're all hitting worse than Johan Santana!

B'dum, dah! Hey, all right, well, that's more of a lame joke than a collection of statistics that actually mean anything. Really, who knows how well our ace would hit if he were batting every day, or even every fifth game. But Santana, as if thinking, "Hell, this is my opportunity to actually give myself a 'W'", drove in a run on a triple in the second inning of today's 7-4 victory over the Florida Marlins. 'Twas his first triple ever, it was, and with that one hit in three at bats, Johan brought his average to .286, which bests the regulars listed above. More importantly, at the time the game was locked at a single run and the way things have been going this season, and that might have felt a bit daunting. But Santana did not need to exert himself in the turgid Miami heat, as the rest of the Twins, and especially Mighty Joe Mauer (who belted a pair of homers, increasing his total 200%), pushed enough men across the plate to give Santana yet another win. Ten more to go, and the guy might actually win the Cy Young.

The heat was stifling, or so they said on the radio, so much so that Michael Cuddyer became incensed over a call and was tossed. Later, the ump seemed a bit discombobulated by the humidity, and his calls were being questioned by the guys in the booth--and many players as well when the game was over. Joe Nathan commented on this, saying in essence that it's not up to him to determine balls and strikes, but he acknowledged that it was pretty steamy out there.

So now the Twins return to the air-conditioned splendor of the Metrodome for a four game set against the Toronto Blue Jays, currently but a game and half behind us in the Wild Card race. With today's win we're 38-35, exactly the same record as one year ago--and yes, I'm aware that we're but six and a half back of the Tigers instead of ten behind (as last year). But I'll feel a lot better if the wins start coming in bunches, instead of scattered about. It's not enough to say the Blue Jays are a team we have to beat... at this point, we have to beat everyone as often as possible. That's what championship-calibre teams believe.

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