Twins bats come alive against the A's
Justin Morneau invokes the Killer with this towering home run.
As if to invoke the offensive fireworks of dearly departed Harmon Killebrew, the Twins scored in double digits for only the second time this season, unleashing an 11-1 onslaught against the nearly woeful A's.
It was a great afternoon all around for the Twins, but especially for our man Justin Morneau, who nearly hit for the cycle, cracking a two run homer, a double and a base hit. This is probably more impressive considering he popped up in his first two at bats.
The rest of the Twins didn't just sit on their hands, either. The team exploded for 16 hits, which is all the more impressive because even though the A's are only slightly better at the plate than the Twins, their pitching staff is one of the best--if not the best--in the American League, leading in ERA and Quality Starts.
Alexi Casilla was the only starter to go the whole game without a hit (why is he still on the team?), but Denard Span, Jason Kubel, Cuddyer, Valencia, and baby-faced catcher Rene Rivera each had at least two hits. One of Rivera's was a homer, his first this season (first RBI, too.)
And though Trevor Plouffe had but one hit, at least it was a three run blast. That's a shot the Killer would have been proud of.
I'm also impressed with Nick Blackburn. For once, the Twins didn't squander his great effort, as they have the entire month prior to this game.
The guy's May reads as follows: four starts, a 1-0 record, but a 1.74 ERA, four earned runs (four!) in 20.2 innings pitched. Fourteen K's in that time isn't a ton, but then Blackburn's never been a lights-out kind of pitcher. He relies on that slider, and it's working like a charm right now.
ESPN (and others) have bandied about the word "resurgent" to describe the Twins three game winning streak. Unfortunately, that streak has come against two mediocre ballclubs, and for fuck's sake, it's a three game winning streak.
Three games. Might I remind readers that the Twins have had two previous three game winning streaks. After the first, they lost six straight. After the last, nine straight. Let's win a few more before these Twins wear the "resurgent" cap, shall we?
Links, links, links.
Though we wish it were so in the light of recent events, the designer of the MLB logo, Jerry Dior, admitted to Dave Campbell of the AP that though he was a huge admirer of Harmon, the slugger was not the source for the iconic three-color logo.
If you're wondering what has been plaguing Justin Morneau, leave it to Parker Hageman to sort it out. Hageman, whose blog Over the Baggy offers some of the most insightful Twins reportage. You may remember my mentioning earlier that he broke down exactly how Kubel improved his swing to post such brilliant numbers this year. Now he does the same for Morneau, detailing exactly where his swing's gone wrong. Nice work, Mr. Hageman.
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