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Suck-Ass Performer of the Game
Jason Kubel
Jason Kubel
(0-5, 2 K, 3 LOB)
Suck-Ass Performance Stats
Player Number
Jason Kubel 14
Michael Cuddyer 11
Nick Blackburn 10
Matt Guerrier 10
Denard Span 9
Alex Burnett 8
Orlando Hudson 8
Kevin Slowey 8
Jim Thome 8
Scott Baker 6
J.J. Hardy 6
Jon Rauch 6
Francisco Liriano 5
Justin Morneau 5
Delmon Young 5
Jesse Crain 4
Brendan Harris 3
Ron Mahay 3
Joe Mauer 3
Carl Pavano 3
Matt Tolbert 3
Danny Valencia 3
Drew Butera 2
Matt Capps 2
Alexi Casilla 2
Jose Mijares 2
Nick Punto 2
Jason Repko 2
Drew Butera 1
Brian Duensing 1
Randy Flores 1
Ron Gardenhire 1
Jeff Manship 1
Pat Neshek 1
Glen Perkins 1
Trevor Plouffe 1
Wilson Ramos 1
Anthony Slama 1

Date: 9/29/10

Opponent: Kansas City Royals

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Baker

Final Score: W 4-2

Record: 93-65

Recap: Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? I clearly needed to do something to rescue the Twins from this fall swoon. So naturally I drove to Kansas City to go to the game. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. Haha. And obviously I was good luck as we broke our 5-game losing streak and salvaged a win out of the road trip. 

I love going to Kauffmann Stadium. It's a beautiful stadium, open and spacious (and I love the fountains). All the people there are super friendly (both fans and employees), and it's certainly a lot easier and cheaper to get tickets than at Target Field. Add in my relatives in the area (free lodging) and the relative closeness of Kansas City, and you've got the perfect baseball road trip. 

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, although I'm so glad we finally won. I was sitting by an extremely chatty Massachusetts-born Yankees fan who apparently enjoys seeing various baseball stadiums in his work travels. He'd been to Yankees Stadium once, but won't go back because of the price. He also said he was perfectly happy to see the Yankees get their asses handed to them by whomever they play in the playoffs (you and me both, sir).

Scott Baker of all people finally gave the Twins a non-fuckterrible performance by a starting pitcher. I can't rain superlatives down on his head because it was a nerve-wracking 5 innings, but it was way better than anything else we've received on the road trip. He threw 100 pitches in those innings, almost half of which were strikes, and he seemed to runners in scoring position every inning. There were lots of fouls and full counts, but damn if he didn't strike out 9. I was fairly impressed. It wasn't pretty, but it worked (cue questions of whether Baker should take Blackburn's position as the 4th playoff starter). He allowed 2 runs in the 2nd, off a solo home run and a couple of hits.

The Twins offense was putting plenty of runners on base, but we couldn't seem to get any clutch hits. Finally in the 6th Valencia and Repko got on base with a hit and a walk, and Drew Butera (wait, what?) came threw with a single to score the first Twins run. Casilla came to the plate with 1 out and managed to outrun a possible double play to allow another run to score. The game was tied until the next inning, when Skinny Delmon squeaked a homer into the left field corner that hit the foul pole. I was hardly paying attention because I was so sure it was foul. I was shocked as hell when the ump signaled a homer. Thank God for Skinny Delmon. He also drove in a second run in the 9th as well.

Major props to the bullpen as well. Guerrier struck out 4 of the 5 men he faced, while Fuentes struck out 1 in 1.1 innings pitched. Capps got a strikeout as well in the 9th getting the save, although he freaked me out by allowing the first 2 men to reach. He also faced the middle of the Kansas City order, which I find oddly terrifying for a team that sucks so bad. The Twins finished the game with a nicely-turned double play, and that was that. Now with 4 games left we get to see what we can do against Toronto. I don't like Toronto. Their home run numbers are frightening to me.

Best Moment: Finally winning a game! Especially combined with the losses by Tampa Bay and the Yankees.

Most Questionable Moment: Another Twins fan sitting near us told the lovely story of her infant son vomiting on Harmon Killebrew. Well, it's certainly quite the claim to fame!

Worst Moment: Baker giving up 2 runs in the 2nd. It just felt like the same awful cycle was starting again. 

Quotations of the Day:

  • "We needed to turn things around." - Skinny Delmon
  • "Baker gave us a good performance. A lot of pitches, but a good performance. That's what it took. All you ask for is to have a chance late in the ballgame. The bullpen came in and did a super job of getting the outs they were supposed to get. It's the way to go home. You can't worry about the rest of the road trip." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "I just do as I'm told." - Scott Baker. Hmmm. Kinky. He does seem the submissive type.

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Jason Kubel (0 for 5, 2 strikeouts, 3 left on base)


Date: 9/28/10

Opponent: Kansas City Royals

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Blackburn

Final Score: L 10-1

Record: 92-65

Recap: Ouch. And we continue to get pummeled by mediocre teams. Bad enough we got swept by the Tigers, but now we are in danger of being trounced by the lowly Royals. Oh, the agony! I won't go through the pain of reliving all the painful and ugly losses, because why bother? Honestly, these games don't matter, except for the possibility of securing home field advantage.

I can't get too upset one way or the other about how many runs we score. I mean, we're fielding lineups that include such crack offensive players as Drew Butera, Matt Tolbert, Ben Revere and Nick Punto (not that I don't appreciate each and every player for their individual talents, but you can't honestly say these players are huge producers right now). We've got a lot of injuries, with Mauer, Thome, and Hardy all currently unavailable. And we need to rest other players for the playoffs, so I'm not too upset about that. What bothers me is the rate at which we are allowing runs. It's somewhat alarming.

Okay, Liriano we can excuse because he got sick (and he wasn't doing too bad before that point). Pavano, however was atrocious (7 earned runs in 4 innings). He did pitch on an unusual amount of rest, which maybe wasn't so good for him. Duensing also struggled, giving up 5 runs in 6.2 innings. At least that wasn't so bad. We were playing the Tigers though, which doesn't bode well for facing the Yankees or Rays. Then Slowey and Blackburn have majorly struggled versus the Royals. Slowey isn't much of a concern to me since he might not even make the playoff roster, but Blackburn is more concerning. Hopefully it was just a little post-clinching swoon that we'll shake off. A win tomorrow would make me feel much better though. 

Maybe I'm just fretting over minor details. I just want our players healthy, and our pitchers for the playoffs ready to go. Wins are a bonus at this point. I can't handle another humiliating early exit. 

Best Moment: Uh, not getting shut out I guess. Not much else to get excited for.

Most Questionable Moment: Dick repeatedly struggling to pronounce Kila Ka'aihue's name. And then Bert butchering Ubaldo Jimenez's name. 

Worst Moment: I would just like to point that we scored 1 run against 3 Royals pitchers with ERAs of 5+. A little offense wouldn't be amiss

Quotations of the Day:

  • "We're just getting beat around now, and they're having a little fun at our expense. Not much fun, but you have to weather the storm." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "Up to this point, nothing good has happened on this road trip." - Ron Gardenhire

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Nick Blackburn (4.1 innings pitched, 8 hits, 2 walks, 2 home runs, 8 earned runs)

Game #152: Danny Valencia (0 for 4, 1 strikeout, 4 left on base)

Game #153: Jeff Manship (2.0 innings pitched, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 earned runs) and Alex Burnett (0.2 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 home runs, 4 earned runs)

Game #154: Carl Pavano (4.0 innings pitched, 11 hits, 3 home runs, 7 earned runs, 1 loss)

Game #155: Brian Duensing (6.2 innings pitched, 7 hits, 4 walks, 2 home runs, 5 earned runs, 1 loss)

Game #156: Kevin Slowey (1.2 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 home run, 6 earned runs)

Date: 9/21/10

Opponent: Cleveland Indians

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Pavano

Final Score: W 6-4

Record: 91-60

Recap: Central Division champs. It has a nice ring to it. It's also great that we won't have a third Game 163 in a row. It's much less stressful. Now all my stress comes from wondering if we'll roll over and die in the playoffs. It was a very exciting game tonight, with the Twins rallying for 4 runs in the 8th to take the lead. Then all the players hung around to watch the A's/White Sox game. The A's finished off the White Sox, with Craig Breslow saving the game for them. I still miss him. 

Thome had 2 hits and another home run in the game, while Valencia, Young, Butera and Span all had 2 hits. Baker did okay in his first start in a while, pitching 5 innings with 2 earned runs. Mijares had some struggles, but Rauch, Perkins and Capps each pitched at least a scoreless inning apiece. Perkins actually got the win. I'm too tired to write anything else right now; I almost just wrote that Perkins got the wind. But go Twins!

Best Moment: Winning the division!

Most Questionable Moment: Poor Dick Bremer, getting beered in the clubhouse after the game.

Worst Moment: I cannot think of anything right now.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "These guys aren't going to let me go home. I had a posse in here telling me we're staying." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "We still have a lot of baseball left. We clinched tonight -- hats go off, we've had a lot of fun -- but the real season starts in [two] weeks." - Orlando Hudson
  • "It says a lot about our organization. We're on a heck of a run here." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "Considering we've been to Game 163 the last couple years, I think this might work out a little bit better for us." - Ron Gardenhire

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Jose Mijares (0.2 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 earned runs). Granted he wasn't helped much with Hudson's misplay.

Game #147: Michael Cuddyer (0 for 4, 1 strikeout, 2 left on base)

Game #148: Orlando Hudson and Delmon Young (both 0 for 4, 1 strikeout, 5 left on base)

Game #149: Francisco Liriano (5.0 innings pitched, 7 hits, 1 walk, 1 home run, 5 earned runs, 1 loss)

Game #150: No one.