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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: 8/15/10

Opponent: Oakland Athletics

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Slowey

Final Score: W 4-2

Record: 68-50

Recap: Damn, another unexpected and amazing pitching performance. Who thought Slowey would come back from his elbow soreness to deliver 7 no-hit innings. And what a position he put Gardy in, throwing 106 pitches to get through those 7 innings. I agree with the decision, at least most of me does. I must admit a tiny emotional part of me wishes he had gotten the chance to keep going. But honestly, Slowey was really struggling that last inning, and it wasn't worth risking his arm for such a slim chance. He had 6 more outs to get, and that could be a lot of pitches. Not to mention the fact that the defense was making some great plays behind him. Both Kubel and Repko made nice running catches to prevent extra-base hits.

While Slowey was delivering his no-hit start (with just 3 walks and a hit batter), the offense was similarly held in check by Mazzaro. Obviously not to the no-hit degree, but the Twins really struggled to do anything against him. In the 3rd inning, the Twins strung together some hits with 2 outs, a single by Hudson, a single by Mauer, and then a ground-rule double from Kubel. That was all the offense we had until the 7th inning, when the A's pitcher did something very, very stupid. He thought it would be a good idea to throw a 3-0 fastball to Jim Thome. Exit ball stage right. I'm thinking the pitcher maybe should have been more careful with that pitch, especially with Valencia up next, hardly the same threat as Thome. With 2 men on, it gave the Twins a 4 to 0 lead going into the 8th inning, and it was Thome's 580th home run of his career.

Gardy pulled Slowey, and you had to know he was going to; Gardy is very careful with his pitchers. Anyone who actually thought Slowey was going to stay in the game needs a reality check. So with the 4-run lead, Jon Rauch had the unenviable task of relieving a pitcher throwing a no-hitter in the face of a restless crowd. Cue the boos. Then after getting a strikeout, he gave up the first hit, a double. The booing increased. And then he gave up another double and the first run. More boos. He was eventully pulled for Crain. Another run scored on a fielder's choice, but we still had a 2-run lead going into the 9th. Capps got another save, and a very interesting game was over. We're now up 3 games on the White Sox, heading into another series with them. We shall see how this goes, but right now we are cruising.

Best Moment: Slowey's 7 no-hit innings.

Most Questionable Moment: Taking Slowey out after the 7th inning. I'm not saying I disagree, I'm just saying it will be questioned by some people.

Worst Moment: Rauch coming in and giving up the first hit. And then the second hit and first run. 

Quotations of the Day:

  • "I'd boo me too. I took a pitcher out with a no-hitter going, but I would do it a thousand times the same way because Slowey's just come off an elbow injury and we're not even about to come close to risking this guy. It's the way it is and it's sad because like I said I'd be booing too." - Ron Gardenhire. Slow clap.
  • "I think more than anything I was letting my defense work behind me. Between Repko's catch and Kubel's catch and that double play that Valencia turned, and some of the plays in the infield. We have some Gold Glove-caliber defenders and I need to remember that because as you said I'm not overpowering. On a day when I didn't have great control, to rely on those guys was very nice." - Kevin Slowey
  • "I was just ready to hit the fastball and was fortunate to do it." - Jim Thome on his home run.
  • "I was a little disappointed. I don't think it would be possible not to be a little bit disappointed, but I think more than anything I was encouraged. I was encouraged by the fact that Gardy and Andy care a lot more about me as a person and as a pitcher in the long run than they do about winning one game or having one accomplishment. I think that says a lot about them and a lot about our organization." - Kevin Slowey

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Jon Rauch (0.1 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned runs)

 

Date: 8/14/10

Opponent: Oakland Athletics

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Duensing

Final Score: W 2-0

Record: 67-50

Recap: Damn, I didn't expect that from Duensing. Not that I expect him to pitch poorly, but that dominant showing was more than I could ever hope for. It makes me downright giddy! There's not a lot to talk about; Duensing struggled a bit with his control in the first 3 innings, but after that he mowed down the A's like this dog. He allowed only 3 hits, all singles, and walked 2, but thanks to a couple of double plays and a pick off he faced just 29 batters. Pretty damn impressive if you ask me. It was only his 14th Major League start, and he got his first complete game and his first shutout. Not bad for his first start at Target Field. 

Trevor Cahill was nearly as good, but the Twins scratched across 1 run against him. In the 3rd inning, Casilla doubled to start the inning, and then Span bunted him to 3rd. He then scored on a sac fly hit by Hudson. Nothing like a little small ball against a dominant pitcher. It was the only run the Twins would need, but they did add another in the 8th against Craig Breslow. First of all, let me say that I am filled with rage whenever I think of Breslow, because he should really be a Twin still and I miss him. Sean Fucking Henn, we lost him for Sean Fucking Henn. Second, I felt so bad for him tonight getting saddled with an earned run that he didn't deserve. Span doubled to lead off the inning. Then he stupidly tried to advance to 3rd on a grounder hit in front of him to the shortstop (Denard Span: Baserunner Extraordinaire). Depending on your viewpoint (and which team you were rooting for in the game), Span either avoided the 3rd baseman's tag or was called safe incorrectly by the 3rd base umpire. He ended up scoring on a Mauer single (Mauer had 3 of the 8 hits tonight).

So while the offense was nearly non-existent, it was more than enough for Duensing. He got a nice shaving cream pie to the face courtesy of Punto and a bunch of hugs. With that amazing performance the Twins have guaranteed a series win and gained a game over the White Sox. Let's keep on rolling! 

Best Moment: Duensing's complete game shutout.

Most Questionable Moment: The play at 3rd base in the 8th inning. 

Worst Moment: Nothing.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "A fantastic night for Deuce as we call him." - Ron Gardenhire, on Brian "Deuce" Duensing. All I can think of with Deuce is dropping a deuce. Not exactly the best connotation.
  • "It doesn't taste very good." - Brian Duensing, on the shaving cream.
  • "I think [Gardy] thought people were calling me 'Deuce,' because he walked over and said, 'Deuce, how you doing?' And I didn't know he was even talking to me. I told some guys that story and now it's just stuck." - Brian Duensing, explaining the origin of his nickname, which he believes came about from Gardy mishearing "Duens" (or "Dunce"?) as "Deuce".

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Jason Kubel (0 for 4, 2 strikeouts, 6 left on base)

 

Date: 8/13/10

Opponent: Oakland Athletics

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Pavano

Final Score: W 4-3

Record: 66-50

Recap: I really enjoyed watching that game. I'm not sure why. I mean, Pavano didn't pitch particularly well (nor could he stop the A's from running on him), we had a couple of errors and mistakes, and we only had 5 hits; I guess winning is always fun. And they played the Super Mario Brothers theme as intro music for Pavano. I played New Super Mario Brothers this weekend, and I kept laughing whenever I saw Luigi. According to Pavano, Matt Guerrier thought it was hilarious. I think it's hilarious. Drew Butera shaved his mustache though. Sad panda.

Anyway, the Twins got a couple of unearned runs in the 1st after a bases-loaded walk by Kubel and then a single by Valencia. But the A's quickly tied it up in the 3rd inning after a double, a triple and a "double" that bounced out of Skinny Delmon's glove (it's a good thing he performs offensively, because his defense leaves much to be desired). Then in the 4th inning the Twins took the lead again. Skinny Delmon singled to lead off the inning, and then he advanced to 2nd on an error. Valencia doubled to score Young and went to 3rd on Casilla's sac bunt. At this point, Butera stepped up to the plate as Dick and Bert commented on the likelihood of a squeeze play being put on. I guess the A's didn't have the same foresight as our esteemed broadcasting team, because they never saw it coming. Valencia took off, and Butera laid down a perfect bunt. That run ended up deciding the ball game.

The A's had plenty of hits in the game, 14 to the Twins' 5, but they couldn't take advantage of their opportunities. In the 7th, with a runner on 1st and 1 out, Skinny Delmon trapped a ball and then threw to 3rd instead of 2nd which led to runners on 2nd and 3rd. At this point, Pavano was taken out of the game for Mahay. Mahay filled the count before getting Cust to look at strike three. Guerrier came in to get the final out, and Casilla made a great diving catch on a line drive to get the Twins out of the inning. Then in the next inning, 2 singles and a walk loaded the bases with 1 out. Jesse Crain was brought in, and he did a great job, getting a double play ball. The Twins carried the 2-run lead into the 9th inning, and Oakland added a run after a Casilla error, but Capps got Davis to fly out for his third save as a Twin. 

Best Moment: The suicide squeeze. I love a good suicide squeeze. It's probably knowing how easily it can go wrong. It really gets the adrenaline going.

Most Questionable Moment: Kubel trying to go 1st to 3rd on Valencia's single in the 1st inning. It ended up costing the Twins a run early. It's a damn good thing we won or I might have had a major freak out.

Worst Moment: Skinny Delmon having another ball bounce out of his glove. Does he have a trampoline in there or something? What is going on?

Quotations of the Day:

  • "I didn't play much Nintendo but I recognized the song." - Carl Pavano, on hearing the Super Mario Bros. Theme.

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Joe Mauer (0 for 4, 4 left on base)