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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: 9/16/10

Opponent: Chicago White Sox

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Pavano

Final Score: W 8-5

Record: 88-58

Recap: We swept the Sox, and the division is all but ours. I don't really think there's much else to say. Hell yeah! No, they aren't mathematically eliminated, but it would take a miracle for them to win. And I just don't think God loves the Sox enough to save their season. A couple of things I did want to mention. Mauer caught Pavano for the first time since July, and the world didn't come to an end. Sure it wasn't a great performance, but he was okay. And let's face it, no one wants Butera starting in a playoff game. Mauer got his 200th career double, so congratulations to him. Paul Konerko was hit in the face by a pitch, which was pretty scary, but I do admire him for staying in the game. I'm sure his home run later in the game helped lessen the sting some (although probably not the pain of seeing your hopes for a division title going down the drain). Kudos to the bullpen for throwing 4 scoreless innings, and Skinny Delmon for his massive home run. Now we're tied with the Yankees for the 2nd best record in the AL. Let's see if we can take advantage of our soft schedule and get to the top!

Best Moment: Skinny Delmon's home run. It was a mammoth blast to left field. 

Most Questionable Moment: The umpires warning the benches. Yawn.

Worst Moment: Not winning 9-3. It would have been fun to win 3 games by the same score. 

Quotations of the Day:

  • "Everybody knew coming in we had to sweep them and not get swept. They came in and kicked our butt every which way. We didn't get it done." - Mark Buehrle. Hahaha. Yeah, we did kick your butt every which way.
  • "In the past we had to chase down the leader. Here the last week or so we've been trying to chase down the magic number. It's down to eight, obviously if we win eight more games it's over. So we'll continue trying to play well and to win each and every game." - Michael Cuddyer
  • "Tell Gardy I wish him good luck." - Ozzie Guillen

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: No one today. I'm just too happy.

 

Date: 9/15/10

Opponent: Chicago White Sox

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Duensing

Final Score: W 9-3

Record: 87-58

Recap: And the bell continues to toll for the White Sox. That game started and ended in a similar manner to yesterday. Neither team scored until the 5th inning, and the score was the same. But man did the Sox seem defeated in that game. I guess I'd feel the same if I were them. I kind of feel bad, but only a little bit. I think the worst part for them had to be all the bad luck they had with the Twins getting hits off the 3rd base bag and infield singles. There wasn't really a lot they could do. 

Duensing pitched well. He seemed to be throwing a lot of pitches and getting into full counts, but he managed well enough. He pitched 6 innings with 2 earned runs coming off Carlos Quentin's home run in the 6th. Guerrier also gave up a run, although it was mostly because of Skinny Delmon misplaying a ball hit by Alexei Ramirez into a triple. 

The Twins offense was pretty prolific as you may have guessed from the 9 runs we scored. Span, Thome, Valencia and Hardy each had 2 hits, all singles except for a double by Valencia. The real offense hero was Mauer, who had 3 hits in the game including a 3-homer, the biggest blow for the Sox. He also drove in 3 runs and scored 2. We also had a Punto sighting. After being gone so long, I had kind of forgotten that he was on the team. Alas, he went 0 for 1 with an error. Just getting his feet wet again I guess. Nonetheless, it seems like a matter of time before the Twins win the division. Our next goal? Trying to get the best record in baseball and secure home field advantage for the playoffs. 

Best Moment: Mauer's 3-run homer.

Most Questionable Moment: According to Dick Bremer, the decision by the White Sox to not play the infielders in with the bases loaded. He seemed mortally offended by the choice with their season on the line.

Worst Moment: Skinny Delmon messing up the field. But hey, at least he got his 100th RBI.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "There's a lot at stake. We want to win our division. There's home-field advantage out there, everything." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "There are a lot of things out there, but you also want to give guys a break. If you are fortunate enough to get in that situation where you can win a division and you can do it early enough, you can do a lot of things." - Ron Gardenhire

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Jason Kubel (0 for 3, 1 strikeout, 4 left on base). I feel kind of bad picking him since he left the game with a sore wrist, but oh well.

 

Date: 9/14/10

Opponent: Chicago White Sox

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Liriano

Final Score: W 9-3

Record: 86-58

Recap: Was that game the last nail in the coffin for the White Sox? Maybe not, but it's not looking too good for them. It sort of throws me off how good we are right now. I just expect that we will win, and we usually do. It definitely has lessened the excitement of the pennant race for me. Well, maybe excitement isn't the best word. I'm thrilled with how well we're doing. We have the third best record in baseball. I guess stress might be a better word. Last season every game was critical, and it's just not the same right now. Of course we could have an epic collapse and make things interesting, but it would take a pretty major meltdown to accomplish that, and I don't see that happening.

Anyway, that was a really great game. For us. Mauer got his 1,000 career hit, Skinny Delmon homered on his birthday, and Jesse Crain showed why he's the most reliable bullpen arm we have (I can't believe I just wrote that). It was a really close game for the majority of the time. It was scoreless into the 5th inning, when Delmon's solo homer put the first run on the board. It was his 99th RBI of the year on his 25th birthday. It seems like he should be older than 25. Thome smashed a ball almost out of the park, but a perfect play on the ricochet off the wall resulted in him being thrown out by a mile at 2nd. Hardy doubled later in the inning and scored on a hit by Span.

But the White Sox tied the game in the bottom of the inning, and then they took a 1-run lead in the next inning. It was short-lived as the Twins put up 2 runs in the top of the 7th. The bottom of the 7th is where things got tricky for the Twins. Matt Guerrier relieved Liriano, and he immediately gave up 2 singles. Gardy had seen enough and called for secret weapon Jesse Crain. The first batter Crain faced bunted the runners over to 2nd and 3rd. Then Rios drew a walk to load the bases for Paul Konerko. Konerko's been on an absolute tear, but he's struggled against Crain. Tonight was no different as he blew a fastball right by him for a strikeout. Manny Ramirez was up next, and he struck out as well for the third time in the game, leading to a round of boos from the crowd. 

The 8th inning must have seemed like a nightmare for the White Sox. Their bullpen struggled to get outs, but the fatal blow came when Alex Rios misplayed a fly ball to center. The bases were loaded with 2 outs in the inning. It looked like a routine play, but Rios had a bad break on it and couldn't get back fast enough. He made a jumping lunge for the ball, but it bounced out of his glove. He made an attempt to catch the ball with his bare hand, but his juggling act didn't work and the ball dropped. Span cleared the bases and the stands as many fans made for the exits. The Twins put up 5 runs in the inning, and it effectively ended the game. 

Span had 2 hits and 4 RBIs. Mauer had 3 hits, and Hardy had 2 doubles in the game. Crain, Fuentes, and Rauch each had a scoreless inning. Now tomorrow we can see if the White Sox are going to put up a fight or roll over and play dead. 

Best Moment: Mauer's 1,000 hit. And Crain striking out 2 with the bases loaded.

Most Questionable Moment: Gardy pinch-running for Delmon Young. It didn't really matter, but I just didn't understand it that much.

Worst Moment: The White Sox taking the lead in the 6th. I actually had a moment of fear. Silly me.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "To come in here and win this first game is huge. They wanted to sweep and if they did that, they would have been right back in the thick of things. It's still not over, but to come in here and take this game, I think mentally it's got to hurt them a little bit." - Jesse Crain
  • "Today's over with. We did our job today and now we've got to come back tomorrow and try to do the same thing and hopefully kill their dreams." - Denard Span. Wow, how cutthroat.

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Orlando Hudson (0 for 5, 2 strikeouts, 3 left on base). And for the games I've missed:

Game #140: Matt Capps (1.0 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned runs)

Game #141: Michael Cuddyer (0 for 3, 1 GIDP, 1 left on base)

Game #142: Orlando Hudson (1 for 5, 2 GIDPs, 4 left on base)

Game #143: No one