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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: 9/6-7/10

Opponent: Kansas City Royals

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Slowey and Liriano

Final Score: W 5-4 and W 10-3

Record: 82-57

Recap: Can we keep Thome next year? Please? Damn, has he been impressive. He's leading the team in home runs despite his limited at bats. And did you see those home runs? Yesterday he hit the flag pole, but I was sure that ball was going to leave Target Field. Curse that pole for getting in the way! And today he hit one that seemed almost as far. The latest homer tied him for 8th on the all-time list with Frank Robinson. He's outslugging everyone on the team, and his on base percentage is higher than Joe Mauer with his insane 52 walks. Color me impressed. I'm still in awe over those home runs.

As for everything else in those games, I don't remember most of it. On Monday, Slowey returned from the DL. The Twins were thinking maybe 5 innings from him, not wanting to overtax his arm, but he only made it 4. It was a bit of a struggle for him as he threw 77 pitches over that stretch, but he did only give up 2 runs. After that point Manship pitched 2 innings with 2 runs, while Guerrier, Crain and Capps each had an inning apiece. Flores made a brief appearance, giving up a hit to a lefty before being pulled. Has he really done anything for us? The Twins were tied at 2 in the 5th inning before Kubel went yard with Mauer on base. A batter later, Thome hit his mammoth home run to give the Twins the lead. Mauer had 2 hits in the game, and Thome was 2 for 3 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs.

Today's game was a bit of a romp for the Twins, who put up 6 runs with 2 outs in the 3rd inning. We were up 9 to 1 by the end of the 4th inning. Skinny Delmon had an awesome game; he finally seemed like the Skinny Delmon of July. He had 3 hits, 2 of them doubles and drove in 4 runs. He now has a career high of 97 RBIs. J.J. Hardy drove in 3 runs, and Thome was 1 for 1 with 2 walks and 3 runs scored. We also got our first look at Ben Revere, who made his MLB debut. Sure, he struck out, but it was fun to see him in the game. Liriano had a great game and pitched 7 strong innings with only 2 earned runs. Perkins and Neshek got their feet wet in the majors again and each pitched an inning. The White Sox finally lost, so we picked up a game on them, and now we have a chance to sweep the Royals tomorrow.

Best Moment: Thome's home runs.

Most Questionable Moment: The White Sox, letting Thome go. I hope it bites them in the ass.

Worst Moment: Nothing I can think of.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "He threw a changeup and I was fortunate to square it up. It feels very good when you square one up like that and it does that." - Jim Thome, on his home run on Monday.
  • ""It was down. He took his driver out and tried to give somebody a souvenir downtown." - Sean O'Sullivan, in regard to the pitch he threw to Thome.

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Denard Span (1 for 5, 1 strikeout, 7 left on base) on Monday and no one on Tuesday.

 

Date: 9/5/10

Opponent: Texas Rangers

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Blackburn

Final Score: 6-5

Record: 80-57

Recap: I'm really not happy with how that game ended. Yes, I'm happy that we won and swept the Rangers, but it feels wrong to have won on a technicality. Coach's interference was called, but I'm not totally sure they actually touched. Even if they did touch, it doesn't seem like the 3rd base coach assisted in any way, which is what the rule says is not allowed (not that they are automatically out for making contact). I would rather have won in a more conventional manner I guess. If Young hadn't been ruled out, it would have been a 1-run game with the bases loaded and 2 outs. We still might have won; we could have seen if the bullpen would have worked its way out of the huge mess it created.

Before the 9th inning, the Twins were cruising along. We didn't have a lot of hits, but we managed 6 runs thanks to a couple of sacrifice flies, a walk and a few key hits. Blackburn started after having been pushed back because of Thursday's disastrous game, and he delivered a very nice performance, with 2 runs over 7 innings. Unfortunately things went downhill quickly in the 9th inning. Jon Rauch, who pitched a scoreless 8th, allowed a single before striking out the next 2 batters. Okay, we just needed 1 more out. No problem, right? But Rauch then gave up a double to Borbon that scored a run and cut the lead to 3. Matt Capps came in to relieve Rauch and shut down the Rangers, but he couldn't seem to buy an out. Guzman singled to score Borbon, and the lead was down to 2 runs. Then Michael Young singled, and David Murphy walked to load the bases. Guerrero stepped to the plate and hit a ball up the middle. Hudson managed to flag it down deep in the hole, but Guerrero was already at 1st and a run had scored. Meanwhile, Young had taken a turn toward home thinking that the ball was going to get through the infield. Hudson saw this and threw toward 3rd as the Rangers 3rd base coach frantically waved Young back to 3rd. At this point, there was maybe some slight contact between their hands. I think the replays were inconclusive. Hudson's throw was not in time, but the umpire ruled Young out because of interference. And Matt Capps got a save despite allowing all 4 batters he saw to reach base. Weird.

On a more positive note, the Twins had a Legends Game before the game, which was pretty hilarious. Hrbek made a giant divot in foul territory on a failed attempt to make a sliding catch, while Bert threw behind Ron Washington in an attempt to get thrown out of the game. It was pretty funny to see Ron Washington playing actually. The Rangers seemed pretty amused to see him in the game. Anyway, it looked like they were all having fun. I would have liked to have been able to see it in person!

Best Moment: The Legends Game.

Most Questionable Moment: The 3rd base umpire ruling coach's interference.

Worst Moment: Matt Capps' brilliant save.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "They made contact at third base. That's automatic. The umpire has to make a call. If there is contact, he's got to make a call. That's what he did. And they made contact. Unfortunate, yes. It probably didn't help him stop or get back, but contact is contact. And that's what Alfonso called." - Ron Gardenhire. Actually, I'm pretty sure it's not automatic just to make contact, and I don't think there was even for sure contact made.
  • "It never happened." - Ron Washington, on the possible contact between Young and the 3rd base coach.
  • "Bad call. A bad call by a good umpire." - Michael Young

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Matt Capps (0.1 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run)

 

Date: 9/4/10

Opponent: Texas Rangers

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Pavano

Final Score: 12-4

Record: 79-57

Recap: It was another nice win for the Twins, and after so many close games of late, it was kind of nice to see a blowout. Jim Thome tied and then passed Mark McGwire for 9th on the all-time home run list, rather reminiscent of when he tied and then passed Killebrew for 10th on the list in a game in July. Good for him; he's certainly deserving. But the other impressive offensive player in this game? Matt Tolbert. He had 2 triples and a career-high 5 RBIs. It was a very good game for him. It was certainly hard to miss Valencia when he was playing like that (not that I'm advocating for Tolbert to take over). 

It was really not Colby Lewis's day. 3.2 innings, 8 hits, 2 walks, 2 home runs, and 9 earned runs. Ouch. I'm guessing he'd rather face a firing squad than Jim Thome at this point. It started badly for him, when the Twins batted through their order in the 1st inning and scored 5 runs, punctuated by a 2-run double by J.J. Hardy and Matt Tolbert's first triple. Lewis got through the 2nd inning okay, but gave up a home run to Thome in the 3rd. Then in the 4th, he gave up another homer to Thome, this time a 3-run homer giving the Twins a 9 to 0 lead. The Rangers added a few runs in the 5th and 6th, but the Twins struck back with 3 more runs in the 7th thanks to another Tolbert triple. 

Thome ended up 2 for 2 with 3 runs, 2 walks, and 4 RBIs. Tolbert was 2 for 4 with a run and 5 RBIs. Span had 2 hits as well. J.J. Hardy has been doing extremely well lately, and he had an impressive game with 3 hits, 2 runs, and 2 RBIs. Pavano delivered a typical solid 8 inning outing, allowing 3 runs over that span and picking up his 16th win of the year. Rob Delaney made his MLB debut and gave up a lead-off home run in the 9th before settling down to pitch his first full inning. Might as well get that first run and homer out of the way I guess. Now the Twins have a chance to sweep the Rangers and at least maintain their lead in the Central. 

Best Moment: Thome making it to 9th on the all-time homer list.

Most Questionable Moment: The Rangers managing to give up 12 runs facing a Twins lineup that didn't have Mauer, Morneau, Kubel or Valencia in it. 

Worst Moment: Not getting a shutout. 

Quotations of the Day:

  • "It gets them a chance to get a second wind. I think after tomorrow we'll be where we need to be as far as having everyone rested, because that one game did wear us out a little bit." - Carl Pavano, on saving the bullpen by pitching 8 innings.
  • "It's unbelievable watching his swing. It's fun to watch him hit. He's a professional hitter and he's done it for a long time. Very fun to watch." - Josh Hamilton, in regard to Jim Thome.

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Delmon Young (0 for 4, 1 strikeout, 6 left on base). Skinny Delmon's kind of sucking lately. That's unfortunate. Hopefully he can get himself back on track.