|Luis Valbuena (left) and Ezekial Carrera demonstrate how|
not to converge on a fly ball in the gap.
The Twins gave away at least one run when Ben Revere dropped a fly ball and another when Drew Butera inexplicably hesitated to throw home on a passed ball. Cleveland reciprocated with an Alphonse-and-Gaston routine in left-center that was no small part of the Twins' winning rally.
Luis Valbuena is not a particularly gifted defensive infielder who was pressed into duty as a left fielder the last two days because (a) Michael Brantley had a heat-related illness and (b) Travis Buck took a Francisco Liriano fastball to the noggin. The ball seemed to find Valbuena at the right times for the Twins in the late innings Tuesday and Wednesday.
(Buck was said Wednesday to have a headache, but the Indians insisted that he had no concussion. I'm not a doctor, but something doesn't smell right to me.)
Ron Gardenhire often talks about "piecing together" innings from his bullpen. Wednesday was prime example of it: Alex Burnett opened the seventh without much success, He left with men on second and third and one out. Jose Mijares, the master of ball one, entered — and got out of the inning on five pitches, all of them strikes.
I repeat: Mijares threw five ptiches, all of them strikes. I didn't think it could be done.
Of course, he couldn't replicate that when he started the eighth; he fell behind Asdrubal Cabrera 3-1 and gave up a double. The ever-popular Matt Capps eventually got the Twins out of the eighth without a run.
|Brandon Inge demonstrates the value of|
a baggy jersey: More HBP, less pain.
The Tiger have also swapped out third basemen. Brandon Inge (and his .177 batting average with 10 extra base hits) was designated for assignment Wednesday after Detroit traded a couple of prospects to Kansas City for Wilson Betemit.
Inge is one of those guys who is far more popular with the fans in a given city than his talents merit. Part of it, without a doubt, is that he was there when the Tigers were a godawful team in the early 2000s and he was there when they went to the World Series; part of it is that he moved, without complaint, from catcher to center field to third base to catcher to third base; part of it is that he's spent his career there and seems to like being a Detroit Tiger.
He's Detroit's version of Michael Cuddyer, and perhaps a warning on the risks involved in investing heavily in such a player as he enters his middle 30s.