Saturday, September 26, 2009

Losing two-hitters and Eddie G.

The tragic number remains at eight. Tigers lose, Twins win, and Detroit now leads by two games with nine to play.

Normally it's a good thing for a starting pitcher to allow just two hits. Not in these games.

Robinson Tejada allowed the Twins just two hits, but one of them was a homer, and the hard-throwing righty walked seven while getting just 13 outs. He threw 82 pitches, and 40 of them were balls. One of them was a wild pitch that scored Nick Punto from second base (photo above).

And for Detroit, Eddie Bonine gave up two hits in 6 2/3 innings, but one of them was a homer that followed an error — and his mound opponent, Jake Peavy, showed what all the midseason fuss was about with seven shutout innings. The White Sox bullpen — now without closer Bobby Jenks — added two more shutout innings, and Chicago wins 2-0 with just two hits for the entire game.


One of my favorite Twins is hanging 'em up after the season — Eddie Guardado, Everyday Eddie. A great first name. And a pretty good pitcher.

He was around for the lean years in the 1990s and he played a big role in turning the franchise around in the early part of this decade. He's bounced around since leaving the Twins for a big free-agent deal, and he's pitched for years with his throwing shoulder hanging by a thread.

Tom Kelly persisted in viewing him as strictly a LOOGY. One of the first things Ron Gardenhire did when he took over was declare Guardado his closer. It seemed odd, as he didn't have "closer stuff." But he was more effective in that role than he had been as a specialist.

He had command of his fast ball, a good palm ball, and never seemed afraid of anything out there. That was enough.

He is, at the moment, tied with Cy Young in career appearances. With more than a week to go, he should be able to get into at least one more game.

And anybody beating old Cy in any career category was doing something right.

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