Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Late night: Twins 5, Angels 3

Game story here.

Box score here.

And who needs Joe Nathan — or any other proven closer — anyway?

Jon Rauch breezed through his first save opportunity Tuesday night. Three batters, 16 pitches, 11 strikes, two K's, no problems.

Nick Blackburn had a Nick Blackburnish start, albeit with more walks (four) than one expects —a quality start that just fit the definition. He couldn't handle Torii Hunter, but the rest of the Anaheim lineup presented little real problem.

And the bullpen — Brian Duensing, Matt Guerrier and Rauch — was perfect.

Which leaves the power display to be discussed. Joe Mauer homered, Justin Morneau homered, J.J. Hardy homered. Jason Kubel let his first initial down.


  1. J.J. Hardy homered?! The guy is still flying under my radar screen, as is Hudson. I'm sure looking forward to watching those guys as the season goes along!

    I'm hoping Rauch soon makes us say, "Joe who? Nathan? Never heard of him!" But I'm not gonna hold my breath! One save does not a closer make.

    But I hope he's wildly successful!

  2. Except of course that if Gardy were managing to the reality of the situation (Guerrier had an easy 8th inning) rather than its label (gotta bring in the closer because it's a save opportunity) Guerrier could've pitched two innings. Guerrier will probably have 70 appearances again because of such overuse, which will limit his effectiveness and increase the chance of arm problems. It happened with Crain a few years ago. Bill James wrote many years ago that bringing in many pitchers increases the risk that you'll find the one who doesn't have his good stuff that night.

  3. Getting Thome some at bats is a good thing, but please not at the expense of Kubel. I hope this doesn't become a habit, Gardenhire.