Saturday, October 8, 2011

Three great Game Fives

Wake me up before you Go-Go: The Brewers charge the field to celebrate
as Carlos Gomez slides home with the winning run Friday.
Three of the division series went to a fifth game; all three were excellent contests. All were one-run affairs; one went extra innings.

Fox may not be happy that the Yankees and Phillies have been eliminated; the News Corp bean counters may dread the possibility of a Detroit-Milwaukee World Series. But these results pleased me, not least because of the roles certain recent members of the Twins played in those games.

When Carlos Gomez was perched on second base in the bottom of the 10th inning in Milwaukee on Friday night, I flashed back to Game 163 in 2009 — a stirring game in the Dome. Remember? It was Go-Go who carried home the winning run that night.

Among Nick Punto's crisp defensive
plays was this tag on Chase Utley
on a stolen base attempt.
And it was Go-Go who brought the run home on Friday for the Brewers. Good for him. I continue to believe that Gomez will thrive if he lands on a team that can put him in center field and at the bottom of the lineup. He hasn't found that team yet. Maybe he never will.

Also on Friday, Nick Punto played a sparkling game at second base for St. Louis. Punto missed a lot of time with injuries this season, so even if the Twins had kept him, he probably wouldn't have been the reliable Plan B for the infield that he was for so many seasons for Ron Gardenhire. The Twins didn't adequately replace him.

And, of course, Delmon Young on Thursday hit his third home run of the series as the Detroit Tigers knocked off the Yankees. At this writing, I don't know if Young, who strained his oblique Thursday, will be available for the ALCS against Texas.

The Rangers figure to have three lefties in their rotation, so Detroit would be better off with Young in the lineup — if he can swing the bat freely. He missed a month for the Twins with an oblique strain this summer, so I suspect he's not going to be useful in the coming series.

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