2.) While I want the Twins to win the division, I think playing the Yankees in the first round is the better scenario in terms of our ability to advance. Yeah, they're the Yankees. But the Twins should get two games out of Johan Santana, and if he pitches like he's capable of that should be two wins. That means we need one more starter to step up and shut down that fearful lineup. If you go to a seven game series, as you would in the ALCS, the Twins would still likely get only 2 starts out of Santana because most teams go with a 4 man rotation in the playoffs. That's 2 wins that would be needed from other starters. Besides, if we face the Yankees in the first round, we can follow the formula of the 2002 Angels and beat them (unexpectedly) on the way to winning the World Series.
3.) Michael Cuddyer is now tied for 22nd on the Twins single season RBI list, with 102.
4.) I said to watch the starts by Silva and Garza closely. If Carlos wanted to earn a spot in the playoff rotation, this surely won't help matters. I think the Twins are now hoping that Brad Radke can give them 5 innings in Game 3, and if Garza shows anything, anything at all in his last start (probably on Saturday against the White Sox), he should get the Game 4 start. As Dick & Bert pointed out tonight, Silva could very well make the post-season roster as an emergency long man.
5.) The Twins have so far been doing what I suspected they would in giving 1-2 regulars a day off in these post-clinch games. Tonight was Luis Castillo (plus the DH role for Michael Cuddyer), and Joe Mauer was yesterday (he should get one more), so who's up tomorrow? My guess is that tomorrow will be Jason Bartlett's chance (as is supported by the Twins Notes on the Twins website), but Torii Hunter would also be a likely candidate with right-hander Luke Hudson on the mound. Justin Morneau is also likely to get an off-day over the next four days, and Nick Punto could use a day off as well.