1.) It's time to stop ragging on the bullpen. The Twins would not have won either of the last two games without the pen, and they were unbelievable both nights. Sure, there are still issues -- and maybe even some challenging decisions about who to put on the playoff roster -- but these guys have stepped up in a big way over the last two nights.
2.) Kevin Slowey looked great until he gave up the 4th inning homerun, and then everything sort of unraveled. Physically, he didn't look nervous -- but if I had to guess, he really was unnerved by giving up the dinger, and his concentration was probably affected. How remarkable, though, that the Sox weren't able to do anything offensively other than what they did against a presumably rattled Slowey? I heard Dick announce during the game that x-rays on Slowey's wrist were negative, so hopefully he'll be alright going forward (although of course his next start wouldn't be until, presumably, Game 3 of the ALDS, so he should have plenty of time).
3.) Nights like tonight show why the decision on who to play in the outfield will be awfully difficult next year if Cuddyer comes back fully healthy. The Twins essentially have 5 good choices for 4 positions (Young, Gomez, Span, Cuddyer, and Kubel). I'm pretty sure I'm not serious with this, but maybe the Twins should look at playing Cuddyer at third base again . . .
4.) How sweet is it to pin Bobby Jenks with his first loss of the season?
5.) The Twins caught another break when Nick Swisher was called out on strikes after clearly holding up in the 9th. Unlike last night when the Twins caught a break on the second base pickoff call that led to the winning run, I don't feel too bad for the White Sox tonight. They had a 6-1 lead and couldn't hold it. When that happens, you lose whatever right you otherwise had to gripe about the officiating.
6.) I'm staring at my television in disbelief right now, with Oregon State leading USC 21-14 with less than 10 minutes to go in this game. I still expect the Trojans to come back and win the game, but I'm rooting hard for the Beavers. My philosophy in college football is almost always to root for the underdog, and that's definitely in force here. I don't hate USC like I hate the Yankees or Manchester United, but I also don't really like them. I'd be pretty thrilled if Oregon State could take them out tonight and make the Trojans' trip to the national championship extremely difficult if not impossible.
Labels: Nightly Notes