Nightly Notes: Game #158
1.) Nick Blackburn's 5 inning, 2 run, 8 hit and 2 walk performance was hardly a thing of beauty -- but it also wasn't an unmitigated disaster like the Twins were getting from their starters last week. Over the past few years, this would have left me more than satisfied, because the bullpen was always one of the team's biggest strengths. Tonight, I have to admit that I was nervous turning the game over to the pen with just a one run lead. But . . .
2.) There's nothing I can say about the performance of Craig Breslow, Boof Bonser, Jose Mijares, and Joe Nathan that wouldn't just be a string of superlatives. Particular kudos go to Breslow, who hasn't allowed an earned run since August 28 (he did allow two unearned runs on September 19) and who now has an ERA of 1.97 on the season, and also to Jose Mijares, who I'd say just locked up a spot on the post-season roster (should the Twins be so lucky as to NEED a post-season roster) with his performance in the 8th inning.
3.) There were not as many offensive heroes tonight as there were last night, but Delmon Young deserves to be singled out even though he didn't account for any runs. Young went 3-for-4 tonight, and has been on a relative tear since his last hitless night (back on September 14). His batting average is now as high as it's been since July 22, and my conclusion that his season had to be viewed as a disappointment now looks rather premature. If he can hit .295 or so again next season while picking up his power numbers a bit (say 20 homers), I would be quite thrilled with him.
4.) My not-so-fearless prediction: if the Twins win tomorrow's game, they will win the division. If they lose, Chicago will win the division.
5.) I was hoping the Twins would get a few extra runs to take away the taint of what appeared to be a bad call in the second when the Twins caught a break on the pick-off at second. I didn't get a close look at the replay, but what I did see suggested that the Twins were the beneficiaries of a blown call. If I remember correctly, that runner went on to score what would be the winning run. I'm sure the White Sox have been on the plus side of a few calls over the course of the season as well, but of course everything comes into sharper focus at this time of year. Either way, a win is a win and I'll take it. I absolutely cannot wait until tomorrow night!
Labels: Nightly Notes