Friday, September 29, 2006
Good Morning! I am going to split the day today. I got home later than anticipated last night, so I did not stay up to write. So, first this morning, I am going to talk a little bit about the Twins game last night, and the fact that after being 12 games behind less than two months ago, the Twins are now tied with the Tigers for first place with just three games to go. Later this morning, I will be posting the NFL "Expert" Picks. Finally, I am going to try something different with the Top 10 Twins prospects. Throughout the day, I will post one or two new prospects. I will likely start with the #10 prospect, and then a little later, I will post the #9 prospect and so on until we reach the #1 Twins prospect. So, again, Good morning! And I hope you enjoy the day!
So, what is the bigger story from the Twins win last night? Is it the fact that, coupled with the Detroit Tigers 8-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Twins are tied for first in the division? There are just three games left for both teams. The Twins start their three game season finale with the Chicago White Sox tonight. The Tigers will be playing three games against the Kansas City Royals. The key to this division championship is that the Twins will need to make up one more game to claim the division. You see, if the two teams are tied after 162 games, the Tigers would be the division winner because they won the season series with the Twins. So, if the Twins want to win the division, they will need some help from the Royals!
Or, since the Twins are really in the playoffs no matter what, was the bigger story the return of Brad Radke? Personally, I think that this is one of the great stories of the year. After not pitching for a month because of not only a torn labrum but also a fractured shoulder, Radke returned to the mound for the Twins last night. He started, which alone is the story. He also threw 57 pitches over five innings, allowing only an unearned run on three hits and two walks. In other words, he threw well. First, I think it is just an incredible story and is an inspiration to the rest of the team. Second, maybe he will be ready to pitch in Game 3 of the playoffs as hoped! I've always been a big Radke fan, but this just cements his place, in my mind, as a Twins hero, and someone who should be honored by the team!
Next, Pat Neshek came in and struck out three in two shutout innings of relief. Jesse Crain and Dennys Reyes split the 8th frame. Juan Rincon gave up a hit and two walks in the 9th, but did not allow a run. Joe Nathan gave up a hit and a walk in the 10th, but he got out of it unscathed and ended up with the win and a 7-0 record.
Maybe the story came with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. The Twins were down 1-0 and had just four hits on the night. Royals closer Joe Nelson, who hadn't blown a save opportunity yet, was on the mound. Joe Mauer, leading the AL in batting average this year but still sometimes criticized for not hitting more home runs, came up with a big one. His 13th homer of the season tied the game at one a piece and sent it to extra frames. There, Jason Bartlett singled over David DeJesus's head to drive in the winning run from third.
Again, I was in the airport or on a plane for most of the game, so I missed it all. I can only imagine what would have happened had I watched it. How would have I reacted to seeing Radke come back? How did the crowd at the game respond? Was there the biggest standing ovation for him? How loud did the place get when Mauer's home run cleared the fence, or when Bartlett won the game?
I love September baseball! I love that Alexi Casilla finally got to make a start, and he was able to record his first big league hit. He also participated in the turning of four double plays. That's a great story too!
This whole season has been full of incredible and wonderful stories. I am sure we can recount several of them with little thought. Who knows? There may be several more incredible stories waiting ahead in this three game series with the White Sox! And once you get to the playoffs, it is all about stories!
Let's just enjoy the ride!!
Any thoughts, e-mail me, or leave some Comments below!
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