A game with too many twists and turns for even Quentin Tarantino, the Minnesota Twins survived and eventually prevailed, 6 – 5, over the Detroit Tigers to win the AL Central and a trip to the playoffs where they hope not to be cannon fodder for the New York Yankees.
You had Miguel Cabrera, he of the scars and bruises, hitting a mammoth two-run homer to put the Tigers in front 3 – 0. The Twins rallied back, however, to take a 4 – 3 lead on an Orlando Cabrera blast. Has Orlando Cabrera had the greatest three week run of his life??? Then, another disappointing Tiger, Magglio Ordonez ties the game with a homer of his own – something that had been missing from his 2009 season. You had Joe Nathan getting out of a ninth inning jam by allowing a crushing liner that shortstop Nick Punto nabbed and turned into a inning ending doubleplay. The Tigers got the lead in the tenth, but the Twins got a stadium boosted triple from Michael Cuddyer and a seeing-eye single to tie the score. Alexi Casilla looked to be in place to score the winning run in the tenth, but he was gunned down by Ryan Rayburn on an inning-ending double play, erasing a potential sacrifice fly that would have won the game. Then, the Tigers got runners to second and third in the top of the 12th inning, eventually loading the bases with just one out – and STILL couldn’t score. Of course, the Twins got a break, too – a Bobby Keppel pitch grazed Brandon Inge and hit his jersey, but the ump didn’t award Inge a HBP – which would have scored a run and possibly created an explosion of runs. However, Inge grounded into a force play. At one point in the top of the twelfth, Chip Caray noted, “If the Twins get out of this inning, they truly are the team of destiny…” – and the Twins got out of that inning. Finally, Casilla knocked in Chris Gomez with a bounder to right scoring the winning run in the bottom of the twelfth to win it.
Today, you have Philadelphia hosting Colorado, Minnesota visits New York, and the Dodgers hosting the Cardinals to open the playoffs. The Angels host Boston tomorrow night.
Yankee catcher Jorge Posada won’t catch A.J. Burnett – it’ll be Jose Molina. Burnett has pitched better with Molina behind the plate, but Posada still feels snubbed. [ESPN]
Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa won’t pitch against Philadelphia, nursing a sore groin. [ESPN]
Phillies reliever J.C. Romero will have surgery on a flexor tendon in his throwing forearm and is out four to six months. [ESPN]
Fredi Gonzalez will keep his job managing the Marlins, despite interviews of Bobby Valentine. Pitching coach Mark Wiley, however, will get another role in the organization.
Major League owners approved the sale of the Chicago Cubs to Tom Ricketts and family for a cool $845 million. The Tribune Company paid $20.5 million to buy it from the Wrigley family back in 1981.
In addition to picking up Freddy Garcia’s option, the White Sox picked up the option on reliever Scott Thornton, who had been solid as a setup man in 2009.
Agree or Disagree? Kevin Blackistone believes that Curt Flood belongs in the Hall of Fame for his contributions beyond those on the field – such as challenging the reserve clause when traded from the Cardinals to the Phillies. I’m not sure he deserves a plaque, or that the Hall of Fame is a place for this, but Flood’s role in emancipating players was certainly immense.
Happy Birthday! Evan Longoria turns 24 today. The future is bright, indeed! Others with birthdays today include: Moses Fleetwood Walker, a black catcher in the majors before Cap Anson and others wouldn’t play against him establishing the color line (1856), Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (1904), Frankie Baumholtz (1918), Charlie Fox (1921), Grady Hatton (1922), Jose Cardenal (1943), Rudy Law (1956), Milt Cuyler (1968).
My grandmother used to be a huge Jose Cardenal fan (as was I). She liked that when he ran his hat always fell off – I mean, he had a big head of hair!!! Me – I loved that he was a bit of a hot dog, but for a couple of years in Chicago, he hit and ran and kept Jack Brickhouse smiling.