Inge defeats Twins in ninth

Published: Apr 29, 2007 11:32 PM

Johan Santana wasn't at his best on Sunday against Detroit and him and Mike Maroth dueled in a game that was close all day long. Pitch count ultimately got the best of Santana and he was forced to leave after throwing 114 pitches through six innings. Home runs got the best of Santana; the two he allowed accounted for all three of the runs he allowed.

The reason for the offensive shortage was obvious--Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau combined to got 0-10. Ron Gardenhire gave Jason Bartlett his first start of the season in the #2 spot in the lineup. I like the move, but feel that it's more a result of the lack of options than it is Gardy realizing that Jason Tyner and Nick Punto don't make a formidable top of the lineup.

One managerial decision that I didn't understand was Gardy's choice to keep Jesse Crain in the game for the ninth inning. Joe Nathan hadn't pitched on Saturday and with the Twins having an off day on Monday, there's no reason that the Twins' best bullpen option needed Sunday off. Why wouldn't you bring your best option in for the ninth inning? I understand that Nathan hasn't had the best success in non-save situations, but I liked Jim Leyland's reasoning for starting both Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames, two guys who have struggled against Santana. He said, "how are they gonna learn to hit against him if they're on the bench" (paraphrased).

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Game Notes

  • Jason Bartlett hit a double in his first at bat and later added another single.
  • Jason Kubel continued to hit pretty well with a long double off the center field wall that scored two runs for the Twins.
  • Torii Hunter extended his hit streak to 15 games with a game-tying homer in the sixth off Mike Maroth.

Two out of three against Detroit isn't bad, but it's disappointing that they lost another game that Santana gave them a chance to win. They'll try to get back in the win column on Tuesday in Tampa Bay. Jeff Cirillo and Luis Castillo could both return for the Tampa series with Castillo being a bit more of a question mark.

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