It must be some kind of moral victory, stringing together four straight two out hits against ace Johan Santana. Unfortunately, that was all the Royals could muster tonight.
• I was really looking forward to the game, but for purely perverse reasons. I figured Santana would dominate the Royals. For the most part he did just that. Throw out his brain freeze in the third and he was awesome. He retired eight in a row to start the game, and after Mike Sweeney’s home run he dusted off nine in a row. For the game he recorded 10 strikeouts against no walks. And yet, the Royals almost won this game. Weird.
• Santana deserves another bullet point. For the season he has 37 strikeouts and 2 walks and is averaging above 13 strikeouts per 9 innings. I feel lucky we struck out only 10 times tonight. And I would have been shocked if we had drawn a walk.
• Lima-Time pitched OK, but he’s turning into this year’s version of Brian Anderson. The opposition is hitting .326 against him. He is not mixing speed and location at all and his breaking stuff has absolutely zero bite. His slider tonight was just rolling in there, begging to be smashed. In fact, Jacque Jones did just that when he clobbered a flat, 84 MPH slider to put the Twins up 3-0 in the third. Guy Hansen, it’s time to earn your money.
• We’re getting close to having to put out an APB on Calvin Pickering. Poor guy. I really didn’t expect him to be in the lineup tonight with Santana on the hill. And we probably won’t see him tomorrow either when the Twins send another lefty, rookie Dave Gassner, to pitch. At least the White Sox plan on throwing some right-handers over the weekend.
• After writing kind words about the bullpen, they fail to hold the lead tonight. They have been abysmal this season preventing inherited runners to score. After tonight’s loss, they have allowed 17 of 34 to reach home. The only reliever to have stranded all of his inherited runners? Andy Sisco. I hope our Rule V guy turns out like the Twins Rule V guy.
• Apparently the air conditioning was on: