The Braves hurt us, squeezing out a series at Target Field. The Rockies were next, and while we won two games to one, Ubaldo Jimenez closed the door to the point of futility. The Detroit Tigers were laughing it up against the bottom feeders of MLB, and suddenly a 4 1/2 game lead was whittled to 1 1/2 heading to a series against the Phillies, whom had just taken a series from the Yankees in New York. The Tigers were to play the Diamondbacks for yet another home series. Like Mutual of Omaha, we went to Citizen's Park to tackle the alligator while Marlon (Detroit) investigated the humming bird.
After Friday night, and the debacle of a start by Nick Blackburn, the lead was down to a 1/2 game. The baseball was flying out of Philly, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were warming up, and Kevin Slowey and Carl Pavano were to face Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay, respectively. Nothing looked good. After giving up eight runs in two innings, Slowey was gone, a 3-0 Twins lead was turned into an 8-3 deficit. The AL Central lead appeared to be slipping away for the first time in months.
And then, Minnesota decided it wanted to keep its' manhood. An incredible comeback on Saturday resutled in an extra-inning 13-10 win. Drew Butera hit a pinch homer, Manship was called up from AAA and delivered. Delmon Young was on fire. Jim Thome homered in front of his old friends, and Joe Mauer capped a five run 9th ining comeback with a rare 2010 homer. Jon Rauch got the win, after blowing a save in the 10th. The Tigers lost and suddenly the AL Central lead was safe for the weekend.
Well then, Sunday turned out even better. Halladay entered the game 8-1 lifetime vs. the Twins, but Minnesota banged out 11 hits and the win. Carl Pavano pitched a complete game, surrendering only a solo homerun to the light-hitting Valdez. What looked like a bleak run of games on the road has turned into a wake up call to arms, or a return to manhood.
And the Twins have earned their manhood back.