Game 6: Twins 2 (5-1), White Sox 1 (1-4)
Most of the time, a baseball team wants to win games. On some days, like Saturday afternoon, you just want the starting pitcher to eat innings and to escape without any major injuries so the team can rest. Scott Baker, who struggled on Opening Night in Anaheim, did just what the Twins needed him to do, and then some. Though he had to pitch out of some self-inflicted situations, he was able to do just that and ultimately scattered five Sox hits over seven innings pitched. The bonus came because of Jason Kubel, who seemed to be one of the few batters on either team that wasn’t exhausted. Kubel’s two-run home run accounted for the only Twins runs of the game, but it was enough thanks to Baker and the bullpen.
-If Nick Punto is going to be an asset to this team, it is going to have to be with his glove. In that regard, he did very well with a couple of nice plays in the early innings – plays Harris likely doesn’t make.
-Aside from hitting home runs, the other talent of the 2010 team seems to be loading the bases with nobody out and failing to score. They got away with it twice against the Sox, meaning that they still won both games – but putting up runs in both of those situation would have made both wins a little easier.
Stars of the Game (based on WPA): 1. Jason Kubel, 2. Scott Baker, 3. Scott Linebrink
Standings through Saturday afternoon:
Min 5-1, 28-16, –
Det 4-1, 26-14, 0.5
KC 2-2, 14-20, 1.5
Cle 2-3, 14-21, 2.5
Chi 1-4, 16-16, 3.5
Sunday’s game: Nick Blackburn vs. Mark Buehrle
Edit: Here’s a link to the game story at the Strib.