Monday, May 25, 2009

Mmmmmmm, Cheese

Twins 11, Brewers 3
Twins 6, Brewers 2
Twins 6, Brewers 3

After a discouraging 1-6 road trip, it's nice to come back to home, sweet Dome. The Brewers hadn't lost a series in weeks, but were easily taken apart by the Twins' offensive juggernaut. Led by Joe Mauer (5-8, 2 HR, 3 BB, 5 RBI), Justin Morneau (6-10, 3B, HR, 7 RBI), Michael Cuddyer (5-11, 3B, HR, 2 BB, 5 RBI) and Joe Crede (4-10, 2 HR, 3 RBI), the middle of the order didn't miss a beat despite losing Jason Kubel to a swollen knee for the series. Cuddyer thrillingly gave the Twins their second cycle of the season, Morneau capped the series with the Twins' 4th grand slam of the year, and Mauer surpassed his HR production from all of 2008 in just his 22nd game.

Even better than the continuing onslaught from the hitters was the performance of the Twins' starting pitching. Kevin Slowey lasted into the 8th inning, Scott Baker lasted into the ninth, and Anthony Swarzak completed seven shutout innings. It was a most auspicious major league debut for Swarzak, who has been pitching very well ever since being promoted to Rochester. With Glen Perkins struggling in his outings prior to being placed on the DL, I wouldn't be so hasty about sending Swarzak to the bullpen when Perkins returns. We'll see how the next couple of starts go, but Swarzak has a higher upside than Perkins, who could actually do the Twins a lot of good as a middle reliever.

Now, bring on the Red Sox. I've been hoping for weeks that the Twins would get another chance at Brad Penny. He was lucky that they didn't destroy him in the 2nd half of that double-header in April - so many balls were hit hard and to the deepest parts of Fenway Park. The way the Twins are swinging right now, they're going to tear Penny apart if he brings the same stuff he had on that day.

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