Minnesota Twins: Good News in Week One

Andrew KneelandSenior Writer IApril 8, 2008

Normally, I am one to dwell on the negative of any Minnesota sport. I tend to scream, pout, and hide when anything really bad happens. That's why I've adopted a new approach this week.

We'll forget about the negatives.

That's right, from now on this weekly piece will discuss positives only. You and I can get our fill of negative news from other writers, other broadcasters, or ESPN.

I can count four specific things that the Twins accomplished this week. Let's begin.

1. Justin Morneau Smells the Daylight

Yes, he's awake now. Finally. After starting the season on a hitless streak that lasted the entire series with the Angels, Morneau has woken up and has just padded back from the bathroom. He's ready to go.

After his horrendous opening series against the Angels, Morneau has gone five for twelve with two home runs and a double. He has a total of six RBI.

Morneau has maintained the fourth spot in the lineup basically all season, despite the loss of Michael Cuddyer to the DL. Nevertheless, he will need to step it up a notch to make up for Cuddyer.

2. Surprise! Matt Tolbert is a Good Baseball Player!

I'm going to be honest. After I found out that Adam Everett had come down with the flu last week, I was horrified that Ron Gardenhire would use this as an excuse to squeeze Nick Punto into the lineup. 

This wasn't the case, as Matt Tolbert found himself in the lineup for all three of the weekend games. How did he do? You be the judge.

He had five hits from ten at-bats, and played stellar defense. Maybe Gardenhire is really getting over his love for Nick Punto.

Nah, it couldn't be.

3. Starting Pitchers Going Deep into the Game 

You've heard the old saying, "defense wins championships." Well, solid starting pitching doesn't hurt, either. 

One of the top fantasy baseball sleepers so far this year is Livan Hernandez (only 11 percent of ESPN fantasy owners have him). He is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA. He has only three total strikeouts, but he is getting the job done and managing his pitch count well.

Scott Baker and Boof Bonser are also going deep into the game. They might be giving up three or four runs in seven innings, but any team can hit four or five runs, right? Not the Twinkies.

Oh, my bad. No negatives allowed.

4. The Bullpen is (Almost) Perfect 

Okay, let's just forget about Monday night's crazy game in which side-armer Pat Neshek gave up a grand slam to blow open the game. 

Besides that, the bullpen has been flawless. Not only have they not given up any runs at all (let's also forget about Brian Bass and the game the Twins lost to the Angels 9-1), they have placed the game into the hands of the batters.

While that may not be the smartest thing to do on this team, it's certainly what they are paid for.


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