White Sox Good, Bad, & Indifferent: Twins 12, White Sox 5
Nick Swisher—Yes, he did hit a solo home run today, but this one's mainly for his defense and overall attitude. Swisher made an absolutely spectacular catch in the second inning going back to his right, taking away a sure extra-base hit.
After Paul Konerko hit a home run to make the score 7-2, Swisher was seen cheering his teammates on from atop the dugout steps, trying to get a rally going.
Also, please no "I wish we had Rowand back" comments now that I posted that because, well, Swisher is a better ballplayer than Rowand will ever be.
Matt Thornton—Pitching in a mop-up role, Thornton looked very good, throwing two innings, allowing no hits and one walk, and striking out four.
While it didn't mattter—all he did was keep the Sox within two grand slams—it was a good sign seeing as Thornton has had his fair share of struggles from last year to the start of this year.
John Danks—This was a typical Twins/White Sox game, and Danks was on the wrong end of it.
He wasn't throwing strikes and consistently fell behind in the count, but, in typical Twins fashion, he wasn't hit hard. The Twins just made a lot of contact and found the holes for their softly-hit singles.
It's really a genius approach the Twins had. They didn't swing out of their shoes and frustrated the heck out of Danks, who only lasted 2.1 innings, allowing seven hits, three walks, and six runs.
These are the kind of games that, as a fan, you just want to punch or kick something. If the Twins were lacing out line drives, I wouldn't be as mad—but when you feel like most of the reason you're losing 7-0 is pure luck, it really ticks you off. Of the nine hits they had in the first three innings, maybe three were hit hard.
Nick Masset—After coming in for Danks in the third inning, Masset allowed two inherited runners to score but then kept the Sox in the game until the top of the sixth.
Masset looked really good in the fourth and fifth innings as the Sox began to chip away at the Twins lead, cutting the score to 7-3 going into the top of the sixth.
That's when the wheels came off. Masset gave up a double to Brendan Harris, who moved to third on a groundout by Joe Mauer. He then intentionally walked Justin Morneau to get to Delmon Young, who quickly fell behind in the count.
However, instead of going right after Young, Masset ended up walking him to get to noted Sox-killer Jason Kubel, who promptly nailed a grand slam to put Minnesota up 11-3.
The Twins added another run when Craig Monroe and Mike Lamb hit back-to-back doubles, pushing the score to 12-3.
If Masset goes after Young and gets the out, who knows what direction this game would have gone in? The Sox had some momentum working in their favor and looked like they were going to get into Minnesota's bullpen down four with four innings to go.
Jim Thome—Thome's in a classic "Jim Thome cold spell" right now. He's not staying on anything, which is leading him to strike out or pop out a whole lot.
The Sox are just going to have to ride this out—it shouldn't last for that much longer. All it might take is one good ball that Thome squares up and hits well for him to break out of it.
The offense—I'd like to put the offense in the "bad" column because they scored three of their four runs on solo homers, but Scott Baker was pitching very well for the Twins, but, like Nick Blackburn on Monday, he was forced out of the game by this patient White Sox lineup.
They chipped away at the lead with the solo home runs and looked like they could make a game of it after they picked up their third run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, but Masset ended up blowing it and putting the game out of reach.
The lineup did have a few opportunities that they were unable to capitalize on, but I'm not completely disappointed in their performance. I'm more disappointed in the pitching.
Mike MacDougal—So he threw a scoreless inning. Big whoop, wanna fight about it (with apologies to Seth MacFarlane)?
Wake me when MacDougal throws a scoreless inning in a pressure situation.
Actually, I don't want to see that when guys like Scott Linebrink, Boone Logan, and Octavio Dotel are still on the team.
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