It was another wild week for the Minnesota Twins. We saw it all, in Francisco Liriano's return to the majors after nineteen rough months of rehabilitation, Livan Hernandez pitching like the second coming of Johan Santana, and Nick Punto leading the team in batting average.
After a rough start to the week, a 7 to 4 loss to the Chicago White Sox in which Pat Neshek gave up a 8th inning grand slam to Joe Crede, things picked up for our favorite major league baseball team. A 12 to 5 win on Wednesday night in which Brian Bass picked up a four-inning save was the highlight of the week, since the Twins had not scored too many runs up until that point.
The next game in Chicago was rained out on Thursday, so Livan Hernandez's start was pushed back to Friday in Kansas City. And the man was absolutely flawless. He gave up seven hits, no runs, and walked one, and the Twins won 5 to 0. They racked up another shutout the next night as well, with Boof Bonser picking up the win and trusty old Joe Nathan picking up the save.
On Sunday, the golden boy returned.
Francisco Liriano, arguably the team's best pitcher in 2006, missed all of last season with Tommy John surgery. He made his first start in nineteen months. However, he was quite wild. And rusty. He walked five and gave up four earned runs in 4 2.3 innings, as he took the loss in a 5 to 1 game.
Bright Spot(s) of the week: Livan Hernandez and Boof Bonser.
Pitched back to back shutouts on Friday and Saturday against Kansas City, leading to two straight victories. Honorable mentions: Justin Morneau breaking out of his slump, Nick Blackburn, Brian Bass, Jason Kubel.
Gloomy Spot(s) of the week: Joe Mauer.
Had a couple of good games, but is slumping overall. .250 won't cut it much longer... or will it, since fans treat him like the second coming of Jesus? Honorable mentions: Francisco Liriano's control, Craig Monroe.