Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twins Have Their Phil Of Yankees

The Minnesota Twins have been perennial contenders in the AL Central for more than a decade, but this year has been a complete disaster. Injuries, sub-par performance...basically anything that can go wrong has for Minnesota in 2011 has gone wrong. It can't help their psyche any to be facing the Yankees right now considering the beat down the New Yorkers have constantly put on the state whose politicians have ranged from Jesse Ventura to Al Franken to Michelle Bachmann (nutty, nuttier, nuttiest?).

The Yankees pounded Kevin Slowey and the Twins Friday night 8-1 to take the first two games of the four game set. The Twins will have a chance to add to A.J. Burnett's misery on Saturday, but there are no guarantees, except for tough times, for the Twins. (Who I picked to win the division)

Last night's game was about the battery of Phil Hughes and catcher Russell Martin. Hughes was at his best and has gotten stronger in each of his most recent outings since he returned from a long stint on the DL with a strained shoulder. After he gave up a solo home run to Trevor Plouffe (what a great name) in the 1st inning, Hughes kept the Twins hitless until the non-related Luke Hughes singled in the 8th.

Hughes had a lively fastball with movement and 70 of his 106 pitches were for strikes., and went the deepest he had into a ballgame all year. In his last four starts Hughes has allowed six earned runs in 25.2 innings (2.10 ERA) and has limited opponents to 18 hits. Half of those came in one outing against the A's.

Martin helped his buddy out by homering off of Slowey in the 3rd and 6th innings. He smacked a hanging breaking ball into the left field seats to tie the game at 1-1 and then with a man aboard turned on a fastball for his 15th home run of the season. Martin, who also homered in his last appearance on Thursday, hit a combined 12 home runs his last two seasons in LA. Both players were complimentary of each other's performance after the game when speaking with reporters. And Hughes has put his arm back in the race for a top three playoff start.


Mark Teixeira knocked in three runs and reached 1,000 RBI in his career.

Thanks to @yestoresearch for answering my question, "Who was the last Yankees catcher, if any, to hit three home runs in a single game?" The answer - Mike Stanley in 1995 and Bill Dickey in 1936 were the Yankees catchers to perform the feat.

Derek Jeter had two more hits to raise his average to .292.

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