Friday, June 1, 2007

You Saw a No-Hitter

I realized the Twins’ bullpen was good, but I guess I didn’t realize it was this good. I mean, the seven guys out there right now have combined to throw a bullpen no-hitter -- 11 1/3 consecutive innings without a hit, dating back to last Saturday -- and nobody seems particularly impressed in the Minnesota clubhouse.

“It just means we’re doing our jobs, that’s all,” said Pat Neshek. “I don’t feel like we’re on a real hot streak or anything -- everyone is just going pretty good, and when that happens, you get outs.”

Sure, but this is a staff that’s missing three pretty good pitchers -- Jesse Crain, Dennys Reyes and Glen Perkins -- and hasn’t so much as given up a seven-hopper up the middle.

Ron Gardenhire doesn’t even think the no-hit streak has as much to do with his relievers as with his starters. “The arms are there. It’s a matter of using them properly, not overworking them,” he said. “It all starts with the starters -- if they’re going deep in games, we can use the bullpen so they can be most effective.”

To say the least, eh?

Anyway, tonight’s lineups don’t include ex-Twin Shannon Stewart, who is getting a night off.

-- Phil Miller in Oakland

Castillo 2b
Cirillo dh
Cuddyer rf
Morneau dh
Hunter cf
Redmond c
Ford lf
Punto 3b
Bartlett ss

Slowey p

Buck lf
Swisher 1b
Bradley rf
Johnson dh
Chavez 3b
Crosby ss
Kotsay cf
Scutaro 2b
Kendall c

Kennedy p