Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Good Enough to Win

It was interesting to listen to Ron Gardenhire after Monday’s 4-2 win. He was OK with Boof Bonser’s performance -- five innings, two runs, in and out of trouble every inning -- but not really satisfied. He liked that Alexi Casilla cut down his swing, as instructed, and hit the ball on the ground in his first at-bat, collecting a base hit. But he wasn’t particularly happy that Casilla’s swing got longer as the night went on, and he popped the ball up in his next two left-handed at-bats.

Both outings were acceptable, mostly because the Twins won the game, 4-2. You got the feeling that his patience might not be so abundant if things had gone poorly.

Glen Perkins was activated before Tuesday’s game, as expected. He says he’s fine and looks forward to facing a few left-handed hitters. Gardenhire sounds a little reluctant to put him in Dennys Reyes’ old role as a one- or two-batter specialist, seeing him as a two- or three-inning guy. But I wonder if that opinion will change when Jim Thome or David Ortiz comes to the plate in the eighth inning some night.

Luis Rodriguez is in the lineup, not because of any particular matchup problem for Brian Buscher -- though Gardenhire said Rodriguez (and Jason Tyner, playing instead of Garrett Jones) might be better able to handle Kyle Davies’ cut fastball -- but just because he intends to play everybody in September.

Tonight’s lineups:

Bartlett ss
Kubel dh
Mauer c
Hunter cf
Morneau 1b
Cuddyer rf
Tyner lf
Rodriguez 3b
Casilla 2b

Baker p

DeJesus cf
Grudzielanek 2b
Teahen rf
Sweeney dh
Gordon 3b
Butler 1b
Gathright lf
LaRue c
Pena ss

Davies p