Ron Gardenhire didn't even ask Oswaldo Arcia about his knee on Friday. He saw all he needed to see from Arcia on Thursday, even though the left-handed outfielder struck out to end the game.
"I just stuck him back in there," the Twins' manager said about his lineup tonight against Cleveland's Corey Kluber. "They said he swung good in the cage, felt good in [batting practice]. So I said absolutely, DH him."
Arcia will bat cleanup tonight as the Twins try once more to mess up the Indians' postseason plans. The Indians lead Texas by one game for the second wild-card spot, and trail Tampa Bay by one game for the first one. Remember, postseason berths must be won on the field, not by tiebreakers, so if there is a tie for the final spot, there will be a one-game playoff on Monday, in order to get into Tuesday's one-game playoff.
Arcia had a chance to deal Cleveland a setback last night, facing Bryan Shaw with two outs and two runners on base, down 6-5. But he swung and missed at strike three from the side-armer.
"He's been my best pinch-hitter, really. He was ready; just didn't get the guy," Gardenhire said. "He was definitely the guy I wanted up there. I wanted him to hit a double and win the game."
The Twins are taking what's likely to be their final session of batting practice of the season right now. Tomorrow's game starts at noon, and Sunday is the season finale, so they're not likely to hit either day. I wonder how many of the guys out there now will be on the field the next time the Twins take BP in Target Field.
Here are tonight's lineups: