ADVERTISEMENT

It was rarer than you think

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • April 6, 2011 - 4:03 PM

Coming back from a 4-0 deficit in the eighth inning to beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. Rare, right?

I'm not sure any of realized just how rare it really was.

The Twins provided this nugget today on the comeback: The last time the Twins came back from a four-run deficit against the Yankees to win a game was on May 5, 1997, when they trailed, 5-1, after four innings.

They won that game, 9-8. Before Tuesday night, the Twins had never (since they became the Twins in 1961) come back from four or more runs behind in the eighth inning to win a game against the Yankees.

The last time it happened in franchise history was August 18, 1953, when the Washington Senators trailed the Yankees by seven runs entering the eighth and won, 10-8, in New York.

------------------------------

I know fans go crazy whenever Joe Mauer sits.

Let's take the long view here. He needs rest. He's an oversized catcher with a history of leg problems and injuries who perfoms his best offensively whe he's fresh. It makes sense to rest him occasionally, and the fact that Carl Pavano can't seem to stand seeing Mauer behind the plate makes it easy for manager Ron Gardenhire to rest Mauer when Pavano pitches, which is the case tonight.

But when Mauer is hitting .419 against a pitcher, as he is against Freddy Garcia, shouldn't he DH? The Twins are using Jason Kubel as their DH tonight, with Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer playing the corner outfield positions.

Cuddyer is hitting .242 with no homers against Gracia. Kubel is hitting .636. I'd rather see Mauer as the DH and Kubel in rightfield, with Cuddyer getting a night off.

When we asked Gardenhire about the decision, he said something interesting, something that, if you read between the lines, may be an indication that Mauer himself would rather rest than play on certain days.

Gardenhire isn't about to blame Mauer for wanting days off. His answer:

``Well, I'm like everybody else,'' Gardenhire said. ``I'd love to have Mauer playing all the time. I'm no different than any fan out there, sitting in your rocking chair or your arm chair, saying, ``I want mauer in the lineup all the time.' Believe me, I like that, too.

``But catchers need days, and this is a great opportunity to give him one, at least, a week, with Pavano pitching. Then to say, `DH him,' well, that's not really a day off, because he hits more than most peopole and he runs around the bases. It's about his legs,a nd giving him a day off is to keep him off the field.''

How do they decide when Mauer will rest? ``I always check with him every day,'' Gardenhire said. ``If he gives me one of these, `Let me get up and move around and see how I do,’ then I pretty much know he’s sore and he’s going to have to work his way through it.''

 I'm like those fans. I'd love to see Mauer in the lineup tonight. I think he should be in the lineup tonight.

But the default position among many vocal fans is to blame Gardenhire every time he rests a player. In many cases, those players have proven in the past that they need rest to be effective over the course of a long season. Or, in Mauer's case, the player has indicated to the manager that he wants or needs a day off.

Should the manager force the player to play? In a perfect world, or a theoretical world, sure. That's just not the way modern sports work, though. If Mauer had walked into Gardenhire's office this afternoon and demanded to play, I'm sure he'd be the DH tonight.

--------------------------------------

Gorgeous day in New York today. I got away from the tourist areas and took the subway to the meat-packing district, then walked over to Union Square.

Right now, it's cloudy and threatening. There is a chance of rain tonight, although I'm sure the game will be played.

-------------------------------------

The middle of the Yankees' lineup is frightening, but this is a team with serious holes.

Freddy Garcia in the rotation? Phil Hughes struggling to find velocity? Jorge Posada as a full-time DH? A.J. Burnett looking as erratic as ever?

I think the Yankees will be very good this year. I believe that because they are bound to trade for a starting pitcher to combine with C.C. Sabathia at the top of the rotation.

I'm tweeting from Yankee Stadium at @Souhanstrib.

 

© 2014 Star Tribune