Postgame: Nathan's going through a rough patch with Detroit
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- June 13, 2014 - 11:12 PM
A trio of leftovers from the Twins' third straight win, tying their season-high winning streak:
NATHAN'S NOT AUTOMATIC: Joe Nathan was always a true professional in dealing with the media during his years with the Twins, so it's a little bit hard to watch him find it so difficult to retire hitters now. The Twins' all-time saves leader was loudly, if briefly, booed after allowing an unearned run in the ninth inning Friday, the fifth time in his last six appearances he's been scored upon. Nathan, who turned 39 last November, wasn't helped by his defense; rookie shortstop made an error that allowed Josh Willingham to reach to open the inning. But he walked Trevor Plouffe, hit Eduardo Nunez and walked Eduardo Escober to double the Twins' one-run lead. Nathan, who signed a two-year, $20.5 million contract to be the Tigers' closer, actually reduced his ERA to below 7 (it's 6.85), but it was another discouraging outing.
THAT AWKWARD FEELING: The replay challenge system paid off for the Twins again, when Danny Santana was called out while trying to steal third base in the third inning. Ron Gardenhire appealed the call, which was overturned by umpires watching in New York. But the system remains uncomfortable for Gardenhire, who thought about challenging Oswaldo Arcia's double play that ended the sixth inning. Umpires kept the Tigers on the field as Gardenhire strolled slowly out to first base, and he killed time until word came from the dugout (and video director Sean Harlin): Arcia was out. "It felt like I was on the field all night," Gardenhire said of the awkward situation that results every time he must await word from his dugout.
EXTRA OUTS AREN'T FATAL: Kyle Gibson allowed only five hits, and three of them could have been outs. A third-inning smash by J.D. Martinez bounced off Trevor Plouffe's glove but was ruled a double. Gibson bobbled a bunt by Kevin Romine, another hit-or-error call that was awarded to the batter. And Twins center fielder Danny Santana seemed to catch up to Alex Avila's deep fly in the seventh inning, but it carried past him for another double. Add in Eduardo Nunez's misplay of a Austin Jackson grounder in the third, and that's a lot of extra outs the Twins' defense gave up. Yet Gibson made sure none of it mattered, making his second straight victory (and 15-inning scoreless streak) even more impressive.
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