La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Postgame: Gardy's mess, Houston's mess, Russo's mess

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 3, 2013 - 1:27 AM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 4-3, 13-inning win over the Astros

1. GARDY CREATES MESS: Kevin Correia ended up getting a key bunt down in the 13th inning on Friday, but the fact that the Twins had to use a pitcher in that situation was due to Gardy's moves in the ninth inning. Chris Colabello walked and was replaced by pinch runner Doug Bernier, who remained in the game at short. ``I should have pinch ran Carroll to leave Bernie for the other spot,'' Gardenhire said, ``but I pinch ran Bernie because he was a little faster. And I ended up getting myself in a pickle. I got back to my old National League b.s. and I started flipping things because Houston, when I was there, was always N.L. league team, so my mind was thinking (that) and the next you know I was like, `what the hell did you do that for?' It became entertaining because Pelfrey had to put his contacts in, they all had to put their spikes on.'' Kyle Gibson was throwing soft toss to Mike Pelfrey behind the dugout - and Gibson is pitching on Saturday. ``I'm glad we won the game.'' Gardenhire said. He should be because he put himself in that situation. What I concluded was that Gardy either didn't want Carroll in the field at all on Friday of just didn't want him at shortstop. Carroll ended up pinch hitting in the 11th inning and was out of the game. If Carroll pinch runs for Colabello instead of Bernier, Bernier goes in at short after Chris Herrmann bats in the ninth. The Twins are still out of players but they still have the DH spot. Should Gardy take heat for this? A little, but remember that extra innings are tough to navigate with a three-man bench. And better hitters in the first place would have helped avoid this extra-inning mess.

2. HOUSTON IN A PICKLE: The Astros used lefthander Dallas Keuchel in the 13th inning - he was scheduled to start on Sunday. Indications are that the Astros will make a roster move tomorrow to get another pitcher to start on Sunday.


3. RUSSO BANNED FROM PRESSBOX: He didn't nail his prediction, but hockey writer Mike Russo was close enough that he should be banned from Target Field for his performance on Friday. Russo visited (as we beat writers have been known to do) and it was great to see him. Until the sixth inning when he says: ``This game is going 15 innings.'' I immediately give him the death stare. That's high on the list of things to never say in the pressbox, next to: ``Wow, this game is moving pretty quickly.'' So when the Twins tied it in the eighth, you knew the Astros were scoring in the ninth. And the Twins were going to tie and we were going to be trapped in an extra-inning game. Thanks a lot, Mike!!!
(jk!)

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