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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Yohan, Mauer, Muchlinski/Wegner

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 20, 2014 - 9:34 AM

Here are three Twins thoughts following their 4-2 win over the White Sox

YOHAN PINO: The way he was described to me, Pino didn't throw hard. And he doesn't. But he hit 91 a few times on Friday. And when he's mixing in his curveball and other pitches, his fastball can be more effective. I knew he was crafty when he opened up with curveballs to Jose Abreu and the Adam Dunn in their first at-bats. And Pino kept throwing that hook. ``It looks like he can throw that curveball for a strike any time he wants to.''

JOE MAUER: Mauer was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI to help the Twins' cause on Thursday - his first multi-RBI game since May 3 and just his third game all season with multiple RBI's. And he hit the ball hard in three of his four trips to the plate on Thursday. I'm not ready to call a Mauer surge here, but his bat looked a little quicker on Thursday, like he's been working on shortening his swing.

MIKE MUCHLINSKI: The home plate umpire was hit in the facemask by a foul ball off of Alexei Ramirez's bat in the fourth. He finished the inning, but came out of the game and was replaced by Mark Wegner, the Cretin-Derham Hall grad. Wegner is not well-liked  by the White Sox. Wegner ejected Jose Quintana - who, ironically - was pitching Thursday - for throwing behind Ben Zobrist in a 2012 game. Hawk Harrelson melted down on air about Wegner. No incidents on Thursday, though.

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