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: Doumit, Morneau v Thornton, Herrmann

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 15, 2012 - 11:01 PM

Three things after the Twins drop a 5-3 decision to the White Sox:

1. Doumit tries to play: Ryan Doumit has been bothered by an oblique muscle strain but tried to talk his way into the starting lineup on Saturday. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire put a stop to that, knowing that injury can be a nagging one. "Doumit and I had a long conversation about how ready he is," Gardenhire said, "He actually wanted to play today. Right-handed, he swings fine but left-handed he's still feels it if he lets it go. He says he can control it but, as long as I've been doing this, when you get in the game, adrenalin takes over." Doumit suffered the injury during Tuesday's game.

2. Big moment: It's a crummy season and the atmosphere has been non-existent at times this month. But the announced crowd of 36,308 (there were no-shows) was on its feet and fired up in the ninth when Justin Morneau batted with the bases loaded and the Twins down 5-2. White Sox manager Robin Ventura brought in lefty Matt Thornton, who has held Morneau to no home runs and a .172 batting average through the years. "I’ve seen Morneau more than my fair share in my career more than I’d like to," Thornton said. "That situation comes up that’s a heck of a jam. I felt pretty good going in there facing him, trying to make a pitch and either get a strike out or get a ground ball. Thornton threw five 94-mile an hour fastballs, Morneau swung and missed two, took two for balls, then grounded into a double play, as a run scored. "We had the right part of the lineup up there, the guys that are supposed to drive in the ball. Mourny is going really well for us, and got some big hits for us, but you’re facing a really good pitcher out there (Thornton) who throws really hard with a great angle. It was a good matchup; he got him today.”

 3. Herrmann is here: Had a chance to talk to Chris Herrmann, who was called up as catching insurance. Hermann batted .276 with 10 home runs and 61 RBI at Class AA New Britain. He was in Fort Myers when he got the call. He's working out there until it's time to go to Arizona Fall League. "It was at like 12:30 at night and I kind of missed the call and I had to call Terry Ryan back," he said. "I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know I had gotten in trouble or had been traded or what. He said they need me up here. I told them I was ready to go." Gardy is determined to play Hermann, but not against playoff contenders like Chicago. Look for Herrmann to get a shot during the series in Cleveland next week.
 

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