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: Willingham, Hendriks, Florimon

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 24, 2012 - 11:33 PM

Three things after the Twins 6-3 loss to the Yankees - and a defining moment in refereeing during the Packers loss to Seahawks.

1. Willingham's shoulder: You have to wonder what the status of Josh Willingham's shoulder is if the Twins decide to make a date with the MRI machine. Willingham hurt himself when he jumped at the wall, in vain, to catch Eric Chavez's home run in the seventh inning.  With eight games left and 35 home runs in the bank, he's a long ball spree away from reaching the 40-home run mark.

2. Lessons learned: You hope Liam Hendriks learns what happens when you leave too many balls over the plate. There were stretches on Monday when he looked up to the task of controlling the Yankees offense. Then he would lay one over the plate. "I can take away some positives from tonight and hopefully finish on a high note," he said. Both pitching coach Rick Anderson and catcher Ryan Doumit told him he made several quality pitches on Monday.

3. Florimon's homer. There might be another baseball rescue effort at Target Field on Tuesday. Pedro Florimon's first major league home run landed in the flowers above the right field wall. After fans went nuts on the plants - even pulling entire pots out of flower box - no one could find the ball. There were discussions after the game about lowering a worker into the flowers in search of the milestone home run.

 

BATTING TITLE BATTLE

Joe Mauer: 1-for-4 on Monday, batting .322 on the season

Miguel Cabrera: 1-for-5 on Monday, batting .331 on the season

Derek Jeter: 1-for-3 on Monday, batting .322 on the season.

Mike Trout: Off Monday. Batting .323 on the season

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