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: Captain Chaos, Herrmanndous, Duensing

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 24, 2013 - 1:34 AM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 5-1 win over Cleveland

1. SAMUEL THE ENTERTAINER: I love watching Deduno pitch because you know there's going to be chaos, you're not sure what kind of chaos will take place but then you wonder how Deduno will emerge from the chaos. Sometimes he hits batters. Sometimes he balks. On Friday, he uncorked two wild pitches in the first inning and gave up a run. He walked four batters on the night but then held Cleveland to three singles. He eventially got locked in at one point, striking out four straight batters at one point. That's entertainment. And it comes after he mentioned shoulder pain after his previous start. He gave credit to the training staff for working on his shoulder this week to help him recover and pitch on Friday. It's not boring when Deduno is on the mound. The dude is entertaining. ``I thought he had more life on the ball,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``Breaking ball was sharper and the change up was definitely good. So he definitely had better stuff tonight against a very good hitting baseball team that puts the ball in play a lot.'' But Gardy, what was it like watching the first inning unfold. ``You don't want to panic,'' he said. ``He tells us he's fine. You just let him pitch his way through it.'' And Deduno said he was a little conscious of his shoulder at first but got over it.

2: HERRMANN'S ALL-AROUND GAME: Other than failing to get a bunt down, Chris Herrmann played a heck of a game Friday. He hit doubles in each of his first two at-bats while driving in one run. He threw out Michael Bourn when he tried to steal third (on a double steal) in the sixth. And he had to work with Captain Chaos! Deduno mentioned after the game that Herrmann tells him to not shy away from throwing his breaking ball into the dirt when he's trying to get a batter to chase. And that helps Deduno's confidence.

3. DUENSING FOR THREE.....RIMMING...NO! Lefthander Brian Duensing was one pitch away from getting a three-inning save on Friday. In his first action since Monday, Duensing entered the game in the seventh inning with the score 4-1. He shook off a single in the seventh and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. The Twins added a run in the eighth to make it 5-1. Duensing, however, was still eligible for the save. ``I didn't think I was going to go back out,'' he said, ``then they told me I was going back out and I got fired up.'' He struck out Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley for two outs. But Asdrubal Cabrera grounded a single up the middle, and Gardy immediately went to Casey Fien. ``I'll take us winning over that inning,'' Duensing said. Duensing has one career save, May 28 of this season.
 

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