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 quick Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Milone, Schafer, Konerko

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 2, 2014 - 11:54 PM

Here are three observations following the Twins' 6-3, 10-inning loss to the White Sox

TOMMY MUST ATTACK: Tommy Milone was cruising early until two outs in the second when he walked Michael Taylor. By the time the inning ended, Milone had stopped throwing strikes, Tyler Flowers had crushed  a two-run homer and the White Sox led 3-2. Milone has no room for error. But it wasn't about him being close. He missed his spot badly a few times. It makes me wonder how nervous he gets with runners on base. He can't be nervous about throwing strikes with conviction. ``Just falling behind hitters,'' he said. ``I have to get back to attacking the zone.''

SCHAFER'S NIGHT: Jordan Schafer had three hits on Tuesday and has gotten on base in 13 straight games. But his night on the basepaths was interesting. He went from first to third on Danny Santana's double in the second inning but came around third and did not pick up third base coach Scott Ullger, who was motioning for him to stop. Schafer picked it up after he rounded third and was caught off base for the second out of the inning.  In the seventh, he got infield hit and took off for second when the throw skipped by White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko. But Schafer caught a bad break there, as the ball deflected back to Konerko, who threw to second and got Schafer in a rundown that ended the inning. Two plays that could have changed the game. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was disappointed about the play in the second inning. ``He just kind of rounded the bag and got tagged out, it looked to me,'' Gardenhire said. ``Gotta be more aware than that. The ball is coming in from the left field line.''

KONERKO'S NIGHT: Speaking of Konerko, the Twins will honor him before Wednesday's game. Konerko is retiring after 18 major league seasons, 16 with the White Sox. He's been a stand up guy and a force in the Chicago clubhouse. It's a nice gesture by the Twins, who have been burned by Konerko's home runs through the years.



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