Some notes following an exciting night at Target Field:
The 2009 season was quite a while ago. But I still remember Joe Mauer missing the first month due to injury then returning to obliterate pitching on the way to the MVP award. The swing he put on Louis Coleman's please-hit-me fastball in the seventh inning — and the resulting noise — looked and sounded like the way he hit in 2009. He took a rip and did not miss it, as it traveled 429 feet.
“I hit it pretty good," Mauer said. "I had a good feeling it was gone. I didn’t know if it was high enough, I guess, especially with that wall. But yeah, I’m glad it reached the seats.”
The count was 3-2, but Mauer felt home plate umpire Laz Diaz botched a couple calls.
“He’s got a great sinker and right there, I was just trying to get something up in the zone," Mauer said. "I didn’t look back at them on tape, but I thought they were down. I thought the second strike was down and away. Even if they were strikes, that wasn’t something I’d want to offer at, especially with one out and more likely put it on the ground. So, looking for something up and 3-2, I got that pitch and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.”
It very surprising that the Tigers would go so long without a lefty in the bullpen, but it sounds like they have had a couple injuries and no one else deserves to be called up. Mauer and Eddie Rosario will be late-inning threats in every game of this series.
Magill almost does it
Twins manager Paul Molitor gave Matt Magill a chance to pick up his first major league save. Although he gave up an RBI single to Ronny Rodriguez, he still was an out away.
He got into a major battle with pinch hitter Victor Reyes, one in which he would not throw anything but fastballs — 13 of them, to be exact. Reyes fouled off seven straight before walking on pinch No. 13. Taylor Rogers relieved Magill and got the final out, for HIS first major league save instead.
Reyes was not catching up to Magill's fastballs, but I still asked if he should have spun at least one breaking ball up there to see if Reyes would swing over the top and end the game.
"He had some good swings," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "The majority of them were a tad late. I think he really just didn’t want to spike a breaking ball and put that tying run out there at second base. He did it with the walk, but he didn’t back down. He just kept going after him, challenging him with what he had. It was a good velocity fastball and he just finally misfired. The big thing for Magill tonight --- it was a good experience for him."
Magill has a 3.86 ERA for the Twins in 26 games and has been more useful that anyone expected when they called him up.
Rogers, meanwhile, had the game ball, already authenticated, sitting in his stall.
When asked if that was the ball from the game he said, "Yes....but don't touch it!"
He was joking.