GIBSON SURGING: Since his first start of the season, Kyle Gibson has posted a 1.88 ERA. One thing he does better than a lot of pitchers in the league is that he can throw inside effectively. He hit one batter on Sunday - J.B. Shuck in the eighth, and Shuck slammed his bat in frustration. But pitching inside opens up the other half of the plate. And getting ahead in the count made all his pitches weapons on Sunday. ``(Chris) Herrmann did a good job of figuring out which pitches were working and when they were working,'' Gibson said, ``He called a good game back there. It was fun being on the same page as him.''
I'M STARTING TO CHANGE MY OPINION: I predicted 75 wins at the beginning of the season. I was concerned about the bullpen, wasn't sure about the back end of the rotation and figured prospects would be up by the end of the year, which would affect the win total. Then Ervin Santana was suspended, and I dropped the total to 72. I'm still not sure about the bullpen being able to sustain its success throughout the season. But this team is confident. It has been resilient. The starting rotation is has pitched into the sixth inning for nearly two weeks. They are fifth in RISP, which means several players are contributing so no one feels it's all on their shoulders. Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier continue to get better. Torii Hunter and Eddie Guardado have changed the atmosphere in the clubhouse. There are more positives than I thought there would be. And as long as they remain over .500, the front office's thinking will have to conform to the record and spend the next few weeks considering moves to upgrade the roster. I now think this team can win 80-82 games.
DON'T STOP THE PARTY: One of the Twins team-building exercises has been their dance party after win at home, when they turn on fog machines and laser lights and make the player of the game has get things going by dancing in the middle of the clubhouse. Molitor was asked if the party should continue after wins on the road. ``I haven't had a lot of time to figure out if it is good or bad or indifferent,'' Molitor said. ``If they want to bring them, I'll leave it up to Hot Rod. He's the one who would have to deal with it.'' Hot Rod is Rod McCormick, the Twins equipment manager, who probably has enough on his hands. Molitor said he watched the celebration a couple times just to see what would happen, but now just walks around it. he was also asked who the worst dancer on the team was. ``Of the small glimpses I have seen,'' he said, ``I would have to say our closer.''