The Twins ran into some pretty good pitching in Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and James Shields this weekend. Hopefully, it will remind them of what a team can do with good starters. They've seen some good things from the group they have right now, but they shouldn't believe that all their solutions are in-house.
Here are three thoughts following today's game:
1. Span update: Denard Span injured his right shoulder in the sixth inning on Sunday while trying to catch a sinking fly hit by Jeff Keppinger. Span wasn't available after the game, but he did tweet, "I'm doing fine. I wanna thank everyone for all their concerns." after the game. I'll play Dr. Neal here and expect him to miss a few games this week as he recovers.
2. Dozier defends himself: It looked like Brian Dozier could have forced Desmond Jennings at home or started a double play in the tenth inning on Sunday, but got the sure out at first instead, I expected Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to be upset, but he seemed glad that Dozier at least tried to think his way through the play and arrive at a decision.
"I talked with him about what his thoughts were and he had good thoughts," Gardenhire said. "He knew the runners and the speed at third base. All we talked was situational baseball late in the game like that."
Desmond Jennings, the runner at third, is very fast. But Jennings, for some reason, jogged home on the play, making a forceourt possible. A tough day for the kid. But he was right at his stall after the game to explain his side of things, and I give him credit for that.
3. Diamond was gutsy: Scott Diamond gave up home runs in the first and second innings, so it was obvious that he didn't have his best stuff or command. But he figured out some way to compete for seven innings and kept the game close.
"I don’t think I threw some of those pitches with as much conviction as I should," he said. "So I was just kind of regrouping in the dugout and getting back to what makes me successful. I talked it over with Joe (Mauer) about how we were going to approach the guys and just got back to throwing strikes and working back down in the zone.”
Most pitchers will say that they don't have their best stuff in over half of their starts over the season. The key to a good season is how quickly a pitcher can make adjustments on the fly. Diamond did that on Sunday, another reason to believe he's a keeper.