Here are three thoughts from LEN3 following the Twins' victory over Detroit
WORKING OVER PITCHERS: I wrote for the dead tree edition how the Twins have a chance to walk 600 times this season, which would be the third most ever club history (604 is the second most, so they could pass that mark as well). Thursday was a great example. The Twins drew 10 walks, their season high for a nine-inning game. Brian Dozier saw 24 pitches in his at bats - 18 over his final two plate appearances. They took advantage of a struggling Jordan Zimmerman and a bullpen full of inexperienced arms. That's the way to open a series, as Detroit used seven pitchers on Thursday. Another game like that, and the Twins could have a depleted bullpen to toy with - even with September callups around.
KEPLER REALLY NEEDED THAT: Max Kepler entered the game in a 1-for-15 skid. Granted, the one hit was a home run off of C.C. Sabathia. But he was till in the dumps. So Twins manager Paul Molitor was encouraged to see Kepler get hits in his last two plate appearances, including a two-run double in the eighth. "If we can get him going a little bit, it would really help our cause," Molitor said. "It hasn't been as productive as of late. We know he is more than capable of getting on a hot streak here over the last nine days."
MEJIA BETTER: Adalberto Mejia gave up one run over 42/3 innings before Molitor pulled him with a man on and Miguel Cabrera at the plate. It was a wise decision to not feed the young lefty to the mighty Miggy. But Mejia was better in his second time out since coming off of the disabled list. I counted 12 swings and misses by Tigers hitters, which is an improvement for him. Mejia has struggled to finish off hitters, and will occasionally get frustrated then groove a pitch because he didn't control his emotions. That did not happen on Thursday. "I thought he pitched better tonight in terms of pitching," Molitor said. "His stuff might have been a little better than the last time he was out there. I thought he didn't try to overthrow, relied on movement."