Two Twins Wins

Watching Ervin Santana breeze through a four-hit shutout of the Giants Friday was a relaxing marvel; he was so dominant and he had such a lead, thanks to his own three-run double, that I was never even nervous. His delivery is effortless, his demeanor unchanging, and he spots his pitches perfectly, mixing sliders and fastballs, changing speeds so that the hitters rarely square up on the ball, even if they make contact. It was easy; it was masterful.
The night before the Twins won by defense. No one expected Kyle Gibson to pitch into the seventh and give up only one run, followed by three scoreless innings from the Twins’ top relievers, and it only happened because of three key plays. Joe Mauer made a diving stop at first, obviating a first-and-third, no-out crisis. Byron Buxton made a sensational leaping over-the-head catch that saved two runs. Pitcher Tyler Rogers stabbed a rocket liner up the middle and doubled the lead runner off second. To emphasize the importance of defense, the Twins’ winning run scored on Robinson Cabo’s two errors on the same play.
June 10, 2017