So...why exactly have the Minnesota Twins been the hottest team in baseball during Interleague play? The answer to that question is very simple. Why is it that if you are the visiting team, lose the game 1-0, the only run being unearned, allowing no hits, and not get credit for a no-hitter? That answer isn't simple. Why isn't All-Star Game voting done strictly by the players, managers, and media? That I don't know...but I damn sure have an opinion on it...
So what's the deal with the Twins? Why are they so good against the National League, boasting a league-best 14-4 record against the National League, sweeping three out of the five series in June and only losing one series, to the Rockies in May? What's gotten into this team to make them think that they a team capable of leading a division or winning the wild card?
The answer to that question is that they play baseball. They don't go for power and only power, they don't have a rotation full of stiffs, and they've got one of the best bullpens in baseball.
They play fundamental baseball...which seems to have been completely lost in this decade. They get on base, they bunt to get runners over, they steal bases, they put the hit and run on, they manufacture their runs. Would you be surprised if I told you that the Twins were tied with the Detroit Tigers for the 7th most runs scored in Major Leage Baseball? Would it surprise you even more if I told you that they were 28th the the majors in Home Runs?
The Twins put to rest a myth that in baseball, the only way to score is to hit a huge amount of Home Runs. I mean, it's how the Yankees have had success, it's how the Red Sox have had success. The Twins on the other hand...they make those hits count. They lead the league in Batting Average w/ Runners in Scoring Position, and they are the ONLY team hitting over .300 in that situation.
How does that apply to their success now? They're playing teams from the National League. Teams that aren't necessarily high scoring teams. Teams that (Supposedly) play good defense and don't give up stupid runs. When playing those teams, you take advantage of every. single. opportunity. that you get. Think it's coincidence that the Twins scored six runs in a inning for three straight games? They took advantage of mistakes by the other teams.
Plus, they've got young pitchers that are starting to show their stuff. Kevin Slowey has been magnificent against the NL. He came into Interleague play with a 2-6 record and is now 5-6. He gave up FOUR runs in three starts, pitching 8, 6, and 9 innings. Not to mention the fact that he isn't a complete slouch with the bat...Glen Perkins pitched well, Scott Baker pitched well, Livan Hernandez was Livan Hernandez...The fact that they were scoring combined with the great pitching was the main reason that they just went 11-1 in their last twelve games.
If you haven't heard, the Angels just lost to the Dodgers 1-0 last night without giving up a hit...The only run was unearned due to an error by Weaver...(Which I still think is weird, because the PITCHER was the one who screwed it up...it should be earned) who was pulled for a pinch hitter in the 6th inning, leaving Jose Arredondo to finish the game and complete the 8 inning no hitter.
Why isn't this an "official" no hitter MLB? They pitched to every batter that they could face and didn't allow a hit...If they'd have done this at home, it would've been an "official" no-hitter....Give em credit for what they did, don't take it away from them from something that they have no control over...Come on MLB...
Voting for the All Star Game right now seems like a joke...Yes, it's great that the fans get a voice, yadda yadda yadda bullspit. If you want the game to mean something, don't let the fans elect the starters. This year isn't terrible, A-Rod, Youk, Mauer, Hamilton are all there...but explain why six of the starters are either Red Sox or Yankees? The NL doesn't have as huge of a problem, except for that there are Cubs that are 1 or 2 in basicall every single position...And how the HELL does David Ortiz have the second most votes in the AL?
Give the votes to the players, managers, and media. Yes, there will still be a small bias, but these guys will at least acknowledge what guys have done. The Texas middle infield won't be on the bench to start the game. Jason Varitek won't be only 40 some odd thousand votes behind Joe Mauer. Hideki Matsui wouldn't be trailing the DH voting by 800,000 votes to a guy who's batting .252 and has hit 13 HRs.
Don't put it in the hands of the crazy Boston homers who don't realize that Jason Varitek is batting .225 with 17 R whilt Joe Mauer (insert shameless plug here) has a .323 average with almost 50 R. Varitek doesn't even deserve to go to NYC...Neither does Ortiz...Fans have NO CLUE WHATSOEVER...Let people who know what's actually happening in baseball vote.
(Comments are appreciated)