I've long since given up hope that the Twins will make the playoffs. And I'm totally ok with that. I've been spoiled with contending teams for awhile, and I have forgotten what it's like to just root for a team and enjoy the baseball without the constraints of expectations. Of course, winning is still more fun than losing, but if there's no entitlement to the winning, the losing isn't as bad.
I've reached a point where I can simply take in the games one at a time, and experience my emotions within the context of each individual game as they come. With that, taking the series from the division leader was more good than bad.
Also under the "happiness" emotion, I'm thrilled the boys in the bullpen are having a little fun. If you've been watching the Twins television broadcasts, you've seen that they've been playacting on their way out to the bullpen area before the games (here's a video). First they pretended to be bobsled team, then a boat. It's about time this team showed a little personality. The season is a grind, they have to have fun in order to keep their sanity. Besides, keeping loose and playful probably helps them perform a little better.
I'm also becoming increasingly frustrated with Matt Capps. He's logged only 8 saves in 13 save opportunities. That means he's blown 5. This does not inspire confidence. He's still a good pitcher; he has a WHIP under 1, which means he isn't giving up a ton of singles and walks. But he is giving up home runs. This is not good for the guy who's coming in the game with a less-than-three-run lead. Unfortunately, I don't have an answer within the organization to fix this problem. Now that the Twins are batting a little better and getting leads, they really need a real closer.
reporters that the Vestibular Neuritis (vertigo) he suffered in 2009 never really went away. And now, he's not himself, and he knows that something's really wrong. As unfortunate as it is to take his production out of the line up, it's really worrisome because this is more than just a baseball injury. This is a quality-of-life injury. It's one thing to heal from a quad strain or even surgery; it's quite another thing to figure out and heal from a neuro issue.
I'm also beginning to worry about Justin Morneau. His aches and pains are really mounting, and I have to wonder how much more of those he can take before landing on the DL. His neck and shoulder hurt. His wrist is swollen and sore. Eventually, dealing with these pains is going to cause something else to strain or sprain or break, and it'll be bad.
For the second consecutive series, there are no new paper dolls to make. Good.
As I mentioned above, I'm worried about Denard; I sincerely hope I don't have to make a paper doll for him.
As for all the other guys, it sounds like they're all progressing along. Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka have been playing for the Miracle. They may need time at higher levels in order to face better pitching, but I'm willing to guess that they'll both be back with the Twins within 10 days. Perkins and Nathan are throwing. Thome and Kubel are said to be improving.
We're still watching Nick Blackburn and hoping his back stiffness is gone. He's scheduled to pitch Thursday night.