What can I say about tonight's Hector Noesi start in Minnesota that's more telling than this: it prompted a discussion about Zach Stewart's near-perfect game against the Twins in 2011. Noesi retired the first 11 batters he faced, and took a one-hit shutout into the eighth. He did this mostly via flyouts. Long flyouts, medium-length flyouts, not so many short flyouts, and one swinging strikeout, which came against Danny Santana, who later blasted an enormous two-run homer off Noesi in the eighth, his only runs allowed. You have to throw strikes to do this kind of work, and Noesi did that, which beats the pants off the time he walked seven people in under five innings.
Hector (7.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 3K) executed a really good plan for shutting down this Twins lineup on this night. It might not have any correlation outside this night other than that continuing to throw his half-decent stuff in the zone will only produce the best possible results for him.
- Jake Petricka picked up his fifth save of the year in a game where the Sox out-hit the Twins 11-3, but he certainly looked sharp doing it. He's uncontested now with Zach Putnam on the disabled list, and is playing the part, striking out two with his typically huge, tumbling velocity. Maybe someone will record double-digit saves on this team. Maybe it will still be Leury.
- Steve Stone is openly stating that Adam Eaton's finger is broken these days, but that didn't stop him from collecting three more hits to raise his OBP to .358. He broke the scoreless tie in the third nearly singlehandedly by cueing a liner down the third base line on the eighth pitch of his at-bat, sprinting and diving to beat Sam Fuld's throw into second, and racing home on a two-out poked singled from Alexei Ramirez. Despite looking like he landed on his keys after his slide in the third, Eaton dug in and delivered the coup-de-gras in the next inning, with a two-out, two-run single off Samuel Deduno. He's really playing some ball right now, so let's hope this 'play with a broken finger' initiative isn't ill-advised.
- Speaking of Deduno, Adam Dunn might have unfortunately broken open this game by lining a ball off Twins starter Phil Hughes' shin. Hughes had to leave the game with a contusion and give way to Bizarro Phil Hughes, the hysterically erratic Deduno, who firehosed gasoline on the minor issue of Dunn leading off the fourth with a single. Deduno got an odd sort of revenge on Dunn for his fallen comrade, dumping one of his sliders into Dunn's shin in the fifth. There's no telling if it was intentional. It's Deduno. Who knows what he ever intends.
- Jose Abreu only went 1-5, but his one hit was an outside fastball he sprayed to right-center that then proceeded to FLY ALL THE WAY TO THE WALL. It seriously looked like one of Conor Gillaspie's quaint little flares, but then just never went down. It hit the right field wall at least eight feet up.
- Dayan Viciedo has a .283 OBP, and narrowly avoided hitting into a triple play. How will he scrape his way back to league-average an earn 500 PA's next season this time?! Tune in to find out....
- Gordon Beckham got somewhat off the schneid. He hit two balls hard, including a double to the wall in the sixth. He later scored.
Team Record: 49-54
Next game is Friday at 7:10pm CT on CSN at Minnesota
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