By La Velle
The Twins placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of a dislocated and lacerated right index finger. After examining Cuddyer at HCMC, doctors told the Twins that he would need two weeks to recover.
The Twins have called up outfielder Denard Span from Class AAA Rochester to replace Cuddyer on the roster. Span, one of the final cuts in camp, is 3 for 9 after two games with a stolen base. Knowing how the Twins think, they normally call up the last players cut if there’s an early injury.
Cuddyer was unavailable for comment after the game. Word was that he was still at the hospital getting treatment.
Cuddyer’s injury overshadowed a couple good things that happened on Friday.
One, how many times do we get to see a squeeze play?
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire used the former Astros to set up what turned out to be the winning run. Lamb led off the inning with a hard hit double into the right field corner (against a lefty, too). Lamb moved to third on Matt Tolbert bunt and then took off for home as Adam Everett dropped a useful bunt in front of home plate.
“I decided that he was a National League guy and knows how to bunt, let’s try something different and squeeze,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Lamb did a super job at third base. He waited, waited and didn’t leave too early and Everett got it down.”
I thought it was a fitting play in a game that was a bunt-best. Kansas City’s Joey Gathright opened the game with a bunt single to the right of the mound, stole second easily and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice. The Twins’ Carlos Gomez, seemingly offended by someone trying to play like him, bunted for a hit to open the bottom of the inning, stole second easily then scored on Joe Mauer’s single.
The other thing was Scott Baker and his in-game adjustments. Baker wasn’t sharp the first two innings. Royals hitters were fouling pitches off and really extending at-bats. But Baker got locked in during the third inning and was able to last 62/3 innings before Pat Neshek entered the game.
“I just wasn’t executing pitches very well,” Baker said. Basically it came down to if I was going to survive the outing it was a point in the game where I needed to make some pitches.”
Check out Baker’s pitches by inning (according to my math):
1st inning: 21 pitches
That’s making adjustments.
One more thing. Did you see Cuddyer clean Mark Gruzielanek’s clock as he tried to break up the double play in the first inning?