Even if the Twins hadn’t won last night (which they did anyway), Friday 1st May 2009 will always be a memorable one in the minds of fans everywhere. Joe Mauer, returning at last after missing Spring Training and the entire first month of the season, hit a majestic solo home run with his very first swing off Sidney Ponson of the Kansas City Royals.
Not to be outdone of course, his best buddy Justin Morneau had to get in on the act and hit a two-run homer in the 5th (scoring Mauer, naturally) and the Twins went on to complete a 7-5 victory against a very offensively strong Royals team.
Though Kevin Slowey didn’t have his best start of the year, the bullpen was impeccable, and it was so nice to see Mauer and Morneau all chummy on the bench again. The Royals have proven to be formidable foes, and despite all the hoopla of last night, it’ll be interesting to see if Minnesota can continue playing well and win the next two games on Saturday and Sunday.
The Kansas City Royals are in Minneapolis this weekend for a three-game series, and they’re proving to be the team to beat in the AL Central so far, and there’s not many people who would have predicted that at the beginning of the season.
It should be an interesting series. The Twins are finally back at .500 after some better performances against the Rays, and Joe Mauer’s return will hopefully help the line-up offensively. The Royals have some great pitching talent, but fortunately Minnesota won’t have to face Zack Greinke this time round at least.
Will the Twins be the team that finally knocks the Royals off their perch? We’ll just have to wait and see…
Finally, a well-deserved rest-day for the Twins, and it comes at a time when the team is finally beginning to pick itself up and look like the class act it has the potential to be. With a tough little road trip this week (two games at Fenway against the Red Sox, and three games at Progressive Field against the Indians), it will be interesting to see where the team will be this time next week. Even if they go 3-2 over these upcoming five games, I don’t think anyone will be complaining.
The AL Central is very close right now, with no team off to a Marlins-like flying start, but everyone in the league is looking pretty competent so far, even the much maligned Kansas City Royals.
Good news for the Twins is the news that Joe Mauer should be back in the line up by May 1st. Even if he isn’t at full strength, his very presence in the team again should really boost morale and make the Twins even more competitive and fun to watch.