The Shreveport Slinger
Wow. I mean, like wow! Scott Baker came within three outs of throwing a perfect game last evening against the Kansas City Royals. Moseying to the mound in the ninth, the kid showed nothing that resembled a man with a belly full of butterflies. Right away, he walked a guy and gave up a hit, the perfect game and no-no was over, but it didn't matter. This kid is on fire, and the future of the Twins pitching staff seems assured. This is what Minnesota baseball in September is about this year: gazing into the crystal ball and liking what you see.
Smilin' Scott Baker, the Shreveport Slinger: 8-6 with a 4.09 ERA. Now, you might argue that it's just one game, the kid was lucky, somehow. I say bunk. Consider the night of July 30 of just this year. Maybe it's the Royals he's feasting on. No matter, for one month ago, Scott Baker punched the clock on the Kansas City lineup, pitching seven perfect innings, giving up but two hits (in the fourth) and taking a 3-1 win. Had Gardy left him in, I don't doubt he would have 8 perfect innings like yesterday.
So let's not beat around the bush. Santana, Baker, Garza, Bonser and Liriano. I'll take that over anyone in the Central, any day of the week. If we can get just half of Liriano's charm from last year, that's pretty God-damned good. I say this: let Silva and his nearly $5 million clam contract (which will undoubtedly be more next year), trade Joe Nathan (and install the fabulous Neshek), and get some bats. With a few wily trades (please, a big bat), the Twins could give Cleveland or Detroit a run for their money.