GAME 84: The long nightmare is over. The skid stops at five. Thanks in great part to Carlos Beltran, new arrival Zelous Wheeler, and Masahiro Tanaka. Beltran and Wheeler wielded the lumber, and Tanaka, who labored through maybe his worst overall start statistically to date, managed to keep the host Minnesota Twins in check.
After being knocked around for 4 earned runs and 9 hits over seven innings, while walking none, Tanaka improved to 12-3. Dellin Betances and David Robertson carried the load from there and sealed the victory.
Tanaka afterward stated:
“The number one thing is for the team to win, and I think the offense came through and got me a lot of run support tonight.”
Wheeler’s Big Debut
Who knew? Here’s a quick back-story on Zelous Wheeler from Chad Jennings (LoHud). The power hitting third-baseman wasted little time leaving an impression on team management. Wheeler went 2-4, clobbering a Phil Hughes fastball deep into the Target Field night, scoring twice, and showing solid glove-work.
Zelous Wheeler’s gem after the game:
“I was like, wow, I really hit a home run in my second at-bat. It feels great. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Hopefully I can take advantage of it. That’s game one. Just come in every day, try to do the best I can.”
Gotta love this guy already! Here’s the box score and recap from ESPN.
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MEMORY LANE: On July 3rd, 1950 — with rookie Joe Collins not hitting and Tommy Henrich injured, Casey Stengel asks Joe DiMaggio to play first base in an experiment. In the 7-2 loss he handles 13 chances cleanly (Source: Today In Baseball History) …