Silva-rado and the To-Do in St. Loo
Johan Santana will have to save the Twins' season in the Metrodome this afternoon, after Carlos Silva turned in a performance evidently designed to shut up all those Phillies fans who have been arguing that he's as good as Eric Milton. ("They both won 14 games!") As I unfortunately expected, Silva's inability to miss many bats did him in against a team that knows how to hit fastballs. I told Batgirl a month ago that the Twins should have rolled the dice with Kyle Lohse rather than pitching Silva... sometimes I hate being right.
So now it comes down to Santana against Javy Vazquez, who's pitching in place of the evidently dead-armed El Duque Hernandez. Probably a good move on Torre's part, in the same way it would have behooved Gardenhire to pitch Lohse instead of Silva: given the choice between soar-or-crash uncertainty and more or less guaranteed mediocrity, go with the guy who just might pleasantly surprise you. Of course, if Vazquez is hurt--as he sure seemed to be while dooming my fantasy team, Err America, to third place in our four-team league (won, in impressive fashion, by the Very Hungry Caterpillar Author who occasionally favors us with comments here)--the Twins are likely to be getting back on that plane for New York anyway.
What's really exciting is that after sweeping the Angels with yesterday's win (and by the way, just try to tell me that previous Red Sox teams would have won that game after blowing a 6-1 lead. Jayson Stark just might be onto something this year), Boston can send Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez to the mound up to five times in a seven-game ALCS.
As for the debate, I don't think it changed much of anything in the larger campaign. Will Saletan at Slate.com accurately details how Kerry squandered a number of opportunities to really hurt Bush, but the president's seeming anger and lack of composure might well have played more decisively with viewers than anything substantive that was said.
I'll be interested in seeing what the ratings were for last night's debate. As it was held on a Friday, I'm sure they were down from last week's event, but I thought it was a pretty good show. All three thus far have been fairly meaty, and definitely more conducive to informed voting than the previous eight months of simultaneous product packaging efforts.