15. The total number of pitches Castillo saw in his first three at-bats. Castillo, who appeared to be a bit more patient than many of the Minnesota hitters against Zito, reached base in those three at-bats.
Game balls (out of five)
Santana, five. Minus one high changeup to Thomas, he was as dominant as ever.
Rondell White, five. He supplied the offense on an afternoon when Zito matched Santana pitch for pitch.
Castillo, three. Set up the offense by reaching base three times but could not bunt over Bartlett to third with nobody out in the eighth.
Sense of October
Thomas calls the Metrodome one of the most intimidating and decided home-field advantages in all of baseball. So, what's the best way to lessen the noise and take this raucous sellout out of the game? Score two runs in the second inning against arguably the best pitcher in baseball.
Lines of the Game
3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Comment: White looked at seven pitches from Zito in three at-bats, but he apparently had something figured out with the crafty left-hander. Maybe it's simply a case of past history repeating itself, as White had five hits in 14 previous at-bats against Zito.
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8 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 107 pitches, 72 strikes
Comment: The Minnesota ace gave his team a chance to win and then some. Even the game's best starter should be allowed to get away with one mistake per game and survive.
"With Boof, he's a gamer. He's so clutch ... You don't have to worry about the pressure being on him. The pressure is on someone else, but I don't know who it's going to be."
-- Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter, on rookie Boof Bonser's crucial start in Game 2 of the ALDS on Wednesday afternoon
With Santana on the mound, Game 1 was looked upon as a must-win situation for the Twins. Tuesday's one-run setback makes Wednesday's contest, started by rookie Boof Bonser, the definition of must-win for the Twins' playoff survival.