"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, August 08, 2005

Catching Up

Editor's Note: TBL has been desperately busy getting ready for the Renaissance Festival. What made her decide that she really needs a sixth pair of bloomers and a new cloak embellished with embroidery (and not machine embroidery, thank you very much), she doesn't know. But suffice it to say, she's been spending more time with a needle than a keyboard these days. At any rate, let's look back on the weekend in Twinsland, or at least what bits of it TBL managed to catch:

Boston @ Minnesota

Game 1: Best. Game. Ever.

Now, I like a good pitcher's duel as much as anyone. But after a month of taking sucking lessons from Kansas City, what I really want is a blowout. An honest-to-gosh, take-that, I-spit-in-your-general-direction blowout. I want to see the other team grow tails for the express purpose of having something to tuck between their legs as they slink out afterward. I want to see the visitor's fans (who were out in great numbers that evening) wailing, gnashing their teeth and rending their logo-emblazoned garments.

It didn't look good in the beginning. When you're playing the powerhouse Red Sox and the first batter of the game gets a triple against Brad "First Inning Blues" Radke, you've mentally tallied three or four runs against before the dust has settled from the slide.

Have you met Brad's brother, Johan K. Radke?

With a runner on third and no outs, the rest of the first inning went like so: K, BB, K, K. One hit, no run, one left. I couldn't believe my eyes. Radke would go on to record eight strikeouts on the evening, ably assisted by the sparkling defensive play of Lew "Just Call Me Torii" Ford. Radke would not give up a walk or an extra-base hit after the first.

While Radke was pitching a gem, the Twins were doing things to Bronson Arroyo that would be illegal outside of a baseball diamond. Every player contributed at the plate, quite possibly for the first time this season.

The starters:
Ford - 5 AB, 3 hits, 2 runs
Punto - 4 AB, 1 hit, 1 RBI
Mauer - 5 AB, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI
LeCroy - 4 AB, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 RBI
Jones - 4 AB, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 1 walk
Morneau - 5 AB, 1 RBI
Cuddyer - 4 AB, 1 hit, 1 walk
Ryan - 4 AB, 1 run, 1 walk
Bartlett - 3 AB, 1 walk

The substitutes:
Rodriguez - 1 AB, 1 hit, 1 run
Tiffee - 1 AB, 1 hit, 1 run

I said everyone, I meant everyone!

The Twins win, 12-0.

Game 2: Opportunity Knocks Late

I was catching what may well be my last Saints game of the season Saturday night, so with the exception of checking the score on my mobile, I missed this one. However, the final at-bats of the game were replayed many times on the TV, and they were worth watching.

The score was tied at three in the bottom of the ninth, when Cuddyer hit a chopper to his counterpart at third, Bill Mueller, who air-mailed it to the first baseman's invisible, levitating twin. Cuddy scampered into second, and up comes the only Twin who successfully bunts with any regularity, Nick Punto. And Punto, naturally, bunts. The pitcher fields, juggles the ball a little, and throws exactly where Mueller just threw--which is to say, more toward the stands than his own fielder. Cuddy sprinted home, and there's your game.

Sometimes you win 'em, and sometimes they lose 'em. Boston loses, 4-3.

Game 3: There Aren't Enough O's in Oops

I missed the first half of this game, too. I know, I know--I'm a bad fan. But I really can't regret missing Shannon Stewart flipping the fly ball which consituted the second out of the inning into the stands for a fan, thereby allowing a run to Boston. I'm so glad I missed that, I refused to watch the news last night, just so I wouldn't see a replay. I don't watch Bush, and I don't watch plays like that. It keeps me from going prematurely grey.

There was a ray of hope, however. Our boys went into the ninth trailing 11-4, and quickly made two outs. Then they strung together a walk, a single, a throwing error, a double, a single, a walk, and a bases-loaded walk to score three runs and load the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate.

And then, of course, the tying run struck out, but hey--what a rally, right?

Twins lose, 11-7.

Wrapup: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

The Twins scored 23 runs over the three games and recorded their first series win since the All-Star break (pardon me while I cringe). They had scored 22 runs over the eight games prior to the series, so we're looking at a real surge here.

Meanwhile, per twinsbaseball.com:

A seventh-inning strikeout of Roberto Petagine ended struggling reliever J.C. Romero's streak of nine batters faced without recording an out over his last three games. In that span, the lefty allowed five earned runs, six hits and three walks.
Romero owns a 14.75 ERA over his last seven appearances while also allowing six of his last eight inherited runners to score.

Can I get an "Ack!"?

The Twins are out west to face the listlessly struggling Mariners for three games. Let's hope they can keep those bats going.

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