(with deep and sincere apologies to Lord Byron)
Ortiz before the batters! yet once more!
And the mound bound beneath him as a steed
That knows his rider. Welcome to our roar!
Swift be the sign called, wheresoe'er it lead!
Though the strain'd arm should quiver as a reed,
And the scuffed ball go fluttering through the gap,
Still must he pitch; for he will not concede
This hit, this run. Come error or mishap
Where'er the surge may sweep, the Twins shall yet prevail.
There's nothing like a nice sweep to start your season off on the right note, is there? The excitement of Opening Day, the nail-biting anxiety of a close second game featuring the Worst Stolen Base EverTM, the warm glow of a total pounding to wrap it all up.
TBL was there last night, and had a truly lovely time, catching up with a friend she hadn't seen in a while and watching her boys make the Baltimore Orioles look like the Kansas City Royals. And the Orioles are not a bad team. Far from it. They've got Aubrey Huff and Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard and a number of other guys you've actually heard of in a glad-he's-not-in-our-division kind of way. And yet, the Twins handed them their asses on a platter. With a nice garnish.
They knocked Jaret Wright out in the third inning, and Cuddy almost knocked himself out with a foul tip to his own face in the fourth (he left the game to go get stitches). With Joe Nathan at the hospital welcoming his new daughter into the world, the boys knew they needed to prevent a save situation, so they got themselves a big honkin' lead early on and never let it go. Nathan showed up anyway, in street clothes at the end of the game, to take part in the victory celebrations.
The Twins got 11 hits (remember last April, when they'd get that many in, oh...a week?), took six walks and capitalized on three errors on their way to a 7-2 victory. Ortiz and friends, in the meantime, surrendered six hits, one walk and an error. Welcome to Minnesota, Mr. Ortiz. You done good.
Now, the boys are off today, then they head to Chicago to face the as-yet-winless Wind Sox, putting Silva (*gulp*), Ponson and Santana up against Vazquez, Danks (who?) and Contreras. If you need some baseball today, go cheer Cleveland on as they try for the sweep over Chicago. TBL is more than willing to share first place with anyone who embarrasses the Sox.
In other news:
- ...Twins catcher [Joe Mauer], who was 6-4 last season, has pushed past 6-5 and is approaching 6-6.
The team lists him at 6-5 in the media guide, but Mauer acknowledged that he is actually 6-6 "wearing shoes."I've been growing ever since last year," he said Wednesday. "I don't want to get too big, or I might have to move [positions]."
Mauer, who turns 24 on April 19, wishes this unexpected spurt would stop.
"Hopefully I'll grow the other way," he said. "I'd like to get a little stronger, but I don't know about taller."
TBL sez: Why is a tall guy getting taller, whilst TBL remains too short to reach her favorite cereal in the grocery store? Life is not fair.
- Twins staff members winced when they saw the results of J.D. Durbin's debut with Arizona on Wednesday: two-thirds of an inning pitched, seven hits, seven runs (all earned) in an 11-4 loss to Colorado in Denver. The Twins lost Durbin on waivers last week.