Twins recap: game 158

24 Sep

Twins win, 3-2. Is it safe to exhale yet?

What a game, kids. Tight, tense, loud, fun fun fun. Like, high five in the family room fun. Fist pump from the recliner fun. Felt a bit like playoffs.

But you know what, I have to be honest: I didn’t have a great feeling about it. I was expecting the worst. Even when we were winning, it felt like a loss waiting to happen. After that second inning, that frustrating, shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot, rally killing second inning, it seemed the game was Chicago’s for the taking. I kept waiting and waiting for a loss that never came. Luckily, our Twinkies snuck out a victory. Hallelujah.

Let’s take a quick look back to pinpoint my worry. The Twins are up 2-1 in the second inning, runners on first and second with one out. Casilla walks on four pitches and Mauer comes to the plate. Bases loaded. He works the count to 3-1, an ideal spot for the eagle-eyed Mauer to wait on a perfect pitch from the suddenly struggling Buehrle. At this point, Baby Jesus’s strike zone should be no larger than the size of a baseball. One spot, otherwise you take. This is it. Time to break the game open, take advantage of the situation. Put the game away.

And yet, for some reason, Mauer swipes at a low-and-away pitch — oh no what are doing that’s ball fourrrr —  and wrists one to second base. True, a run scored on the groundout, but still. Very un-Mauer-like. (The fact that I’m even griping about this shows how spoiled we are with this guy.) Guarantee Mauer will be thinking about that swing for a while.

But. The inning isn’t over. Morneau is now up with runners on first and third, with Buehrle having thrown one strike in his last eight pitches. Time to sit on one and drive it. Morneau takes ball one, and then ball two. At this point my roommate and I lean forward in our seats. One pitch, one spot. You’ve got him right where you want him. Be picky. Bust it open, kid.

Next pitch: a weak groundout to Konerko on a ball at least six inches inside. Inning over. Frustrated sighs.

With the bases loaded and one out, Buerhle somehow got Mauer to lose his cool and swing at a ball, and Morneau to get trigger-happy and also swing at a ball, both in hitters’ counts, both with runners in scoring position. The Twins plated one in a situation where they should’ve gotten at least three. Yikes.

After those at-bats, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. You don’t get many chances like that during a ballgame, and if you don’t take advantage, more often than not the win goes to the other side. That’s baseball.

Luckily, the Twins held on. Somehow. Blackburn sweated his way out of jams, Breslow, Boof and Mijares gave up nary a threat, and ol’ Joe Touretty huffed and puffed and shook and twitched and shivered and quivered his way to a heart-attack save.

It was a motherfucker of a ballgame, I tell you, and the Twins are now but a half-game out of the lead. Four more games. Nothing better than this.


PS. If anyone knows the two jackasses who reached onto the field to try to catch that foulout to Brendan Harris with two on in the fourth inning, punch them in the dicks for me. Remember Bartman, anyone? Well, you two fellas are WORSE than him. If you remember, the foul he went after was actually out of play; Alou was reaching into the stands. Harris was camped. In play. You should be banned from front row seats for eternity. Just saying.

11 Responses to “Twins recap: game 158”

  1. Murph September 25, 2008 at 6:52 am #

    I actually do know those guys…

    Not by name, but they used to come into McGovern’s every Sunday and get completely ripped and watch Nascar. They are actually pretty good guys, but definitely worth a dick punch for that move.

    One time they were in and one of the guys asked if I could ask the chef to make the buffalo wings “…extra spicy, and I mean extra spicy”. I told the chef the request and he complied. Complied to the point that the guy’s eyes watered to the point of sobbing and later he threw up.

    Is it just me or has the strike zone been crazy the past two nights?

  2. norm September 25, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    Yeah, we got a little lucky. We played really stupid baseball. Besides Mauer and Monreau swinging at ball four and ball three, respectively, Gomez was clearly out at second on a pick-off play he had no business even thinking about stealing.

    Murph I agree with you that the strike zone has been ridiculous. It started with the called ball to
    Pierzynski in the top of the 1st on Tuesday. Then Span had two obvious balls called strikes in the bottom half of the inning. I wish we had a computer system.

  3. Murph September 25, 2008 at 7:32 am #

    I think Dick said it best

    “…You could make an argument that Blackburn has struck out Thome in all three of his at bats…”

    I refused to move from my position on the couch last night, for superstition reasons. Yup, I’m one of those guys.

  4. RandBall's Stu September 25, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    get completely ripped and watch Nascar. They are actually pretty good guys

    I dispute your conclusion.

  5. Murph September 25, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    They tipped really well.

  6. RandBall's Stu September 25, 2008 at 8:29 am #

    Ah. Makes sense.

  7. B. September 25, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    Murph, does this mean you are going to skip bowling tonight to re-seat yourself in the same position? If so, please reconsider. It’s a league game.

  8. Numero 6 September 25, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Did anyone hear/see Ozzie’s comments on Blackburn after the game on Sportscenter last night? Unreal. Granted, Blackburn didn’t pitch out of his mind or anything, but he beat them.

    I pulled his quote from and he said, “I don’t give credit to the guys that don’t deserve credit,” Guillen said of Blackburn. “Believe me, I give credit to the pitcher when they deserve it. We didn’t get the clutch hit, it wasn’t because of the way he pitched.”

    Blackburn beat the Sox. Give credit to a guy that beat you….no matter the fashion in which he did. I would hate to play for a guy like that.

  9. Murph September 25, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    I’ll be there, but if we get the stupid lane with no TV I’m going to the bar to watch the game, deal?

  10. Dave MN September 25, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    Numero 6: Ozzie’s a dick. End of story. He’s always been a dick. Sometimes he’s funny when he goes ballistic, but that doesn’t really negate the dick aspect of it.

    Despite the openhanded slap to Blackburn’s performance, I think Ozzie is totally sweating his team’s impending collapse. I think he thought they deserved to win the division this year, and now that it’s potentially slipping away…welp, you see the results in his quotes.

  11. B. September 25, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Trying to disparage the other team by blaming your own (“it’s not that you guys are good, it’s that WE suck”) is the lamest, most childish move in sports.

    A childish prick, that one.

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