With the bases loaded, one out and the Twins desperate to finally cash in on a scoring opportunity, Denard Span hit a one-hopper right back to the pitcher. Every Twins fan knew exactly what was going to happen next: an easy double play to end the inning, and another pillow kicked/obscenity shouted/beer opened.
But sometimes, the other team has its own problems.
Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, who had walked the 8 and 9 hitters to load the bases, fielded Span's grounder, had his choice of double plays to start, and instead, for reasons that may never be known, threw it to the base that is between first and second, a base that only exists in Tom Wilhelmsenball. Everyone was safe, the Twins plated their first run since about Christmas, and scored two more runs on a Jamey Carroll fielder's choice and a Joe "Boo" Mauer infield single to take a 3-2 lead. The bullpen would breeze through the rest of the game, and the Twins would finally, FINALLY win another game.
The team's offensive slump is definitely not over. Mauer's infield single was sharply hit but benefitted from hitting the mound on its way up the middle, and Chris Parmelee's deep double to start the 7th-inning rally was the only impressive hit of the evening. But beggars cannot be choosers, and Seattle's bullpen gifting a game to the Twins is most welcome.
Prior to that, the Twins had managed to get a few runners on base against Mariners starter Jason Vargas, but, as as been the case of late, were unable to make him pay. Ryan Doumit, with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 6th, popped up to end the inning, which did not help us forget his sketchy beard or his rec-league attempt at a Mike Carp (whose given name is Mike Carp) double that gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
Twins starter Carl Pavano did his Carl Pavano thing, but more effectively, no doubt aided by a Seattle lineup that is not going to make anyone forget Edgar Martinez or Ken Griffey, Jr. He cruised through the first four innings before giving up back-to-back doubles to lead off the 5th as the Mariners mounted their only significant rally of the night. He was done after six innings with just the two earned runs on eight hits. Brian Deunsing, Glen Perkins and Matt Capps each went three up/three down, striking out five and putting a nice bow on what could have been a very ugly game.
- The bullpen.
- Sweet Drew. He was his usual self at the plate, but did gun a runner down at 2nd on an attempted steal, so on the Butera Curve, he did alright.
- Tom Wilhelmsen