Forty years ago last night, man walked on the moon for the first time. It's something most folks thought they'd never see, and yet it happened.
So too, last night's Athletics victory, a 14-13 Oakland triumph in a game Minnesota led 12-2 after three innings, that ended on - of all things - a blown call at home plate, as Michael Cuddyer scored from second base on a wild pitch but was incorrectly ruled out by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinksi. (See the picture above, which was snapped at the moment the tag was applied. Note how Cuddyer's right foot has already crossed the entire plate, and his left is now touching home.)
All that said, it's a game the Twins did not deserve to win. The Twins pitching staff gave up 14 runs and 22 hits to a team that regularly goes entire series without matching either one of those totals. Matt Holliday led Oakland, hitting a pair of home runs, including a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning off of the heretofore-unimpeachable Bobby Keppel. In a night of horrid pitching performances, Keppel's might have been the worst; he allowed two inherited runners to score, plus gave up three runs of his own, all without getting an out.
Nick Blackburn was awful, giving up seven runs in five innings. Brian Duensing gave up three more. Jose Mijaresneeded only one pitch for the loss, giving up a solo home run to Jack Cust with his first pitch in the seventh.
And so Minnesota dropped a game it led by ten runs, a game in which Justin Morneau hit a grand slam AND a three-run homer, a game that took until the small hours of the morning for Twins fans.
We went back to the moon only a few times after July 20, 1969. Let's hope the Twins never play another game quite like this one.
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