Joe Mauer went 4-for-5 with his 19th HR. The Twins received an encouraging performance from their rookie pitcher. The Tigers pitching was eminently hittable. The Twins took advantage of that, had runners on base all game and were able to score some of them for a change.
And yet...Detroit 10, Minnesota 8 (F).
First things first: THE UMPIRES DID NOT COST THE TWINS THE GAME. RON GARDENHIRE SAYS THE SAME THING. DO NOT MAKE ME BREAK OUT THE ALL CAPS AGAIN, FSN.
Ahem. Alright, to clarify for those who missed it, Brian Duensing provided the encouraging pitching performance, going 4 2/3 and allowing 2 ER. However, he was not the starter. That guy, Anthony Swarzak, was brutal. The first run of the 1st inning, scored by Curtis Granderson in a controversial rundown play, wasn't his fault. The 3-run and 2-run HRs that followed? Those were on him.
(I should note here that the Twins tallied their first out of the game on a scoring play of 8-4-1-2, which I believe involved a throwing error, a double switch, a lubricated goat and 10 Hail Marys.)
This meant the Twins were digging out of that hole all night. To their credit, they actually dug, but were never quite able to get out. The opportunities were there. At 7-4 with two on and two out, Nick Punto, of all people, missed a home run by a couple of feet. At 9-6 with runners on second and third and one out, neither Michael Cuddyer nor Brendan Harris could get the runners home. At 10-8 with two on, two out and Mauer on deck, Orlando Cabrera made the final out. Frustrating. Just...frustrating.
Carl Pavano, Twins Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
- Gardy got the boot in the 2nd inning for complaining about the lack of any balk calls on Armando Galarraga. His postgame interview, which I'm watching as I type this, is a thing of beauty. Of Hunter Wendelstadt, the umpire who threw him out: "He's got a smartass mouth." After a couple more "hate to see that" type of quotes: "Anything else before I get suspended?" I would follow Ron Gardenhire to the gates of Hell. But I'd still ask him why he keeps throwing Punto out there.
- There were a couple other bad calls besides the Granderson rundown play. I submit that when you allow double digit runs, you don't get to complain about umpiring unless the umpire punches your Mom in the throat.
- I need a beer.