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Twins 4, Mariners 2: Timely homers defeat ace Paxton

Because the team with the better pitcher doesn’t always win. What really matters is HEART, people.

Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins
“Slow ahead? I can go slow ahead. Why don’t you come down here and shovel some of this s***?”
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Next time I go to the casino, I want Kyle Gibson with me. The man oozes luck. In Baltimore, he walked everybody and the Twins won; today, he gave up approximately a gazillion hits and the Twins won.

With one out and runners on the corners in Inning Uno, Mitch Haniger grounded it right to Miguel Sano. Bigg Migg tried for the 5-2-3 DP, and muffed the throw; 1-0 Mariners. A later single by Daniel Vogelbach doubled that lead.

And it looked like that was all James Paxton would need. What few chances Minnesota had, he ended; the Twins struck out four times with runners in scoring position.

Our Boys In Kasota Gold did run up Paxton’s pitch count, however, and that would prove crucial in the sixth. You know the old baseball axiom, “look for the fastball and adjust to the curve”? With Joe Mauer on first, Sano did the opposite of that axiom. He sat on Paxton’s curve, and tied our ballgame. That would be it for Paxton and his K-machine heater.

Seattle had no shortage of chances after the first, but couldn’t take advantage of Minnesota’s frozen fingers. (Three errors combined in this one; it might get worse in colder weather this weekend.) Ryan Pressly allowed a leadoff single in the 7th to speedy Jean Segura, who promptly stole second. He couldn’t score on a bloop fly, though, Pressly struck out Haniger, and Zach Duke dealt with the rest. Mitch Garver stroked his first MLB dong soon after, and Eddie Rosario added his solo shot in the eighth.

The Mariners would get a walk off Fernando Rodney to begin the ninth, because that’s how Rodney do, but it didn’t amount to anything.

So Gibson allows eight baserunners in 4.1 today, after five walks in 6.0 last week. His ERA is currently 0.87. I’m telling you, we should ask him for stock tips.

Because it was the Home Opener, the Twins brought out a patriotic bird for the national anthem. Apparently, it thought Paxton’s warmup tosses involved something edible:

Prompting this comment by pdx_twins_fan about outdoor baseball: “Not only is it 39°F, but now there are loose dinosaurs flying around and landing on people.”

Thanks to all who joined the gamethread! Robot Roll Call: