With two outs in the eighth and everything tied 0-0, Mitch Garver sauced a two-run dong off Kansas City reliever Jake Diekman. The Twins’ most (only?) reliable bullpenner, Taylor Rogers, threw a perfect ninth, and that’s your ballgame.
It had been an honest-to-goodness pitchers’ duel up to that point. Kyle Gibson was Good Gibby, while Royals youngun Brad Keller did what he does best, using that “downward plane” to induce weak contact and double plays. You’re not supposed to be any good as a pitcher if you don’t get many strikeouts, yet Keller sure had Twins hitting fooled.
Max Kepler led off the game with a single; he got caught stealing. Whit Merrifield led off the fourth with a single; Gibson got a double play. It was that way most of the night.
Looked like the Twins had something microwaving in the sixth. Byron Buxton was hit on the wrist leading off, and Kepler walked. Then Jorge Polanco, Garver, and Eddie Rosario couldn’t do anything with it. We’ll forgive them because Garver won the game and all that.
Speaking of that Byron HBP; he’d stay in defensively, but be pinch-hit for leading off the eighth. (In a 0-0 game, you know Baldelli would have wanted Buxton in there if his wrist was up to hitting.) Early word via radio was “right wrist contusion.” Postgame, Baldelli said the “images” taken by medical staff showed no serious damage, and “we’ll see how he’s feeling tomorrow.”
The other, hilarious involuntary player substitution involved Royals outfielder Jorge Soler getting tossed for arguing balls and strikes. More specifically, one strike; he argued a 0-1 count. It being Prince Night at Target Field, the PA system played “When Doves Cry.”
Your oddball factoid of the game comes from Kansas City’s official team Twit feed:
Wait, they get 2-4-1 McMuffins when there’s a double play? Can’t we at least get half-price printer paper from Innovative Office Solutions or something? Robot Roll Call:
|6||Lars in SLP||14|
|18||Erudites Smell Bad||1|
It’s Mauer’s night to have his number retired tomorrow; the game is sold out. (All three games of the series are.) Mauer did a pregame meet-n-greet today for patients at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, where his wife used to work. I’m very familiar with that facility, and it’s an excellent one. (They don’t just provide services for children.)
Good on you, Joe.