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Twins 6, Tigers 3: Homers and Pineda make much win

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in news that will SHOCK and ASTOUND you, the Twins hit home runs.

Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers
Picture selected because tongues sticking out are inherently goofy.
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

An early two-run whomp from Mitch Garver plus later dingers by C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz gave the Twins of Minnesota more runs than the Tigers of Detroit.

Michael Pineda showed why the Twins picked him up despite a year-long injury in 2018; he can throw base balls very speedily. In his first game after a recent bout with knee tendinitis, his slider wasn’t going where Pineda wanted it to. So he relied on throwing two varieties of fastball, one hard and one harder. It got him through five full with only three runs allowed, all on non-dong base hits. Two involving Miguel Cabrera, who is approximately 6000 years old and under contract until the sun explodes — he ain’t what he used to be, but he’s still pretty good.

Middle-aged* Ryne Harper pitched a perfect seventh, Tyler Duffey a scoreless sloppy eighth, and Blake Parker an even sloppier ninth. Two walks from one of the team’s two most reliable relievers. That’s... not ideal. Falvine, you promised to improve the team if they showed it was worth the investment, if they showed some chance of contending. Now would be a good time.

Ron Gardenhire got his butt ejected early for arguing a balk, which is one of those things you can’t argue, as pretty much everything you can argue is covered via instant replay these days. That’s two Friday games against Minnesota this year and two ejections. Thank you, Gardy. Thank you.

Best comment of the broadcast goes to Kris Atteberry for the sixth inning here; he described Marwin Gonzalez’s caught-in-a-rundown as “they won’t put that on the instructional video,” and followed up with a Willians Astudillo at-bat by saying “I apologize if I shocked you while you were driving, but he struck out in the fifth.” Dang straight, Atteberry — don’t distract drivers! That’s how innocent squirrels get squished.

Silliest comment goes to Atteberry after a late Buxton double, advance to third, and run scored: “it all began with the feet and legs of Byron Buxton.” That makes me imagine Buxton running like a robot without swinging his arms. I am a running machine can I move my arms I don’t know my programmer never told me how bleep bloop bleep

Speaking of which, Robot Roll Call:

* This is partially a joke because Harper made his MLB debut at age 30, but also a true thing. Think about it. The average life expectancy for American males is 76.9 years. That means ages 25.63 thru 51.27 are middle-aged. Which includes almost the entire Twins roster and almost all of you. The grim specter of Death awaits.

However, there’s an afterlife, if you’re inclined to think so. Which reminds me of an old Saints promotion, “Atheist Night.” Between innings, two fans raced through various atheist-themed obstacles. (“They have to slide into first base in a pile of mud, since that’s the primordial ooze life came from!”) There was a theme for each base.

Until home plate. The contestants crossed home and looked rather befuddled — why didn’t the PA guy make some funny joke for home plate? Then he did. “Wait, you were expecting something at the end? It’s Atheist Night! There’s nothing at the end!”

I described this to a devoutly religious friend of mine and he howled with laughter. “Can I tell this story to my congregation,” he asked. Absolutely! The goodness of baseball crosses all barriers.

Complaints about this asterisk-y digression may be directed at the author, who will not care until such point as T.J. fires his butt.