The Twins rumblebumbled usually-excellent Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger in the first inning for all the runs they’d need, and Randy Dobnak did his best impression of Joe Mays ca. 2001 with a skill at getting batters to make weak contact. Josh Donaldson was replaced early because his leg is hurt, and nobody knows if he’ll return next week or next September.
1st: Dobnak throws 22 pitches to douse three Cleveland batters. He won’t be going eight innings tonight unless he is on a 176-pitch limit. Maybe. The Dobstache is a mercurial soul with powers/demons/depths we know not of.
Max von Kepler dongs a leadoff homer, Jacque Jones-style. Way to bring the early 2000s old-school, sir. (Or Herr, my German is nonexistent, I’ve even gotten bathrooms mixed up in gas stations there.) Eddie Rosario whomps a near-dong double to score noted speedsters Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz. Clevinger’s at 36 pitches. He won’t be going eight tonight unless he’s on a 288-pitch limit. Maybe. Terry Francona has more than a passing resemblance to Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, after all. MIN 3-0
2nd: Dobbers throws fewer baseballs. Alex Avila goes Deep Dong Derp (he’s a Twin now, if you’d forgotten, so that’s good... and I won’t blame you at all if you forgot). Ehire Adrianza bats for Josh Donaldson, that’s not what you want. (Ehire actually had the best history against Clevinger coming into this game of any current Twins hitter, although he strikes out here.) Jorge Polanco does a TOOTBLAN leaning too far off first. What’s up with Josh? I had a bad feeling he hadn’t run out some pop flies earlier this short season because something was wrong. MIN 4-0, but worried about Donaldson.
3rd: The Dobstache gets into some trouble yet BABips his way out. Eddie gets busted pushing a single into a double — didn’t NotThatBrianMcCann just have a post about baserunning?
4th: Mrs. James is suddenly, horribly ill. She wasn’t yesterday or this morning. I just picked the Comment Of The Gamethread:
Jeepers Creepers, 2020. It’s probably a bad food reaction, she gets those every three years or so, but I DON’T KNOW. She’s laying down.
Also, there was baseball stuff, the score didn’t change.
Provus reports that Donaldson was lifted because of a “right calf” issue, so yes, he has been feeling it for some time. R.E.M. is my favorite band — “Everybody Hurts” is NOT my favorite song.
5th: Gladden keeps pronouncing Dobnak “Dobnik.” Whatever, Danny, maybe you’re right (but something in me suspects you’re wrong, especially because you vacillate back-and-forth).
Trying to multitask vast brain worries, gamethread jokes, and doing this recap. It’s harder than I remememberd, or I’m just that much older/less capable than last year.
6th: Goldang it, this is a nice-looking loaf of bread:
I made it because Mrs. James asked me to, and I thought a Cubano sandwich would go nice with this game. Now she can’t eat. So I can’t eat. But it still looks good.
The magic secret to good bread? A bread machine I found buried in the cupboard some years ago when I moved into my dead parents-in-law’s house. When you move into a stranger’s house, you do some exploring, and I found the thing.
“I think this is a bread machine.”
“Maybe! I think Mom used it once or twice.”
“Does it work?”
“I dunno, possibly, it’s really old.”
It does. Although if you let it cook the bread for you it comes out shaped like a Borg cube, it’s best to let the machine do kneading and then cook in the oven. Unless you want Borg cube bread because Elongation Is Futile.
I’ve gotten pretty good at using the bread machine. But I can’t eat that bread now. Worry is no appetizer. Anyhoo, if you live in dead peoples’ homes, check for a bread machine in the cupboard.
Tyler Clippard replaces Dobnak and does pitch into one Cleveland run on a walk, Jose Ramirez steal, and Franmil Reyes double. It’s arguable that Dobbers is a better fifth pitcher than Homer Bailey once Michael Pineda comes back. I’d say “time will tell” yet there’s little time to get sample sizes this season, is there? MIN 4-1
7th: Cleveland has not one, but two sidearm/submarine relievers in Adam Cimber (our JohnFoley, no name space for reasons of his own, analyzed Cimber here) and Oliver Perez. Sidearmers are cool. If you didn’t love Pat Neshek then you are simply a bad person. Tyler Duffey serves SSS example of why last year’s career breakout may be no fluke.
8th - 9th: No point in real-time inning notes as my mind was fully elsewhere and I relied on “does Provus’s voice get excited” to pay attention. Taylor Rogers got three outs on five pitches; that’s insane!
Carlos Carrasco pitches for Cleveland tomorrow as a leukemia survivor. You really can’t dislike these guys, although you do root for Twins guys to do better. Go master prankster Kenta Maeda go! Robot Roll Call:
In the postgame interview on radio, Rocco Baldelli referred to Dobnak as “Dobber” so that’s his Gardy-ism, if you wanted to know. The music on 830 radio after a Friday game is aggressively awful, I have no idea who decided “yes! AM mono AutoTune country-pop!” but they are bad and should work elsewhere.
Update: as of 12:30, Mrs. James feels OK enough to eat some bread. We've probably skirted by this one, this time, lucky we. GO BASE BALLS!