On a dark and rainy night (by definition, nights tend to be dark), the Twins’ best veteran starter, Kenta Maeda, outpitched Cleveland’s young and excellent Shane Bieber. Byron Buxton sat on a first-pitch breaking ball and absolutely smashed it. Since early-onset greybeard Jake Cave was on second, that meant two points for Minnesota, and that was more than the other baseballing team.
I’d like use a few words giving Dan Gladden some praise, here. I poke a little fun at Dazzle, since he sorta leans into being a jock’s jock type. But he does understand the game of baseball very well. In the sixth inning of tonight’s game, after a leadoff single by superstar Francisco Lindor, Gladden noted that Lindor was leaning a little too far off first, and that Maeda, not noted for his pickoff move, might be able to get him. Maeda got him. Lindor was originally ruled safe, and the Twins reviewed it, and Gladden immediately saw that he was out. Props where props are due — Gladden knows more about baseball than I do.
(Although I’ll always cherish this interaction between Gladden and Cory Provus from their first year working together: Provus said “we now take ten seconds for station identification.” Gladden responded, “I’ve always wondered why we do that?” “Because it’s FCC regulations.” “What’s the FCC?”)
Maeda again was the Twins pitcher who can go longest in games, seeming like he might have been vulnerable in the seventh inning, then getting a crucial GIDP. Josh Donaldson made some outstanding infield plays, although Gladden said he still looks like his leg injury hasn’t entirely healed yet, so that’s worrisome. The Twins are already down Luis Arraez for probably the rest of the season (Rocco Baldelli doesn’t think so, longtime Twins fans who know the team’s history of injury reports will disagree.) It wouldn’t be ideal for them to lose their third baseman, too.
Ryan Jeffers had a monster dong off Bieber near the end of his night, helping hand Bieber his first loss of 2020. (At baseball, he may have lost at cribbage or foosball.) Taylor Rogers allowed one solo moonshot by Jose Ramirez, since Trogdor’s apparently been cursed by a witch’s catpaw this year.
Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless eighth, and got into it with Lindor, who may have been kinda cranky about being picked off by Maeda earlier. Romo really doesn’t like Cleveland. Maybe Drew Carey was mean to him one time, I dunno.
COTG goes to 2wins87 for this perceptive observation: “That was the second time I noticed Jeffers put down fastball, slider, fastball Must be something they’ve talked about, to shake off the first call but come back to it, keep the hitter guessing.” Robot Roll Call: