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Angels 10, Twins 3: Unholy smokes

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A promising start from a Twins prospect is blown to smithereens by previously successful Twins relievers.

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Angels
This photo of staff in the pre-game stands was actually uploaded to Getty Images DURING this game. The photographer was, I believe, a psychic Twins fan.
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

23-year-old Australian Twins lefty Lewis Thorpe has already struggled with injuries, and with poor control in his brief MLB appearances. (He wasn’t on our good friend DJL44’s Top 30 Twins Prospect voting list despite his young age.)

He was very solid in his first 2021 start, only necessary because of a post-doubleheader depleted rotation. Two earned runs in four innings isn’t exactly Johan Santana, but Thorpe appeared to have improved his control and wasn’t even exactly crushed in his last, two-run inning. (Perhaps worth noting, it was when he faced the lineup a second time that they began to make better contact.)

Previously successful (in previous years) Randy Dobnak and Caleb Theilbar were eminently whappable, and Anaheim (that’s their REAL name) scored eight unanswered runs to get the recap started early.

Inning-by-inning notes:

1: Both teams do nothing. Cory Provus apologizes for radio microphones catching a fan sneezing.

2: Shh! Lewis Thorpe has a perfect game going! Nobody jinx it!

It comes up during Albert Pujols’s AB that he’s right behind A-Rod on the all-time HR list, and Mr. Rodriguez is close to buying the Minnesota Timberwolves. Dan Gladden does not sound enthusiastic.

3: Shh! The Twins’ bats are sleepy from changing day games to Pacific Time Zone night games. Nobody wake them.

So much for Thorpe’s no-hitter. I told y’all not to jinx it. A slow roller to third by Jose Iglesias. It’s erased on a harder GIDP to third by Kurt Suzuki. Did you know he spearfishes octopi via snorkel in the offseason? I read about this on the Target Field JumboTron, so it must be true.

4: It’s John Donaldson’s turn to GIDP. He does not spear-fish for octopi; he does sexy hitting tutorials.

After a looonnnnggg two-out foul ball by Mike Trout that both he and Thorpe stand back to admire, Mr. Fish is walked. Justin Upton doubles him to third. Jared Walsh singles. Angels 2-0

5: Well, Thorpe is done. It’s time for Randy Dobnak and his super-small-sample-size 9.00 ERA. It gets lower.

6: Jorge Polanco reaches first the correct way and second the crummy fielding way. Max Kepler walks. Jake Cave whiffs.

Then, Mitch Garver double. Donaldson single! Nelson Cruz, moar single! Kyle Garlick would hit into Minnesota’s FOURTH GIDP of the game, but until then, things was golden.

Here’s struggling Dobbers. A David Fletcher single, Shohei Ohtani single played oddly by Cave (so, not a double and not a single+error but he’s on second?), and Trout single make Lead Go Away.

Dobnak would get the next three outs to “limit the damage,” as they say, yet one of them was truly sTrAnGe. On a Jared Walsh infield popup, Donaldson pretended to flub the catch and then zapped the “drop” to second in order to remove speedy Trout from the bases. It was called an “infield fly rule” out for Walsh, and Trout remained on first. Usually, the infield fly rule is signaled before the ball comes down, and runners advance at their own risk. Or, so I thought.

This is the sort of thing that makes baseball incomprehensible to sports fans who aren’t from baseball-loving countries. Anyhoo, Angels 4-3

7: Twins threaten, but No. Angels threaten, and Yes. Some weak hits off Dobbers allow runners to A) advance bases then B) score on slow-rolling balls in the outfield. Caleb (“Meat Raffle”) Theilbar comes in to escape the first-and-third, one-out “pickle.”* He does not, a wild pitch and Justin Upton grand slam followed by extra homer from Who Cares not assisting his cause.

*(Why are tough situations called “pickles”? Who doesn’t like pickles? My sister-in-law hates them, but she doesn’t like me either, so I consider her judgment faulty.) Angels 10-3

8: I don’t even care. WAIT, I do! Willians Astudillo is pitching. He’s perfect, three up, three down! I’m not bothering with the ninth unless it’s tied and La Tortuga KEEPS PITCHING! Final: 10-3 Lose

Your Gladdenisms of the night all came in that sixth inning. First, he called Angels reliever Aaron Slegers “a tall drink of water” (he’s 6’10”), not realizing that “tall drink of water” was how 1940s movie heroines called a male actor sexy. Then he called Garver’s double past third “gonna go foul THAT’S INSIDE THE LINE.” Then said the double meant free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches tomorrow before correcting himself to amend that this only applies to home games.

COTG goes to norff in the sixth for “I CAN’T FINISH A COMMENT WITH ALL THE HITS GO BATS GO TWINS.” I was trying to make a hotdog and eat it and have a beer and work on my in-game notes, so I feels ya, norff. Also So Cal Vike explaining that the homer Angels announcers “are less terrible than Physioc and Hudler were.” Robot Roll Call:

It’ll be Matt Shoemaker for the Twins tomorrow at 8:07 Our Time, because the Angels are apparently too cool to start games at a normal 10 minutes past the hour like everybody else.