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Twins 2, Pirates 0: J.A. Happ, La Tortuga sinx the recent jinx

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Yeah, Pittsburgh got BAbip-ed a little, but it was still a nice performance by the ex-Yanqui.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Minnesota Twins
probably a Happ-y man tonight
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Offseason acquisition and cheap one-year-contract 38-year-old J.A. Happ bewitched, bothered and bewildered the Pirates’ lineup tonight. He only got three strikeouts in his 7.1 innings — but he was only pulled after Pittsburgh finally recorded their first hit. A truly goofy-looking high swing by Willians Astudillo managed to sneak over the left-field wall, and that would be all Minnesota needed for a better-than-Wednesday win.

Inning-by-inning recap:

1: Three easy outs for Jock Armpit Happ. Luis Arraez leads off for the Twins with a patented Arraez single and is quickly erased with a patented 2021 Twins Offense® GIDP. Nelson Cruz argues a called third strike and almost gets ejected.

2: Jingle Aroundtheclock Happ issues two walks that don’t score. Todd Frazier, he of the eternal Denny Hocking-ness, plays for Pittsburgh now. Thank TJ, myjah, and Jesse I am here to tell you such things. Byron Buxton grounds out for Minnesota, after which there’s really no point in hoping for anybody lower down in the order to do anything.

3: Gladden on scoring first: “It’s tough to play catchup baseball.” Maybe the Twins should try ketchup baseball. Play the game with fast-food ketchup packets instead of balls. It would at least have some visual appeal. Nobody reaches base off of Jaws Anaconda Happ this time.

LA TORTUGA SOLO HOMER! Twins 1-0

4: J-lo A-rod Happ keeps Pittsburgh hitless. Singles by Cruz and Buxton go nowhere. as the Twins have vowed never to score again on anything except home runs. (This vow was taken before the 2019 playoffs, and most Twins have faithfully adhered to it since.)

5: Imaginatively-named Pirate Wilmer Difo almost gets on via an errant Jabba Artoo Happ throw to first, but is ruled out for running inside the baselines

JAKE THE CAVE FOR JAKES SOLO HOMER! Twins 2-0

6: Still no base hits allowed by Jiffy Airpop Happ! (I made enough popcorn for three people and ate it all during this game.)

J.T. Brubaker is also throwing effectively for the Pirates — if the only two opponents’ runs come from guys who don’t usually hit homers, you’ve probably done fairly well. Granted, all pitching achievements against 2021 Twins are to be graded on a curve.

7: Through this many innings and 87 pitches, Jellied Apple Happ is still hitless. So, in this inning, are the Twins.

8: Is it time to believe In Jinxes Aplenty Happ? The answer is “no.” In his 154th game of a six-year MLB career, Jacob Stallings lines a one-out double to left. Rocco Baldelli immediately pulls Happ (duh), who gets a good ovation from the chilly crowd.

Tyler Duffey comes in and promptly walks “Are We Not Men? We Are” Difo, before getting a groundout that advances the runners to second/third. He strikes out Adam Frazier, thought, and Minnesota keeps its lead. FOR NOW, BWAHAHAHAHA

Sam Howard strikes out all the Twinses.

9: After Duffey gets a righty, Taylor Rogers comes in to get a switch-hitter and lefty. Five bullpen outs needed, Cave and Astudillo homering... just how Baldelli drew it up. Good team wins!

Your Hero of the Game isn’t Happ or the homer-hitters; it’s the numerical expression 2:17. As in, length of game, after I had to get up at 4:45 this morning. 2:17 will be the name of my next child. In fact, I am retroactively changing all my children’s names to this timestamp. They will thank me later (or their therapist will). Robot Roll Call:

COTG goes to Blake Donlon for getting into the broken-no-hit spirit with “It didn’t JA Happen,” also Froggy for “Literally the first at-bat I watched lol.”

Be sure to join us at 1:10 tomorrow for Big Mike Pineda trying to do his best Jubilantly Awesome Happ impression!