What begins as a second straight nice start by Randy Dobnak turns gruesome on some lunky defense and bad mopup relief. Meanwhile, after a wobbly opening, Kansas City’s usually walktastic Kris Bubic manages to keep the Twins from working counts. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Hey, Nelson Cruz is back! He’d been out for awhile with Bavarian Eyeball Pox or something. He gets a double, and that’s it for hitty goodness. Kris Bubic has a mound visit in the first inning. That’s good, right? It means the Twins are making him Nervous? Or maybe it’s bad because the pitching coach has now fixed him, and Bubic will never allow a runner again.
2: My fears are unfounded, as the Twins do indeed get a runner, but also completely founded, as Bubic strikes out three. One of those is future record holder Miguel Sano, though, so that only counts as half a K: we’ll give him a <
3: Gladden points out that it was weird for the Twins to open 2021 with Dobnak as a long reliever after signing him to a contract extension. He continues to keep Kansas City scoreless early despite recording no strikeouts. Bubic continues to keep Minnesota scoreless despite hitters presumably trying their heckuva goshdarn best.
4: This inning seems to be zipping by! Mrs. James asks, “did you just fall asleep at the computer?” I did! No wonder the inning was zipping by!
Bubic gives up his first homer of the year to Mitch Garver. Target Field plays part of a recorded siren effect to celebrate. Have they always done this? It sounds like something you’d do at an intense hockey bar. You know, the kind of place that has several ambulance-style lights for when the team on TV scores. Maybe you have never been in such a bar. Maybe you have never been in any bar, for your body is a temple. I commend your commitment to Health. Now drink your carrot smoothie and go to bed Twins 1-0
5: Things gets ugly. A two-out walk to Hunter “Torii Brian” Dozier gets doubled home by Michael Taylor on a play that would have been out at the plate if Garver had been just a little smoother catching the relay. It’s not ruled an error, though, as the inning continues. Whit Merrifield easily scores Taylor on a single, then takes second on Alex Kirilloff’s misguided throw home. He ends up scoring as well. Dobbers goes from looking like super-good Nick Blackburn to less good Nick Blackburn:
Gladden provides what might be the highlight of this broadcast when discussing “Star Wars Night” at Target Field and imitating James Earl Jones saying “I am your father.” It sounds like a mermaid talking underwater. Royals 3-1
6: Adalberto Mondesi’s double becomes a “nuh”-ble when Garver catches him stealing third. The Twins get “nuh”-bled the old fashioned way, by getting no hits.
7: Dobnak, surprisingly, starts this inning, given that Baldelli’s MO this season is to not let starters go much past an 80 pitch count (Dobbers at 81): Randy D rewards this faith by allowing three straight singles. Cody Stashak, whom I keep forgetting is on this team (no offense to his family/friends/pets) comes in to go double, sac fly, walk, single, single, I-can-safely-start-drinking-beer-because-this-game-requires-no-more-close-attention.
I’m still planning on beer, but the Twins try to make this somewhat interesting for fans at the game by loading the bases against something called a Tyler Zuber. He’s yanked, another reliever comes in, Trevor Larnach scores one guy, Josh Donaldson almost scores all the guys but long fouls don’t count, there’s a wild pitch in there somewhere, and I’m going back to my beverage. Kings 8, Lakers 3 (you’ll have to work for it)
8: Stashak is better, now — oh well, whatever, nevermind. My brother who is not in this state and has never followed the Twins points out in an email that “Nevermind” is now older than the Beatles’ first album was when “Nevermind” came out. You can thank him for this installment of Making You Feel Old. Or young, I guess, if you don’t know what either of those music references are.
9: A true TTAD.com sighting; the Royals’ first-base coach is none other than former Twins player Rusty Kuntz. Luke Farrell is not, in fact, wild. Yes I know that’s not how it’s spelled or pronounced, blame the beer. Game Lose Over Bad
COTGs go to Mrmumph for the simple-yet-true “Your pitching staff can give up 2 runs or 20 runs. It really doesn’t matter when you only score 1” (Okay, they got more later, it’s still true) and trigonzobob for the strange-yet-delightful “I kinda like bots in my Bubic area.” Rub That Robot Roll Call:
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Be sure to join us tomorrow, when J. A. “Jay” Happ faces the always-intriguing TBD at 1:10 Central. Or, do weekend stuff!