Matt Shoemaker is better than in some of his tougher starts (facing a crummy team doesn’t hurt), drizzly rain makes this a long one, and the Twins’ bullpen finally doesn’t melt in water like a wicked witch. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Tarik Skubal sounds like a familiar’s name on What We Do In The Shadows, and to prove this theory Kyle Garlick leads off with over-the-wall Vampire Repellant. (Think about it, it’s sooooo tricky!) The remaining Twins all strike out, perhaps forgetting that Adam Dunn wasn’t actually that good a hitter.
Minnesota’s former Garlick, Robbie Grossman, almost responds with a leadoff homer of his own. But doesn’t. Radio observes that Grossman’s average is woeful, yet his ability to draw walks gives him a respectable .370 OBP. It was always so, and always begged the question: why do pitchers walk Robbie Grossman? Twins 1-0
2: Polancoville Jorgedong! More Twins strikeouts. If Randy Johnson pitched against this lineup, he’d set a new one-game record for Ks before the end of the eighth inning.
Miguel Cabrera gets a single, the guy behind him gets a single, and radio pauses for a split-second to see if Cabrera tries for third. As if — those days is goooone. Don’t knock aging, though, it means you haven’t died. Pre-bullpen 2-0
3: A one-out Garlick double doesn’t drive a stake through Skubal’s heart. Provus and Gladden sprinkle unholy water on our hopes by saying how optimistic they are that cortisone shots will fix Kirilloff and Buxton quickly. They’re probably wrong. Who am I kidding? They’re definitely wrong.
4: Mitch Garver walks, advances on a hit-’n’-run grounder then tag up to third, and Max Kepler walks on Skubal’s 83rd pitch. Andrelton Simmons time! He wasn’t hired for his bat, so nothing happens.
Jeimer Candelario walks and Cabrera singles him to third. The excitement level at Comerica Park sounds less enthusiastic than the fake crowd noise using “The Show” sound effects last year. Hard to blame these fans; here, three straight El Tigres fail to score Candelario with the Twins’ worst starter throwing. Ouch.
5: A check-swing duck fart two-out hit for Josh Donaldson. Two more strikeouts for Skubal, giving him eight in five innings. I suspect he is done, and Twins hitters will demonstrate amazing Vision + Patience the rest of this game!
IT’S A TARP!!! The bored crowd watching a boring game gets a boring rain delay.
A bird is building a nest outside our door, in the awning. It’s a symbol of spring and the hopefulness of new life. I destroyed it with a broom, as nobody’s bought me a blowtorch for Xmas yet. Start shopping!
Matt Shoemaker resumes pitching after about half an hour. We asked, “why do pitchers walk Robbie Grossman?” Maybe Shoemaker could answer, as he issues said walk here. Nothing comes of it, as Jonathan Schoop was a homer-hitting Twin in 2019 and as good since then as all other homer-hitting Twins from 2019. AKA, strikeout on ball in dirt.
6: Someone called Bryan Garcia comes in, walks Polanco and Miguel Sano, then Herr Maximillian von Kepler hits a single and Simmons a RBI groundout. What fans still there are drunk enough to lazily boo. (Fans on the TT gamethread seem drunk enough to lazily go “yippee.”)
Cody Stashak’s 6.52 ERA replaces Shoemaker, throws a bunch of hanging sliders, and two Detroiters reach base to start this inning thing — Candelario and Cabrera again. Wili Castro’s .525 OPS homers them in this time. Akil Baddoo almost dongs, too. (It’s only a double, but he still has the most “Star Wars” side character name in baseball.) Alex Colome warms up in the bullpen. It rains. Soggy Twins 4-3
7: More. Rain. Delay. It seems I missed some of the bird’s nest. I used a Bic lighter. This was satisfying. Kris Atteberry interviews Brad Balukjian, author of The Wax Pack. It’s a good book.
After two half-hours, Jose Cisnero (I feel a final “s” is missing, here) gives up doubles to Donaldson and Polanco. There aren’t even enough drunk fans remaining to make any noise.
ACE time for the Twins. It’s a three-up, three-down on 14 pitches. Colome is all fixed, now! So is my life! One of these things is a lie! I may be lying that only one is a lie! TwinkleTown 5-3
8: Keplerklobber! Jake Cave strikeout! Other Twins things! I’m really tired!
Mitch Garver is replaced by Ben Rortvedt at catcher for some reason WHICH I’M SURE ISN’T ANOTHER TWINS INJURY. Cabrera walks again, his fourth time on base tonight — respect those years! Reliever Hansel (neither Gretel nor Paso) Robles is crabby about the ball-four call. No leads were harmed in the making of this inning. Us 6, Them 3
9: Radio says Garver has a shoulder thing and is day-to-day. Also Nelson Cruz is scuffling. The charter plane pilot probably has incurable brainworms, to boot. Josh Donaldson walks courtesy of forever-Tiger Daniel Norris, advances on a wild pitch, and scores on a Miguel Sano... single? (Is he allowed to do those?)
Once-former-Twin Meat Raffle beats both former Twins Baddoo and Grossman and some guy in between. I’m REALLY tired, if that isn’t slightly obvious. Final! MN 7, MI 3
COTG goes to Matt Monitto for his suitably wet & gloomy lineup card:
Lonely Wall-E Robot Roll Call:
Be sure to catch José Berríos going tomorrow at 3:10 Classy Daylight Time!