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Game 63: Astros at Twins

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Cheaters never prosper! Except in actual real life!

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
my name is Bailey and this is my Area
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Time: 7:10 Central. Vegas Line: -140 HOU / MIN +130

Weather: 87° at first pitch, possibly last bits of some rain

Opponent’s extraneous “the” SB site: The Crawfish Boxes

TV: BS North. Radio: Intermittent crackling due to distant lightning and/or nuke detonations

The most important thing you need to know about tonight’s game is that the scheduled starter as of yesterday, one Matt Shoemaker, has been replaced for Inning 1 duties by previous spot-starter Bailey Ober. His first big-league appearance against Chicago was Bad (2 HR, 4 ER, 4 innings), his next against the Royals was Alright (0 HR, 1 ER, 4 innings). He was drafted out of college at age 21, and moved up the system pretty quickly due to an extremely impressive K/BB ratio (over 10 and under 2 per 9 innings).

He is also, I’m sad to say, a much better option than Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker was a cheap pickup for the Twins (think Bailey, Homer) that may-or-may-not have worked, and in this case Did. Not. Work. He’s certainly better at baseball than I am at anything; he’s just not as good at baseball as most other pitchers in MLB are right now.

His mound opponent (this sounds somewhat PG-13) is 26-year-old righty José Urquidy, one of three Mexican-born pitchers to start a World Series game, the others being Jaime Garcia and the legendary Fernando Valenzuela. (I remember watching Valenzuela’s WS game as a kid on TV, and falling in love with a song tidbit played as bumper music before the commercial; “Fernando” by ABBA. I thought it was really cool that a pitcher had such a neat song written about him. FYI: it wasn’t written about him.)

Urquidy’s WS game came after Houston had been caught cheating in earlier years, so we can’t hate him for that stuff. He’s been quite solid in 2021 until last Saturday, when he was whomped around pretty hard by the Blue Jays. Throws the usual four pitches and is usually pretty decent in control of each.

I won’t be including a photo of James’s Twins stuff this week, as my phone’s being stupid about taking photos. Imagine some stuff from the Dome days. Remember the Dome? Where it wasn’t 90 zillion degrees and humid? That was fun.

I once met longtime announcer Bob Casey at TwinsFest, back when it was just basically a baseball-card-trading seminar. I said “hi.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. He was just sitting there, in front of the home plate backstop fans, willing to talk to anyone. You wanna bet he had a zillion great old baseball stories he’d happily have shared? I was too dumb and shy to ask. Back then, I thought it was prying to ask older people to share their memories. Now, I know better — and I’m doing one of them right now.

Anyone with photos/stories to share about their baseball memorabilia can throw them to twinsbrewer@yahoo.com. I stopped even checking twinsbrewer@gmail.com. Everything about Google Mail is trash. Most things about Yahoo Mail are trash. Most of my old memorabilia is trash. It all has some connection in time and memory to me, though.

Today's Lineups

ASTROS TWINS
Jose Altuve - 2B Trevor Larnach - LF
Michael Brantley - LF Josh Donaldson - 3B
Alex Bregman - 3B Nelson Cruz - DH
Yordan Alvarez - DH Alex Kirilloff - RF
Yuli Gurriel - 1B Miguel Sano - 1B
Carlos Correa - SS Ryan Jeffers - C
Kyle Tucker - RF Nick Gordon - 2B
Myles Straw - CF Andrelton Simmons - SS
Martin Maldonado - C Gilberto Celestino - CF
Jose Urquidy - RHP Bailey Ober - RHP

Thread suggestions: all discussions involving Ober/”over” puns are highly recommended. As are any jokes which misrepresent the previous commenter’s statement, in honor of Houston’s centerfielder’s name.