Two struggling teams, one with a pitcher on the downside and one on the upside of his career, match equally blasé baseball until Texas’s bullpen is worse than Minnesota’s at the very end. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: For your consideration, we present “Scenes From The Career Of A Marginal MLB Pitcher.” Mike Foltynewicz, snakebit by injuries most of his decade-or-so in MLB, gives up walks to Luis Arraez and Trevor Larnach (his fault), bloopy singles to Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz (the baBIP gods’ fault), a dribbler in front of home plate that Folty skyballs badly to first (his fault), and the Twins get a field goal without really hitting anything hard. It’s kinda like those people you know who have a huge history of traffic accidents which, they swear, were never because they did anything wrong. You have that many, you’re just kinda a bad driver. Foltynewicz does not seem like a good MLB pitcher at this point.
José Orlando Berríos, usually a good MLB pitcher, has a walk of his own and, more damningly, is actually hit hard. You can’t have nice things, remember? Twins 3-2
2: Both pitchers “settle down,” if you can call a meaningless game between two awful teams anything a starter would get Too Fired Up for. Astudillo gets a crappy hit and the radio makes fun of him. IT STILL COUNTS, ATTEBERRY. We see perhaps the opposite of Fired Up when a Polanco-esque two-out error clearly annoys Berríos, who is sloppy with 14 additional pitches to escape the inning. Meaning moar bullpen fun a-cometh for us all!
3: Hey, did we mention Max Kepler is back from injury? He replaces Master Astrologer/Psychic/Mesmerist “The Mysterious Celestino.” Kepler becomes the third of three Twins to strike out swinging IN THIS INNING against FRIGGIN’ FOLTYNEWICZ, singing as he does so, “Folty Folty Folty, can’t you see, sometimes your pitches hypnotize me," confusing all Twins less down with 1990s East Coast rap than the average 28-year-old German.
4: Berríos is Smacked By Singles again, and even the outs are hit hard; one to center backs up Nick Gordon so much that Texas runner Brock Holt, a 33-year-old with 38 career steals, is able to tag up and advance a base on a sac fly. From first to second. Whaaaaat? Anyhoo, he’s not the guy who scores. Tangled Up In Blah, 3-3
5: Trevor Plouffe May Larnach hits a solo dong. I feel we should have some funny phrase for when this happens. Larn Dart? Rocket Larnch? I’m very tired tonight and besides it’s not my fault if you commenters lack the proper Trevorvation. Minnesota 4-3
6: Things my computer is telling me:
- Tonight’s bench catcher, Ben “Morty” Mortivedt has forearm muscles “touched by God”
- Byron Buxton is “any day” but the Twins are seeking a second opinion for reasons wholly unrelated to Bob Engvall’s “let’s package him for a trade” theory
- The Twins DFAed Shaun Anderson and Texas grabbed him, so he’s a Ranger now and if you don’t care his friends and family do
- The algorithms picking ads for me have chosen reverse mortgages and photos of celebrities who are Old and advice on healing your pets that are Old. Must be suggesting something about my demographic but I know not what
A thing the radio tells me is that, contrary to 2021 Baldelli strategy, it’s possible to use a pitcher who has 90+ pitches without him melting; Berríos ends up with 103 and nobody scores.
7: Aforementioned Twins
bulls**t bullpen time! Jorge Alcala, who is valued for throwing fast, throws a fastball 99.5 miles per hour, which is fast, and it leaves the field of play at 101 miles per hour, which is faster. Non-musical notation: 4-4 time
8: Texas reliever Joely Rodríguez once pitched in the minors for a team named the Bowie Baysox. He keeps Twins hitters scoreless with a frequent use of ch-ch-ch-changeups. Taylor Rogers keeps the Rangers scoreless. Nile Rogers is a guitarist who produced “Let’s Dance” and was sampled on “Mo Money Mo Problems,” don’t tell me you can’t tie every silly reference together if you try
9: WTF TOOTBLAN time! After a Jeffers single, this sequence I will simply transcribe verbatim from mlb.com’s feed: “Alex Kirilloff grounds into a double play, first baseman Nate Lowe to shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Ryan Jeffers out at 2nd. Alex Kirilloff out at 2nd, second baseman Nick Solak to shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.” That happened. Hansel Robles blanks Texas with the aid of less dum-dummery.
10: Manfredballlll! Since the Twins have ultra-slow yet ultra-glorious Willians Astudillo on second, Luis Arraez doubles him in. Walks (accidental and intentional) load the bases with one out, giving Max Kepler an opportunity to strike out (which he takes), but Jeffers & Kirilloff do more four-ball strolling to give Minnesota a three-run lead for Tyler Duffey.
Duff Man allows a couple of singles to get Eli White (whose photo very much is) up as the possible winning run, he takes Strike-o Three-o, and I don’t have to email somebody to do this recap (I gotta be up early!) Little Red Corvette defeats the Eliminator 7-5
Robot Roll Call:
COTG goes to SooFooFan for “this is the game that turns it all around,” which I think now has become the official “it is what it is” for TwinkieTown 2021 (norff and CG19 joining in the fun later on). Also, per TwinBob, “I’m liking Glen Perkins in the booth,” which is not something I saw myself, but it doesn’t surprise me, since Perkins brews his own beer as Masters Of All Skillz are known to do.
Join us tomorrow at 3:05 for the latest incarnation of Randall J. Dobbers trying to turn it around! By “us,” I don’t mean “me,” as I’m working, but I’ll be with y’all in spirit! Unless I switch the radio to another station! Which I usually do during this year’s Twins games unless I’m mandated by blog order to recap them!