In a game where sloppy pitching, fielding and running really lost things for Cleveland more than Minnesota won it, a potentially disastrous “opener” beginning was salvaged by Mauer-esque extra-basing from the Twins’ Guy You Gotta Put In The Lineup Somehow, Luis Arraez. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Twins opener Danny Coulombe, whose grandad was a decorated member of a WWII bomber crew, honors Pop-Pop by allowing two bombas of his own, the second “unearned” thanks to a Patented Polanco Puh-leaze Play©. It was Coulombe’s first-ever MLB start, and probably his last.
Because most crappy fielding decisions resulting in three bases from the hitter are counted as “triples,” Luis Arraez triples then scores in order to keep me from going to bed. Cleveland 3-1
2: Coulombe is replaced, as expected, by Griffin Jax. Unexpectedly, this comes with two outs in the inning, because mid-inning pitching changes make everything longer and the Twins are all about me never going to bed.
3: Cleveland’s Cal Quantrill, having a good season so far, goes kinda brainfarty here. He surrenders a leadoff double to Nick Gordon, who promptly TOOTBLANs himself on a “fielder’s choice” which is really a “runner’s dumb.” But Arraez follows this with another
error-causing triple, is scored by a Donaldson single, then Alex Kirilloff goes Dong. (Gladden later states that Arraez should thank Twins scorer Stew Thornley for those triples.) Twins 5-3
4: Ignoring the aviation theme, Air Force Acadmy grad Jax loads the bases in a very overland fashion, via walks and a single. He strikes out weak whiffer Bradley Zimmer and gives up a two-run grounder to Austin Hedges, he with the 2021 average of .157 (career .195). You just know we’re going to see Shoemaker in this game. Baby tied 5-5
5: Off we go, into the wild blue yonder, as Eddie Rosario makes like his parents are in the stands (remember that?) You live in fame or go down in flame, Twins pitchers.
Cory Provus shares a story about doing plan-by-play in the New York-Penn League in the 1990s while having someone remove a wooden bench splinter from his butt. Appropriate for observing the pitching in this one; a Nelson Cruz blooper with two on recuffs the baby 6-6
6: Jax must own a hypnotic talisman which Bailey Ober does not, as he somehow convinces Rocco Baldelli to give him one more inning; to his credit, Jax doesn’t waste it.
The Twins don’t waste a two-out “infield hit” by Andrelton Simmons (really, another “pretty close to an error” play.). Luis Arraez AGAIN takes extra bases, this time on a two-RBI double, Twins 8-6
7: ACE time; as radio points out, he’s faced Cleveland three times this season and gotten two outs (none of which were ROOGY-related). But he goes 1-2-3 here. IGNORE THIS MIRAGE, TWINS FANS. Jorge Polanco adds to his error night with a TOOTBLAN because Polancoville always seems to be either Party City in the fun way or the crummy sloppy Florida spring-break way.
8: Trogdor does the same as ACE, retiring Jose Ramirez to start his perfect inning. You may recall the, ah... “interesting” decision made in yesterday’s game to have Rogers IBB Ramirez with runners on first and second, Eddie Rosario due up. It didn’t work.
Cleveland’s sometimes closer, Emmanuel Clase, throws 100+ several times. Radio mentions that he served suspension time last season for the Naughty Pee. Why do guys who are really, really strong still do the Naughty Pee? Or were/are they always doing it, outside the times they are caught? I dunno.
9: Minnesota’s sometimes closer, Hansel Robles, almost gets eaten by a witch when, with one out, John Naylor homers and Bradley Zimmer gets Zoomed by Max Kepler while stretching a single past the point of Wisdom. With the, again, career-hitting .195 Hedges due up, where “scoring position” won’t usually help. Yay win!
Apologies for the sloppiness of this recap, folks, but I was literally falling asleep at the keyboard and kept jolting awake to find strange error/function messages only people with programming degrees usually know how to summon. STUDS: Arraez, Coulombe/Jax for not letting this fall apart early. DUDS: my fingers, G/I tract, and brain. Robot Roll Call:
COTG goes to trigonzobob for mentioning that Arraez was “an album hitter. No singles.”
Tune in tomorrow at 1:10 for the second installment of Kenta Maeda, Hopefully Fixed Now edition (and read this fun Do-Hyoung Park article on how much Robles fancrushes on all things Japanese).