The battle for fourth-best in the AL’s third-best division results in Kansas City ending their nine-game losing streak by making Minnesota’s a meager four. However, there are Keys To This Game, which I will not reveal! You’ll have to read the deeply depthful inning-by-inning notes:
1: Luis Arraez goes, “hey, I’m still gonna play like this season matters” and hits an almost-homer double to start things. J-DAWWWWG goes “yo, bro! Thaat’s the FIRE I INSPIRE" and does the same, which weirdly doesn’t score Arraez, but Trevor Larnach grounds back to Brady Singer who tries to nail Arraez at home and airmails it, then T-LAAAAARNY scores on an Alex Kirilloff dribbler when the Royals infield goes “we have 81 games left, oh puhleasssse.”
Radio notes that the Twins are currently the only team in MLB without a winning record after scoring first (22-22). Bodes ill for J.A. Happ. He gets the Royals out on seven pitches anyways. Twins 3-0
2: There we go, 22-22 “first score” record! Three Twins Twiddle Thundersticks Timidly, while Salvador “Not Dali” Perez homers, Hansel “Not Robles” Alberto doubles, and Trevor “Not A Good Defender” not a good defends. At around the 31-pitch-this-inning mark, Happ starts whining about a Ball Four call and the crew chief tells him to “quit it, you pooper” (or words to that effect). This leads to an Equipment Check, which leads to Happ not being caught cheating, which omygawdthisgamealreadyisdumbandsucks Tied Baby 3-3
3: OK, I’m convinced that being the Worst Team To Score First In 2021 Or Possibly Forever is a goal the Twins should seek to achieve and believe. They seem to agree, as walk-single-walk doesn’t suit their scorepointing fancy, while Happ gives up the aforementioned Hansel’s first dong d’année, which I think is how you type it in French unless I didn’t pay close enough attention in high school which I didn’t. KC (TC) 5 (3)
4; After 72 pitches, Singer is replaced by the gloriously-named Richard Lovelady. Do I really need to spell out for you how brilliant this name is? Because I won’t do it. PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO DO SOME OF THE WORK.
Happ gets to pitch numero 76-o with no further runnage, giving him the chance to reach that magic 5.00 ERA number on the night if he closes his eyes and prays really hard to Harry Truman’s ghost.
(Vaguely remembering that Truman was born in Missouri, maybe Kansas City? Quick Wiki check. No, he died in Kansas City! Even more ghostly! Pray hard, J.A. “Jay,” pray hard!)
5: Friggin’ Happ did not follow my advice, starting his inning with double-single-double. He’s not left in to Stanky It Out à la (more French!) Matt Shoemaker the other night, which depressingly make me think he’s not about to get DFAed.
Oh, yeah, the Twins had at-batting parts in this inning, too, but I’m not mentioning those, since I have no intention of of being offensive. Like the Twins! hahahaha
6: On cue, Minnesota loads the bases via single/single/walk with Not Outs (as, sadly, Richard Lovelady has gone to Supername Showers), but only scores on an Arraez GIDP.
ACE* comes in and almost surrenders a two-run Hot Dong, taken away at the wall by converted-into-centerfielder via GCS* Nick Gordon. Hang on, ACE, there’s still time to shine that way you do.
(* — To avoid too muchly Acronyms, I’ll explain that ACE = Alex Colome Experience, and GCS = Gilberto Celestino Sucks) 6-4, is the score, what team are you rooting for! Twins! Twins! Twins! (not the team with the lead though)
7: Radio says “the Twins do nothing.” About right. ACE doesn’t get his chance to be awful, as Danny Coulombe relieves him, and almost gives up a run on a “contact play” when Carlos Santana is out at the plate.
This play, on a throw from Arraez, is only overruled from “safe” to “out” on a Baldelli challenge, and at first I was rather annoyed by this. Who really cares, and you’re just prolonging a meaningless game to “prove” you still are invested in the season; ergo, shouldn’t be fired. (Since this roster is a clustercrap, you know both Rocco and the Falvine are looking to Not Get Fired.)
However: one can make the case that it isn’t about prolonging the game or Proving The Manager Still Cares, but standing up for your 31-year-old journeyman reliever; if Coulombe has a chance at any future MLB money, his ERA in limited innings this year will play a part in that. So, on second thought, I approve.
8: I don’t have any opinion at all on Coulombe being replaced by kinda-sorta-closer Taylor Rogers, who is promptly wild. Does that make him probably unavailable for tomorrow? Yeah. Is that important? No. Does his wildness indicate he needed to log an inning after being off for a bit? Maybe. Is he a trade target? Hasn’t been discussed much here, but it wouldn’t surprise me. My first kid-sized bat was a George Brett Louisville Slugger dumped on Oregon K-Marts after his “pine tar” incident, 7-4
9: The Twins try to hit, the Royals’ fielding is bad, people fall down, nobody gets hurt, MO beats MN
For those who cheated by skipping to the end, the “Keys To The Game” were:
- The Twins have a losing record even when scoring first
- J.A. Happ isn’t being hung out to dry. Yet
- Richard Lovelady. Always, Richard Lovelady
COTGs go to norff for “Happ is, without a doubt, a pitcher in the major leagues” and CG19 for “I bet Rocco thinks he’s real smooth for pulling Colome for Coulombe,” which is a joke I can’t believe I missed. Honorable mention to montanatwinsfan for bringing it back to TT just this once, as he’s no doubt busy rebuilding the Unabomber’s lair. Robot Roll Call:
You can join us tomorrow for Danny Duffy vs. the always-enticing TBD (not to be confused with CBD), but the real Twins game scene will be Monday at Target Field. Why? The Twins will be celebrating Minnesota’s vaccination level with full-capacity seating (not to be confused with full-capacity ticket enthusiasm), and more importantly, an All You Can Eat Offer. Including “Hot Dogs, Peanuts, Old Dutch Potato Chips, Nachos Chips with Cheese, Pearson Salted Nut Rolls, and Aquafina Bottled Water.”
Hmm. Free hotdogs, a disliked opposing team, and a bored, possibly holiday-hungover crowd? I wonder what could happen?