Michael Pineda escapes a long inning caused by rather predictably bad fielding, and Minnesota slugs it all over Toronto. This puts the Blue Jays (whose fans are always the nicest, politest visitors to Target Field) one-half-game behind the forking Yanquis and BoSox for the WC.
This is a tough one for me, as your Twins have six games left this season against Toronto. We want Twins players to do well, particularly the youngest ones. I also REALLY DON’T WANT BOSTON AND NEW YORK TO BOTH MAKE THE PLAYOFFS AND ESPN TO FROTH THEMSELVES IN UNBRIDLED GLEE OVER THAT GAME. So, can we have the young Twins be great, but Alex Colome just lose all the remaining Blue Jays games? It’s really not all that outrageous an ask, baseball gods. Anyhoo, inning-by-inning notes:
1: Not much happens. Vladimir Guerrero (son of Vlad) walks, which he does a lot, while his dad was... not exactly known for taking pitches. In fact, his specialty was swinging at bad pitches but hitting them anyways. I always wished Guerrero Sr. would have been suspended for doobie-related reasons, not because I advocate the use of any substances, but because then we could have called him “Vlad The Inhaler.” Twins 1-0
2: Oh, boy. With two outs and a guy on second, a hard Danny Jansen grounder to Polanco at short gets completely airmailed, allowing A Guy to score... then, after Jake Lamb doubles and Lord Byron gets the ball back to Polanco, he airmails it home trying to stop Jansen, scooting Lamb to third (at least HE doesn’t score). Blue Jays 2-1
3: Oh, yeah, and then Jorge launches a two-run dong (after Lord Byron’s double had already scored Ryan Jeffers). Jeez, guys, I got home late, gimme some time to make food before trying to keep up with this thing. Oh, and then Josh Donaldson homers, too. This knocks out starter Hyun Jin Ryu and his game-entering 3.81 FIP, because Toronto is neck-deep in a run for Manfred’s Wacky Wild Card one-game quarter-toss. Remember what that was like? Caring about game outcomes in September? “Try to remember the kind of September...” (I’m really susceptible to sappy songs these days.)
Ryu’s replacement, Ross Stripling, gives up the THIRD STRAIGHT TWINS BOMB (this one to Biggy Miggy) and walks Rob “1980s Preppie Name” Refsnyder before stopping this mighty mighty Twinstones onslaught. Not to be out-shellacked, Mike Pineda lets Vlad The Ballwailer launch one to Sasketchewan (this in fact being a thing his dad did do, often). Sitenameteam 6-3
4: Incidentally, per radio, the reason Polanco is playing short (where he’s always bad) instead of Andrelton Simmons (who’s only been bad at it this season) is Simmons couldn’t leave the country. Not, at you’d expect, because of Simba’s anti-vaxx zonkery and Canada’s strict rules on who can visit. Because Simmons is applying for US citizenship, and is at a point in the process where he can’t leave the country for some reason. This strikes me as silly: “hmm, to prove to us how much you love ‘Murica, you can’t leave during this particular arbitrary time or it’ll look like you don’t CARE ENOUGH.” I mean, the process itself is already pretty tricky...
5: Not much happens, so it’s time for Radio Fun. Gladden says “this game feels like the last team to bat will win,” which confuses Atteberry into replying “we know who the last team to bat will be; if the Twins are ahead, Toronto's the home team.” Gladden: “well, the other team still has to pitch well, then.” Atteberry remains befuddled. He gives up.
He then asks Dazzle if he’s ever considered doing the thing at nearby CN Tower (1815 feet high) where you can walk in harnesses around the outside of the roof. (It looks like this, click on it, fellow acrophobes, I dare you!) Gladden says no. Atteberry says he should do it with Cory Provus sometime, “he’s into that sort of thing.” Ah, yes, the same sort of bonding activity those two have specialized in, like in 2013 when Gladden invited Provus to join him in throwing dried cow poops on his farm.
6: New Jays reliever, same immediate result: new dad Brent Rooker homers off Julian Merryweather. Twins baby name score: Gamble Lynn Garver 1, Blair Evelyn Rooker 0. After Jorge Alcala sloppily gets the final out, game score, New dads 7, sons of MLB dads 3
7: My apologies to Rob Refsnyder for not mentioning that he’s probably hurt; he came out defensively for Jake Cave last inning after catching the last fly in frame 5. Cave strikes out looking on a 100-MPH heater by Jays pitcher Nate Pearson. Per Wiki, Nate Pearson has published three books: The fishes of the eastern slope of the Andes 1924, The fishes of the Beni-Mamoré and Paraguay basins 1937, and The fishes of the Atlantic and Pacific slopes near Cajamarca, Peru 1937. Go read ‘em, fellow icthyologists!
Sorry if that’s as wacky as I’m getting tonight; after a summer that was too hot and too dry, today was just about perfect, while my wackiness usually comes from a sour mood. To be a little sour, Atteberry reminds us that the weather is magical at Target Field since that’s where he is; radio broadcasters still aren’t traveling with the team, because of the virus that's killed millions of people. Apparently there are fans at Target Field though, on the Budweiser Roof Deck, having a fine time. Good for them. Hope they’re drinking something less the flavor of pasteurized goat pee than Budweiser. And really, would you kinda want to be partying in public right now? But they are outside. I can’t blame them.
8: Couple of walks for the Twins but rien de plus, as they’d say in Toronto if Toronto was in Quebec which it is not. Tyler Duffey time for the Twins; per radio, he made his MLB debut at Rogers Center in 2015. He’d left his passport at home, so his dad brought it to Rochester and the two drove to Toronto. (That’s about two hours and 45 minutes.)
Duffey strikes out all three Blue Jays (including the ferociously talented Bo Bichette, son of Dante), then rips off his shirt to reveal the words “EAT FARTS JOHNFOLEY” for some inexplicable reason. Impressively, the words aren’t painted on; they’re precisely shaved into Duffey’s Robin Williams-esque chest hair.
9: Polanco singles to lead off, then is thrown out by a kilometer at second during what’s either a dumb steal attempt or dumb missed sign by Josh Donaldson on a hit-and-run which would probably be a dumb call by Rocco Baldelli if that’s the case. Somebody was dumb, and for once it wasn’t me, but I presume I’ll have further opportunities.
Everybody sing along: “ACE is the place for the awful hurling man...” Actually, this one is pretty bland. After a two-out double by Lourdes (brother of Yuli) Gurriel, Colome miraculously (see what I did there) keeps the Blubirds banterless, Twims win!
Rather typically for a dead season, the gamethread was dry, too, although Irunabakeryforaliving stayed up past his bedtime to try a few posts. COTG, though, goes to Brandon for his contribution to the night’s Twins Button theme:
I mean, technically, Justin Morneau can’t run for Vice President, unless it’s VP of Ridiculous Torii Hunter Missed Punch moments. But still, kudos for getting into the spirit, BB. Robot Roll Call:
Tune in tomorrow at 2:07 Central for Bailey Ober against something called a Steven Matz (who used to play for the Mets, it’s catchy!)