In his return to the Twins, as a starter this time, Randall P. Dobnak gets knocked around a bit early... but settles in, and does what Shoemaker & Happ weren't often able to, which is eat them innings. The Twins' offense is kinda blah. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Blasting away again in Polancoville, Jorge knocks a 3-2 “lemme fool you” fastball for his career-high 25th of the year. Speaking of 25s, Byron Buxton Ks on a 3-2 “lemme fool you” changeup which does; he’s now 2-25 since returning with 9 strikeouts.
Three harmless grounders for Dobby! Twins 1-0
2: This escalated quickly. After Minnesota wastes a real Kepler leadoff double, Austin Meadows gets a “double” via Nick Gordon’s bad fielding decision, advances to third on a wildie, and scores when Miguel Sano chooses to throw home with no chance of nailing the runner. A triple, grounder, infield hit, and grounder make it Rays 3-1. Dobbers “only” throws 23 pitches here, it felt like more.
3: Radio announces that both Baldelli and Brent Rooker are expecting their respective wives to give birth any day now. See, this is why the season has stunk, these guys didn’t have their minds fully on 2021 baseball nine months ago. There’s never an offseason IF YOU CARE ABOUT WINNING!
After a single, Nelson Cruz double, and extra plus fun single make it Rays 5-1, Wes Johnson visits the mound to say “your wife called, and she said you will never taste of love’s sweet mysteries again if you get knocked out in the third.” So Dobnak doesn’t; he’s a romantic at heart.
4: Apparently Josh Donaldson wears eye black even indoors. Gladden observes that Roger Clemens used to do this, too. COMPETITIVE FIRE! He strikes out. So did Polanco, without eye black. Kepler flies out, and that’s nine straight which Not Very Good pitcher Michael Wacha has retired.
Wes Johnson shows Dobnak a text his wife sent saying “make it through four, you can keep the lights on next time,” and he sinks the Rays 1-2-3.
5: Ryan Jeffers breaks Wacha’s 11-straight streak with a solo dong. Dobnak’s text reads, “and you can wear your special socks,” and it’s 1-2-3 again, why’d you guys change the name from Devil Rays, it’s not Satanic, they named it that because it looks scary, but rays aren’t actually dangerous to humans, so maybe that’s why they changed the name 5-2
6: Per Adam Berry and Dyong-Ho Park at MLB.com, Miguel Sano still considers Nelson Cruz to be family; Cruz is godfather to Sano’s daughter. “Danea, some day — and that day may never come — I may ask a service from you. But until then, consider this signed photo a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.” Danea (mind-texting friends): "OMG my lame godfather gave me pix uncle Byron bought me a PS9"
(Younglings will Mind Text in the future. Also, there will be a PS9. Hardwired to your brain, so if you strikeout in "The Show," you actually die. It will be hugely popular among people my age seeking death's sweet release from the constant onslaught of mutant droughtworms. Young people will just use the PS9 to play "Guitar Hero"... yes, that will be back. "Baby Shark" will be their nostalgic virtual-rocking song of choice. Subscribe to my newsletter for more Prophecies Unveiled!)
Wacha keeps eating Twins bats. Dobnak’s text says “those custom candles that smell like locker rooms came in the mail,” and it’s 1-2-3 AGAIN. The man is motivated.
7: Atteberry mentions that the Rays’ radio ratings are “through the roof” (appropriate, they have one). For those who don’t know quite why Tropicana Field never gets fans, despite the team seemingly being always decent-to-terrific, here’s the great Neil deMause’s definitive rundown of this situation from 2019 (basically, the location stinks for drivers and public transit users, and the owner is a dirtbag who’s been floating the idea of playing half the season in Canada despite having an ironclad lease he can’t get out of). That can be your Saturday reading. Not this! (I mean, you CAN read this, it's not paywalled, but the deMause article is better, trust me.)
Almost some excitement for the Twins with Wacha gone; Sano takes a two-out walk (the only baserunner besides those two homers) and Gordon singles. Blah, Jeffers strikes out, what have you done for me lately Ryan. Dobnak’s wife sends “we’ll even put The Pod on during” and DOBNAK IS UNTOUCHABLE
8: The Rays’ pitcher is now David Roberston, who started with the Yankees in 2008, so he’s definitely caused the Twins some pain over the years. But I don’t know how to look that up.
In a so, so Dome moment, after Robertson walks Luis Arreaz, Polanco hits a popup behind third which... gets lost in the roof color by Joey Wendle and becomes an RBI double, but Josh Donaldson grounds out to end things. Ralph Garza does not allow any Rays to score, and does not take a baseball bat to his manager’s door. Tampontreal (hey, it’s the owner’s idea and deMause’s moniker, not mine) 5-3
9: Nothing happens. I will note that the Rays pitcher is named Andrew Kittredge. Kittredge is also the name of Stockard Channing’s character in the great, great film masterpiece Six Degrees Of Separation and the name of William Kittredge, a great, great essayist about life in Eastern Oregon. There, now you have more things to look up which are good! Twims lomse. Robot Roll Call:
The last comment not by me was at 7:01. This game ended at 8:36. It was that kind of gamethread.
Tune in tomorrow, if you so desire, for Chris Archer (yep, he’s back with Tampa again) vs. Andrew Albers at 3:05 local. Did you forget Albers was in the rotation already? So did I! And I covered it last Friday! Night-night!