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Twins 9, Rays 4: Genesis 1:1

A nice, big inning helps your favorite team* bounce back from Thursday’s Yanquis frustration. (* — I mean, I’m assuming it’s your favorite. I could be wrong.)

New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins
Is it just me, or does this almost look like Byron flipping the bird with his hand protector? If so, I like it.
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Add two more bombas to Byron Buxton’s bounceback; he’d lead the offense, just as Devin Smeltzer (!) continues leading what’s healthy in the rotation. Inning-by-inning notes:

1: Smeltzer has been living as a Twin who would warm Terry Ryan’s heart, “pitching to contact” and inducing weak batsmacking early in counts. He walks Manuel Margot to start the game, however. I can’t help but think — is Margot more of a Kidder, constantly howling for Superman to save the day, or a Martindale, taking no s**t as a Bella Abzug? We’ll have to see later, as Smeltzer erases him with a GIDP.

(Since our T.Froggy.Jarvi had the ultimate Classic Lit game recap last night, I’m going to try and stick to everything but literary references in this one. Movies/TV/music ahoy!)

BUX BOMB! He’s DHing tonight, and so far this year has a .480 OPS in 12 games at that “position,” vs. 1.011 in CF. Twins 1-0

2: Max Kepler makes what Provus calls a “Superman” catch, making this two Superman references so far, off a hard outfield fly by Randy Arozarena Byanyothername (scratch that, no lit!) Isaac Paredes homers, proving that objects in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by a private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks.

Gio Urshela and Nick “Stuart” Gordon try, but fail, to animate a Twins one-out rally. Tied 1-1

3: Another leadoff walk, another case of Smeltzer getting around it. The Twins’ offense does little.

Here’s one of the ways prejudice works. I’ve never met Rays starter Drew Rasmussen (who’s having a successful baseball season thus far). He may be a great guy. But I do remember a big, blond, Teutonic frat guy in my freshman dorm named Rasmussen. He was prone to saying things like how toilet paper was unnecessary because “that’s what laundry is for” and once begged for a quiet moment to ask me a personal question, which turned out to be “have you ever [colloquialism for onanism].” In short, Rasmussen was a deeply weird dude, who always seemed to get dates because he was big and cute, and so I’m antagonistic towards athletically-built guys named Rasmussen. SSS fallacy, to be sure, I can’t help it...

4: Smeltzer continues to be dealtzing, up to 59 pitches now. The nice, maybe, I guess Rasmussen gives up a leadoff duck fart to Trevor Larnach. Nothing else happens. I mean nothing scoring-wise. Things are always happening. Until the eventual heat death of the universe, which won’t be during this game.

5: My mistake on Paredes, his name is pronounced “e-sock” (per BRef and Gladden, I trust BRef more), not “eye-zek.” So toss out my other Isaac references. Or just pretend that all Isaacs are pronounced equally in certain cases, say by futuristic sentient robots. (NOT a lit reference, that’s The Orville, and if their Isaac is a lit reference, it’s not my fault.)

BUX! AGAIN! After going through the Twins’ recent at-bats like, well, toilet paper, Rasmussen gets yarded by Byron on what’s best described as a well-struck sand wedge:

Then Carlos Correa whomps a single, Max Kepler reaches via a hard-hit E-3, Jorge Polanco slices (or hooks?) a double with English on it, Larnach walks, Gary Sanchez doubles... are you getting the picture, yet? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M TYPING? (The Twins scored a lot, that’s what.) Rasmussen heads for the showers, even though that’s what laundry is for. He gets no ERA help from reliever Ralph Garza (no relation), as Gordon and Luis Arraez both bat in runs (a stat known as BIR, I believe). Much scoring! Our Dome was better than your Dome 7-1

6: Baldelli, who rarely leaves starting pitchers in, does so with Smeltzer for the fourth time this year; he mostly makes it uneventful, and has 84 pitches now.

Apparently there is a proposal on the JumboTron, and the lady being proposed to took her time in nodding “yes.” I want to see more people go “hell, no” in such situations. I mean, aren’t wedding proposals, as we know them, basically invented by diamond companies anyways? Shouldn’t people just mutually decide upon marriage? Are we living in a Jane Austen novel movie where the entire future financial status of young ladies is dependent on getting that proposal from a suitable match?

Proposer gets down on one knee, opens ring in cutesy fashion on JumboTron. Proposee erupts, going “oh, this is one of the biggest decisions of our lives together, and you decide to share it with a bunch of strangers at a stadium? To what, be romantic? You’re completely clueless and I’m taking the light rail home, we’ll talk tomorrow.”

I guess I’m just a sucker for Love.

7: Smeltzer is in maybe just a BIT too long here, knocked for an inside-the-parker to Arozarena and a regular homer to not Gore Vidal Brujan, then a walk to Paredes. Griffin Jax (USAF) makes sure Isaac is left a few spools short of scoring. (Look it up!)

The Twins hit some balls very, very hard, and center fielder Brett Phillips catches them, some screwy luck for Minnesota batters. Ft. Snelling 7, Ft. Lauderdale 3

8: Joe Smith, who’s given up 6 ER in his last 5.1 innings, replaces Jax. Tampa Bay starts him off with two singles, and does get a run in on a groundout. 24 pitches for Smith, after 26 (and two earned runs) last night. He won’t be pitching tomorrow.

This time, it’s Correa with the homer dinger dong, off someone called a Calvin Faucher. It’s his third game and third inning in the majors. He was actually drafted by Minnesota in 2017, and traded as part of the Ryan-for-Cruz deal; I guess his role here was... predestined? I was starting to get worried, there 9-4

9: Time for His Dark Materials, Emilio Pagan; since this appearance is about as low leverage as you can get in a game between two good, competing teams, Pagan harms no fan hopes or goat heads in the making of this inning. No duds, Twims win!

Your studs of the game are everyone who hit in the fifth, which is everyone, and Jax for managing to keep that pesky no-out seventh-inning runner from scoring to inch Tampa closer.

COTG goes to trigonzobob for “Hey, I just realized we have a Griffin and a Kraken on this team.” (Meaning Sanchez’s nickname; mythological creatures are kind of a literary reference, but I didn’t make it, so it’s acceptable.) Sadly, also Matt Monitto for bringing us gamethreaders the news that Royce Lewis’s season is over due to injury.

Tomorrow’s game will be at 1:10 on regular cable, featuring super-young (and looks it) Shane Baz pitching against super-mysterious TBD. (Update: it'll be Chi Chi Gonzalez, who started last Friday for the Twins, and didn't blow out any joints in doing so.) Join the gamethread, if you don’t have to (grumble grumble) work!