A pitching duel, kinda, more a dead bat duel, and the Purple Ones defeat the home state of the Purple One. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Provus says “we’ve been having glorious weather all week.” Yeah, if you’re lake algae. For the rest of us it’s been hot as crapola.
Dylan Bundy sails right through his half of the inning, and the Twins get on and get out before I can even finish my opening-game beer. This Colorado pitcher works fast. He also gives us, per commenter norff, a Germán/German matchup (pitcher Márquez vs. hitter Maximilian von Kepler). Their Germán wins this one.
2: Bundy is hit a little harder, and so is Germán, but nothing happens. Provus starts to tell us about a fascinating stat involving Nick Gordon, but a commercial interrupts. We await the revelation!
3: What a letdown. The stat is that Gordon, who hit ninth yesterday and provided the game’s only run, is the second player in franchise history to bat ninth, hit a homer, and have his team win 1-0. I mean, that’s kinda neat, but it wasn’t worth the buildup.
Who was the other player? Someone called “Long Tom Hughes.” Now, this bears some looking into! Amidst the microfilm and dusty clippings I shall go... or, you know, Wikipedia.
Per those old clippings and microfilm, Hughes was “knicknamed Long Tom for his height, a then-impressive 6 ft 1 in” (sic on “knicknamed,” as I’m fairly sure Tom was not named by New York basketballers). He played for several teams between 1900-1913, including the Senators, and the Chicago Orphans. The Orphans, per the same archives, were an early name for the Cubs after they cut former star Cap Anson, a famously ferocious racist (that’s not why they cut him though).
I wrote a thing once where Joe Mauer interviewed Cap Anson’s ghost. I think it has been lost to the sands of Internet Time. I remember it being a hugely vulgar, sloppy early effort, though, so that’s for the best.
Nothing of interest baseball-y happens here. FAST game so far!
4: I recently got some free tickets from buying some pizzas (September against Cleveland, might be a fun one!) I had to download the Ballpark app on my phone to do this. On the Ballpark app, I noted that they have a thing called Twingo. Let’s see what that looks like:
This, frankly, is horses**t.
2000s Metrodomers will remember the saga of “real” Twingo. These were actual cards, handed out when you entered the building, that had scoring plays on them. 4-5-6, F8, etc. You had to know scoring shorthand to play. First few fans to get Twingo won something, I don’t recall it being much. It was still fun. This involves knowing no scoring shorthand and filling out nothing on your card, it’s just another reason to stare mindlessly at your phone.
The Metrodome Twingo was originally called “Twins Bingo,” but the Bingo people came down hard on this; apparently, that was a copyright infringement, and one probably old enough to warn Dean Baker’s heart. Once they changed the name, though, that was... OK? So you can call anything “—ingo,” I guess. How about a card full of screenshots from John Waters movies called “Pink Flamingo”? (Those of you with innocent eyeballs, do not type “screenshots of John Waters movies” into your browser, at least without many, many filters in place.)
Did I mention that nothing is happening in the baseball?
5: Um, a Ryan Jeffers double? That’s about it. C.J. Cron plays good defense here; he’s had a nice rebound since being injured most of his one season on the Twins, and a following sputter with Detroit where it looked like he was toast. OPS of .905 and .889 with the Rockies in 2021 and this season, respectively; he’s on the first year of a two-year deal at $7.25 per, which is quite the deal for Colorado.
6: Oh, great, finally something happens, and it’s bad terrible bad. Not that bad, really. Connor Joe, obviously a fake name intended to prevent him being hunted by time-traveling cyborgs from the future, gets a single, advances on another single, and scores on a groundout. Maybe that’ll be the only run of the game, though, and it’ll go down in history along with the fabled exploits of “Long Tom Hughes.” SABRmetricians will argue in 2333 which feat was more impressive. They will also be murderous cyborgs.
Luis Arraez gets his second leadoff walk of the game; it goes nowhere. Their Germán is better than our German (although Max did hit a hit when I was pooptyping about Twingo). Rockies 1-0
7: W the F? Bundy is lifted after six innings and 60 (count ‘em, six-oh) pitches, after Bundy went eight innings against Arizona last Saturday. Well, let’s see how this goes; Duff Man could use a stress-free outing. It is not quite so, as Jose Iglesias sings “to all the balls I’ve walked before,” yet Duffey erases this with a harmless GIDP.
LET’S SCORE, TWINS! Uh, no.
8: Duffey demonstrates why he’s been having such a tough season; he walked Iglesias on four pitches last inning, and here he walks Elias Diaz on five to start things off. It looks bad after a single by cyborg target Connor, yet Duffey does get another GIDP and a pretty nifty-sounding Kepler diving catch for outo numero three-o.
After Ryan Jeffers gets a leadoff single, Byron Buxton comes in to pinch-hit for Gilberto Celestino: he hasn’t generally been available on days resting his ailing knee so far this year. He strikes out, though. That pretty much eats any crowd enthusiasm from the Kepler catch.
With two out, Carlos Correa lines a grounder to 3B Ryan (not Jim or Ed) McMahon; he bounces it to first and Cron can’t dig it out. This sends Kyle Garlick (who pinch-ran for Jeffers) to third; Rockies manager opts to skip another Germán/German faceoff and brings in Daniel Bard to induce a Kepler groundout.
Incidentally, Bard has had something of a comeback story. An excellent reliever for Boston in 2009 & 2010, he began melting down inexplicably in late 2011 and was a disaster as a starter in 2012. Out of the majors from 2014-2019, he’s in his third season with the Rockies and has a serviceable 4.13 ERA over that stretch.
But, yeah, it sux that he gets Kepler here.
9: Tyler Thornburg (not the book in Seth Myers’s attic) blanks the Rockies, and This Is It for the Twins offense. Not the Huey Lewis song, actually, just it. Bard gets the save. Nice for his comeback. Bad for the Twins lose. (And hey, you can read Huey Lewis’s actually-pretty-interesting opinions on baseball stadium music here.)
Studs of the game: their Germán, Duffey for finally not having a bad day, Bundy for being good.
Duds: Twins offense, whatever it was that made Bundy get pulled after 60 pitches (it didn’t hurt the Twins, it was still weird). And I was really hoping to see the Twins hit against a resurgent Alex Colomé, which didn’t happen. I guess I wanted a Suspenseful Colomé Outing Tense Usage Situation, so I’m pretty bummed about SCOTUS right now.
The gamethread tended a little negative tonight, understandably so, I didn’t find this one very exciting myself. So let’s highlight some mixed positivity from Jjaguar on Buxton’s ongoing knee issues with “Oh man, I hope this doesn’t squelch his All-Star chances. He’s such a great player and I love him so much,” and SooFoo with “I sure hope Cleveland doesn’t win” followed soon by “They just lost.”
Tomorrow’s game, at an odd 6:15 start time, will feature the melodiously-named Antonio Sentazela against our own master of “Phrasing!,” Chris Archer. See ya here for the gamethread, maybe!