It’s not so much LOBster tonight as rather a snoozefest, with Devin Smeltzer pitching the shortest outing of his short career while Chicago’s hurlers keep the Twins from doing much of much.
1: Well, that’s not What You Want. Two walks, unusual for Smeltzer, are part of two ChiSox runs on two ChiSox singles (the singles are not unusual for our favorite 80’s-throwing Bespectacled One).
However, Alex Kirilloff (the surname more German than Minnesota’s actual-born-in-Germany outfielder) doubles with Carlos Correa on third and Byron Buxton on second. Does Buxton score? Indeed he does. I’m sure some video exists, somewhere, to prove my contention that this feat did, in fact, exist. Tied 2-2
2: Provus notes, from memory, one assumes, that fantastic hitter Miguel Cabrera has been known to sleep with his bat. He adds to this that Luis Arraez goes to far as to take his bat to the hotel room with him. Unsaid is whether Arraez sleeps with his bat. Or to what degree the phrase “sleeps with” is being used here. One is left to employing one’s imagination.
3: The Sox get two singles and nothing happens. The Twins get two walks and nothing happens.
His Dark Materials, Emilio Pagán, warms up during the Twins’ batting at-bat time. Gladden is first to notice this, and mentions it with the single befuddled word, “Pagán?” Doesn’t lead into it by saying “in the bullpen I see” or anything. Just, “Pagán?” A way of phrasing that word I have used upon numerous occasions in the last 3.5 months.
4: Pagán delivers as we’re accustomed to, at least with a no-drama two-out solo shot by Tim Anderson. There is, apparently, another Tim Anderson of public knowledge, a music producer. He produced a solo album by Kate Pierson, the brilliant B-52s singer. I do not have time at the moment to listen to this album, although I am sure it is well done. Listen to “Roam” by the B-52s, instead. I know that song. If you don’t listen to that song, your life will not be perceptively any worse. But, if you’ve never heard it and this is the first time, your life will be perceptively better. I promise this.
As the Twins come up to bat, Provus helpfully tells us that he and Gladden are “proudly wearing the Twins tank tops.” Is everyone is the press box? Do-Hyoung Park? Betsy Hefland? Whomever the Star Tribune has? Are they smearing hotdog condiments onto each others’ bared shoulders? Is it a chaste version of Jello Twister? Or is it just Provus and Gladden going pits out? Inquiring minds want to know. Not want to know, really, so much as have a sad curiosity about knowing. Like opening a bill-containing envelope. “Okay, let’s see what it is.”
Rally time? Gary Sanchez singles with one out. Arraez singles. Starter Mike Kopech is at 75 pitches. Correa GIDPs. It is not rally time. Not grand finale time. Not line drive, in the alley time. (Question: what the heck company was that jingle for? I don’t remember.)
Yes, I mention the radio broadcast and defunct radio broadcast ad jingles. If you would prefer the TV broadcast, buy me cable. Bad Guys 3-2
5: In the parade of Struggling Relievers, we’re all rooting for Tyler Duffey over Pagán, aren’t we? If you’re not, you’re not my friend anymore. Not that you were anyway. I don’t have many friends. I like many people. But I do not trust many people. The ones I trust I trust implicitly, and the ones I don’t, I have no further use for. If you don’t like “Roam,” I have no use for you. You are allowed to not particularly be into the Twins, although if you hate people who likes baseball, f**k right off.
Anyhoo, Duffey does fine. Twins hitters do not. So much for getting to Kopech.
6: Commenter davethekid provides us, inadvertently, with our Dan Gladden moment of the game. davethekid notes that ChiSox reliever Dan Kelly “has an 8.6 ERA and 2.18 WHIP,” right at the same time that Gladden observes how good Kelly had been with the Angels. It was not the Angels. It was the Dodgers. I get it; that “Los Angeles” name thing is confusing, especially given since one team plays rather far from Los Angeles (it would be the equivalent, here, of being the “Minneapolis Twins of Rochester.”) Anyhoo, Kelly has been struggling, and both Gladden/davethekid are right about that; he does fine this time. Poopsies.
7: Griffin Jax, USAF, fails to live in fame and goes down in flames instead, giving up a homer into the wild blue yonder courtesy of Adam Engel (not in the starting lineup, as he generally doesn’t strike ‘em severely, he was a late replacement for some sick/injured/hungover guy). This game is OVAH, folks. Sux who aren’t sux-ing tonight 6-2
Provus reminds us that the Twins’ bullpen has given up more homers than any bullpen in baseball. This qualifies as one of those comments which is objectively true, possibly informative (it’s still a pretty remarkable thing to think about, given the Twins being in first place), and also kinda repetitive. Like your dentist telling you to floss more. OK, I know, you’re right.
8: Commenter imakesandwischesforaliving asks why the Twins don’t use Jovani Moran more. He, not Moran I mean, does not make sandwiches for a living, today... but, ever? Does he now hate all sandwiches, like reformed “bad girls” that married money and found The Lawd hate younglings who enjoy their sensuality? Does the very sight of a willing ham slice between two pieces of firm-yet-supple bread cause sandwiches to decry the foul perversion from an accursed English earl? This demon is his alone with which to wrestle. Me, I’m ambisandwichal — I can go with bread or soft tortillas.
My understanding is that Moran has struggled a bit (he’s 25) in high-pressure big-league situations. Either that or the team likes him just enough to tease him with opportunities, yet go “you’ll never see a Real Moment, you’re not Cool Enough.” Like the worst-ever friend. I don’t think Rocco would do this. I wouldn’t even slightly put it past the Falvine, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Anyhoo, good showing for Moran.
Oh, yeah, and the Twins’ hitters do nothing after getting two on with one out. They really didn’t do much at all after that first inning, and spoiler alert, they’re not going to do so here. Can we come up with something resembling a joke for the ninth?
9: No. Twims lomse.
Studs: Moran, Duffey, Caleb Theilbar (yeah, he was in there, did fine), weather
Duds: Twins’ offense after 7:38 PM or so, cursed monkey skull Pagán sacrificed a first-born goat on to start the season
Comments of the game go to the aforementioned davethekid and imakesandwichesforaliving for being both baseball-savvy and loving on lower-case. Also falcontimmy for “Do note this, I’m entitled to my opinion.” Oh, I do, and so you are.
Tune in tomorrow for old acquaintance Lance Lynn against new acquaintance Dylan Bundy for the 1:10 start time, if you wish!