The 1D clue in today’s New York Times crossword filled a three-letter space, and was amusingly clued as “Something you might haul.” Need a hint? Well, in Minnesota’s case, it could also be clued as “something you might be getting handed to you.” Getting the picture?
After opening up a 7-0 lead on Friday before allowing six unanswered runs, Terry Francona’s junior heroes posted a 6-0 lead on Saturday, and didn’t give anything back until the Twins miraculously scratched four across, all with two away, in the bottom of the ninth.
The Guardians have had difficulty keeping the pressure on against Minnesota, as each game has seen both teams scoring all of their runs, then patiently allowing the other side to do the same (although tonight’s comeback fell just short of yesterday’s.)
I’m going to take an unconventional approach to this one and introduce the studs and duds early, because God knows this team needs to shake it up a little bit.
DH Luis Arraez (3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI)
SS Carlos Correa (3-for-5, K)
Both of Arraez’s doubles came with one out, after Jake Cave had been retired leading off an inning. And both times, he advanced to third on a hit from Carlos Correa immediately after. And both times, he was not driven in by the heart of the order, with Jose Miranda and Max Kepler failing to bring them home.
RP Cole Sands (3.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K)
Effectively the entire lineup, spots 3-9, more or less
It’s hard to tag Chris Archer with a “dud,” as he had to exit after two innings with pec tightness. It’s more of the Archer situation as a whole that’s entered “dud” territory, as he increasingly functions as a glorified opener in front of an overtaxed bullpen. It’s not his fault, and the ability of Rocco and his strength and conditioning staff to get Archer through a full season is commendable — but the team was in a less-than-desirable situation having to rely on Cole Sands at length in a crucial game.
Sands’ third inning was the stuff of nightmares; he walked two on either side of a double-play, hit a guy, walked another guy, walked in a run, then hit a guy to score another. This would make it 4-0 Guardians, as they’d already notched two in the first on an Amed Rosario homer.
Regarding the offense, there were hits scattered around the rest of Minnesota’s batting order, which has increasingly become Arraez-Correa-Miranda-help-please-oh-lord-LORD-HELP mom come get me Sandy Leon is in the box and there’s men on base. But, nothing to write home about. Certainly nothing studly.
PROBABLY NEEDS A GRIEF COUNSELOR:
RF Max Kepler (0-for-5)
Here’s how Max Kepler’s final four at-bats went:
- 100.9 EV, xBA .730 (Diving catch saves run in shallow right)
- 95.1 EV
- 98.4 EV (Home run robbed in left field bleachers)
- Game-ending first-pitch groundout while at-bat as the winning run
THIS DAMN GRAPH:
The Twins keep waiting until it’s almost over to make it interesting; Minnesota was down 6-0 when the penultimate out was recorded, scratching across their first man on a one-out sac fly. And then an RBI double from Jake Cave, and then an RBI single from Luis. And then, with Clase in the game, an RBI infield single from Correa; and then a single from Miranda to bring Kepler up as what could have been Minnesota’s seventh run.
But, hope is a myth created by noted 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson.
THIS DAMN TWEET:
#MLB Team Injuries Most— Keat_on (@keatN34) September 10, 2022
1,410 days - Twins
1,174 days - Reds
1,036 days - Dodgers
1,013 days - Nationals
891 days - Cubs
849 days - Tigers
793 days - Yankees
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
Get out while you still can.