The Guardians must be better-looking than the Twins, for it was Prince Night at the ballpark, and “the beautiful ones, you always seem to lose.” Bailey Ober got hit a little, yet not too much, and the Brock/Jhoan combo came through to preserve the one run a certain Ville ticket provided. Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Late lineup addition LF Willi Castro (Joey Gallo is out because he’s ailing, or lazy and doesn’t care) leaps at the opportunity and jumps for joy to be starting today. (He leaves his feet to catch out #3, that is.)
With two outs, the Twins get a RISP hit! Except no RBI. Max Kepler, whom our own John Foley believes should be devoured by sharks, hits his liner right in front of the strong-armed Will Brennan and coach Tommy “Death Race” Watkins puts up the hold sign. This means Ryan Jeffers bats with the bases loaded, a situation of some peril for the Twins recently. Can Jeffers continue Wednesday’s based-loaded anti-jinx?
The Horse Of Disappointment says, “nayyyyyyy.” Called strike three.
2: Michael A “Tater” Taylor GIDPs to end the inning, which is unusual — he runs pretty fast. I don’t mean GIDPs are unusual for the Twins in general. I mean, I have been paying SOME attention this year. Max attention? Nah. Still, some.
3: No more perfect game for Ober, who plunks Will Brennan (by accident, one assumes). If you don’t know who Brennan is, don’t feel bad, neither does anyone else outside Cleveland, but he’s kinda fast. (Several Guardians players are.) He does steal second, yet Ober makes Steven Kwan fly out harmlessly to Kepler (who our own Zach Koenig believes should be drowned in a bag of cats).
The Twins seem determined to learn from their first-inning, bases-loaded failure by not putting any more guys on base if they can help it. At least it’s 50 pitches for Aaron Civale, so they’re making him work for his shutout!
4: Max Kepler, whom our own Tawni Jarvi believes should be left in a parked car on a hot day with the windows rolled up, commits an error in RF, allowing Josh Naylor to reach. It’s then changed to a single. See, Max? Somebody likes you, even if it’s only Stew Thornley. (Although it’s not just Thornley, anymore... they even let GIRLS do it!)
Jeffers gets on, then gets off (not THAT way) when Willi Castro replaces him on a fielder’s choice. Castro steals second, believing it the rightful property of the proletariat. Kyle Farmer leaves him stranded, pleasing aging voters in Florida. At least Civale has 73 pitches, now?
5: Did I mention Brennan was fast? Royce Lewis tries making a jump throw to get him at first, and fails — the throw’s fine, Brennan just beats it. Then Myles “Not Standish, Last” Straw singles, and the Guardians have Runners. Ober leaves them stranded, pleasing aging baseball fans in Minnesota.
Will Lewis save us, again? Not this time, keeds.
6: Tyler “Not Morgan” Freeman gets a leadoff single, but José Ramírez GIDPs, perhaps forgetting which team he’s a superstar on. Sam Hentges replaces Aaron Civale, and this makes no difference for the Twins.
Your Gladdenism of the game happens when he promotes the Target Field concerts to be held later this summer. “I’ll try and get free tickets,” Dazzle says. Looking at the lineup, I see, among others, The Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Flaming Lips.
I’m now picturing Gladden singing “those evil ancient robots... they’re programmed to destroy us,” and this gives me a smile.
7: With Ober at 78 pitches but getting barreled up a bit, in comes Jovani Moran, the sometimes VERY BAD lefthander who’s been better lately. He gets an out first and gives up two singles next, so that’s it for Jovani.
Rocco turns to Brock “Every Pitcher Tells A Story” Stewart, who’s been Jorge López’s personal Wisnton Wolfe lately. It works! Still scoreless, folks. Time for a Rally Beverage!
Ryan Jeffers, who's been hitting well recently, provides the Rally Beverage double. Alas, after a We Are Farmer (da da da da da da da) walk, Taylor grounds to 3B Freeman for the force.
That leaves it up to Polanco, who... doubles! It’s a touchdown goal! Yes, Worst Player Ever Lewis can’t drive in anyone else, but Twins lead 1-0!
8: Or... do they? Steven Kwan whomps Stewart for a double, and Freeman flies out. That means Ramirez is up. Rocco brings in Jhoan “With My Chances On The Danger Line” Duran, and he Ks Ramirez. IBBs hot-hitting Josh Naylor. Strikes out Andres Jimenez on the crafty pitch sequence of 104, 104, 103, 104. Hey, if it works, work it, JD. Twins still lead!
(Kepler, whose friends and family used to like him until they read TwinkieTown, hits a changeup pretty far but not far enough, so the score stays the same and Max has nobody, now. NOBODY. ARE YOU PEOPLE HAPPY)
9: Since Rocco's Magical Arm Barn has, basically, nobody else, here comes Duran again with 14 pitches already hurled. Straw gets a two-out single to create some drama, although it doesn't last long. Amusingly, when pinch-hitter Gabriel Arias grounds out to end the game, MLB.com lists the Twins "Due Up" for a few seconds. Even the bots are against us! (Those evil ancient robots...) Anyways, Twims wim!
Studs: Duran, Stewart, Polancoville, Ober, I didn’t have to think too hard about these
Duds: Max feels bad, you guys
Tune in tomorrow at 7:15 for Sonny Gray against someone called an L.T. Allen. (Lawrence Taylor? Leaky Trombone? Jackie Daytona? Wait, that one doesn’t fit.) Anyways, it’s at 7:15, and on the regular Fox TV, the broadcast kind, so unpack those rabbit ears and GO TWINS GO!