If you were disappointed by the Twins’ recent showings of boring ineptitude against top teams like Atlanta and Baltimore, take comfort: they can be ineptly dull against crummy teams, too! Twins batters do nothing of note between the 1st and 9th innings, and Kenta Maeda is gone by the 4th (let’s hope he’s not hurt). Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Since Ken Waldichuk walks a bazillion players per outing, the Twins wisely swing at everything he throws. This works, to a point. Carlos Correa blasts a double and Kyle Farmer a triple! But the Twins can’t score Farmer from third with two tries (credit Willi Castro for the one-out K), making their approach... just like their approach in the first half. Lineup OPS leader Donovan Solano had a single in there, too, so the Twins lead 2-0
2: Atteberry on radio talking about the history of Joe DiMaggio as a coach for the A’s in 1968. Supposedly, DiMaggio was upset to discover that some upper-deck seats didn’t have a view of home plate. So the foul territory was expanded, which is why it’s huge, today. Anthony Castrovince at mlb.com has the story here, which features this wonderful picture:
Oh, and with two outs, struggling catcher Shea Langeliers whomps a triple, then scores on a single. We’ll blame DiMaggio. Maeda then walks a guy, and gets gifted a bad strikeout call on the next guy. 59 pitches in two innings. Ouch. Twins 2-1
3: This is now eight Twins in a row retired by Waldichuk, with 4 Ks and 0 BBs. The guy walks 5.5 per nine innings. No Twins.
Former acquaintance Brent Rooker (traded to SD for Chris Paddack and your favorite reliever) adds to his .826 OPS with a leadoff infield hit. He’ll score when rookie Zack Gelof notches his first MLB hit and RBI with a triple. Oakland can actually score a guy from third with one out, so A’s lead 3-2
(Hopefully Maeda isn’t hurt. 80 pitches in three innings to a .652 OPS offense is really laboring.)
4: Here’s the walks, two of them. Waldichuk is out and veteran Austin Pruitt is in. Rocco does his automatic “out with the righties” switch and pinch-hits Edouard Juilen for Michael A. Taylor. Julien gets a RBI double because a flaw in Brent Rooker’s game is he’s an awful outfielder, whose only position is “outfield.”
Now pitching, part of that Rooker trade, His Dark Materials himself, Emilio Enrique Pagán. Elsewhere, a warmup-pitch ball sails by one of the Twins’ bullpen catchers and halts play for a bit. It feels so good to be in total control. Tied 3-3
5. Hey, another hit for Correa! He’s fixed now! Solano walks, setting up the probable TONOFFF (two on, nobody out, feeble fu@&in’ failure). Castro takes the two-out walk, loading them up for Alex Kirilloff to provide the
strikeout groundout honors.
6: More LOB junk for the Twins, no point describing it. Here’s a fun thing, instead! The Farmer triple earlier means that somebody wins the Qwik Trip pot (a thing that goes up $100 every game until some Twin hits a triple, then starts back at $100. These be the incredibly boring rules.) The guy who won is from Ulen, in NW Minnesota, which apparently is big enough to have a Kwik Trip somewhere in the greater Ulen metropolitan area. Wiki says that Ulen is very proud of a “Ulen sword,” an “authentic Viking sword” which is actually a total fake... just like the Vikings’ Super Bowl chances. FOOTBALL BURN
Jordan Balazovic, who got the final out last inning, gives up a weird leadoff bloop double to the speedy Jace Peterson. He doesn’t score. This game is gonna take fifteen hours for the Twins to lose.
7: The A’s have a mascot race (like everyone else, yawn), featuring mascots with the likeness of Rickey Henderson, Rollie Fingers, and Catfish Hunter. Hunter died of ALS in 1999 at the age of 53. It feels ooky to have his likeness in a mascot race with two mascots based on living people.
8: Atteberry: “Certain ballparks have certain smells... fried onions in New York. I think I smell that Grateful Dead show across the Bay.” Gladden: “That’s legal, right?” Yes, Dan, but not in the ballpark. Still, I used to know people who did this in the Metrodome and that was inside! They weren’t hurting nobody.
The Twins had more LOBster. Eff this: read instead about the A’s mule mascot in their Kansas City days. It even had a song:
(Who’s Gene McKown? Here’s who.)
9: FINALLY!!! Solano knocks another hit, the Twins whiff another RISP strikeout, and then Joey Gallo delivers the best of the Three True Outcomes.
Jhoan Duran, who’s been dancing into the fire a lot more of late, gives up the one-out double, two-out RBI single, and plunks Rooker to put the winning run on base. Duran does induce a weak grounder, and TWIMS WIM!
Studs: The bullpen (yep, even Him) 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 ER. Solano 2-3, 2 BB. Duds: whatever was wrong with Maeda. Buxton/Castro at the plate 0-8, 7 SO, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
Comments of the game go to Minnesota1952 for “Twins win. Thank you Carlo Rossi aka Gallo, Joey” and Brandon Brooks for “one of the best quirks in sports — live baseball after midnight local.” Thanks to all for joining in on the late-nite gamethread.
Tune in tomorrow at the reasonable time of 6:07 for not-Arraez Pablo López against something called a Hogan Harris. G’night!