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Twins 5, Pirates 1: Minnesota pitchers get off the hook

Pittsburgh had plenty of chances to score, but López and Jax didn’t let ‘em.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Minnesota Twins
This jacket thing would be more fun if the Twins weren’t Three True Outcomes all the damn time
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Your Twins won the battle of cRISPy LOBsters, hooray!

(This is going to be brief as I ROYALLY F!@%ED up my arm in multiple places. The X-Ray guy, in-between my screams, said “dude, that’s some break.” It was a compliment and I took it as such. It’s nice to know that some part of me can now actually be mined for metal after I die; it’d be fun to have a plate in your arm made into a door hinge or whatever. But it also means that typing is crazy-ass slow.)

Inning-by-inning notes:

1: Ji Hwan Bae leads off with a sharp single. But is he somebody’s bae? Wiki calls the word “a slangterm of endearment” and quotes someone who considers it “urban youth culture.” Presumably the rural youth call each other “my surrey-riding partner” while suburbanites show affection with iPay. Anyways Bae is left to die alone on base as we all are in the end.

The Twins put two on with two out, then Jorge Polanco guesses completely wrong on three straight pitches. Andre Jackson only throws three pitches. PICK ONE

2: The Twins put three on with two out, and what do you think happens? You are right. If it had only been this.

3: Radio says the Twins had “team photo day” today. Is that like photo day at school? I had cowlicks that would never sit down. Gladden talks about having an otter and crawdad problem in the pond by his house. Where the hell does he live?

Pablo López strands a leadoff runner for the third inning in a row. This is dangerous, but perhaps not as much as otters and crawdads and cowlicks. Provus complains that no-one dressed up as Jabba The Hutt for Star Wars night. Who ever dresses up as Jabba The Hutt? The Twins do nothing at the plate. Here is tonight’s giveaway item:

This is a very white hoodie in multiple ways.

4: 3B Royce Lewis makes a slick play, fielding a grounder in foul territory and bouncing the throw perfectly to nail not-slow Henry Davis at first.

The Twins get someone on with two out AGAIN and this time... they do the RUNS! Michael A. “Tater” Taylor, now third on the active roster in dingers (and second in Ks). Twins 2-0

5: López has now allowed a leadoff runner four times, this one via the HBP. He adds two walks as well, so let’s see how the Pirates can fare with two-out bases-juiced. Answer: Twins-esque, baby!

The Twins knock Jackson out by... him passing his personal best of 3.2 IP. This time he makes it all the way to 4.1, so good job, Andre!

6: How does López keep stranding these runners? Well, for one thing, the Pirates are 54-67. But for another, López is just good at strikeouts; he’s third in MLB. That comes with a lot of pitches thrown tonight, though, and he’ll be gone after 99 here. Donovan Solano hits his second single of the night and 6,000,000th of the season, scoring Matt Wallner. Yay, 3-0

7: Bullpen fun time! Griffith Jax hasn’t had a clean inning since 7/23, and Jhoan Duran since 7/15. So it’s Caleb “Meat Raffle” Thielbar instead, since he’s been their most reliable arm. And Thielbar promptly gives up three straight hits. In comes CAPT Jax... and he strikes out three straight Pirates. Go figure.

Lewis doubles to right and Kepler advances him on a flyout. Pirates manager Derek Shelton walks Correa (third on active roster in Ks), and Jorge Polanco’s duck fart falls in front of a confused-seeming RF Davis. Kyle Farmer knocks Polanco in! Da-da-da-da-da-da-da! Twins now 5-1

(Incidentally, Derek Shelton’s dad is Ron Shelton. Not the Ron Shelton who wrote & directed Bull Durham. That’s a different Ron Shelton... who was on the same Bluefield Orioles team as Derek dad Ron Shelton!)

8: His Dark Materials, Emilio Enrique Pagán, ERA of 1.42 since 6/15, sets ‘em all down on 11 pitches. He can’t get his first save since 6/13/2022, though; those are the ROOLS for baseball’s second-dumbest stat. Sorry, Emilio.

Reliever Yohan Ramirez plunks two Twins (his ninth in 32 innings this season). Happily, Lewis doesn’t charge the mound and get suspended. I’d have been OK if Jordan Luplow did, though.

9: It is indeed the Ragged Tiger Duran. And he’s almost as perfect as Jax. Who knows, baseball, right? Twims wim! Cleveland now 5.0 GB.

Studs: Jax, Lewis (fielding, run scored, no charging). López stranding nine runners in six innings, Roberto Clemente (born today in 1934). Duds: outrageously long 2:50 runtime

COTG to Uncle Lincoln for “gO TWMs G0” and Joeyself for defending a player he wishes the Twins weren’t playing.

Tomorrow’s game features Powder-looking Mitch Keller against the master of one bad inning, Sonny Gray, reaching your dial at 6:10. Hopefully Ryan Jeffers (scratched tonight with a sore back) will feel better by then.