clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Twins 3, Diamondbacks 2: Alone again, homerly

Three solo dingers and ∞ LOB aside, the pitching saves the day again for Minnesota.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Minnesota Twins
“C’mon, you’re SERIOUSLY taking me out when the Twins have the bases loaded?”
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

In a game with a throwback feel (in terms of a slow, dragging pace), Bailey Ober labored to keep Arizona’s bats mostly quiet, and Twins bats swung for the fences with just enough lucky results. Everyone’s favorite oldest Twins pitcher looked healthy again, and old friends gathered to celebrate Joe Mauer. Inning-by-inning notes:

1: Corbin Carroll (no relation to former Twin Jamey, alas) doubles somewhere in this inning and doesn’t score. Bailey Ober throws approximately 200 pitches. Every hitter on the Twins roster strikes out.

I missed part of this because I was hooking up an old VCR. Local music presence Dessa, who I like, did a performance with the Minnesota Orchestra, who is good, and I’m curious to see what that is. It’s airing at 8:00. And I’m COMMITTED TO MY SPORTS JOURNALISM, DAMMIT!

Well, we do have an old VCR that still works... for playing tapes. I had to dig out an old digital antenna for the VCR to receive and record the TPT signal. All the batteries in the antenna remote have long exploded into a toxic bubbling pile of goo. But did I still have all the necessary cords stored away somewhere? You know I did!

It’s not quite as cool as those retired NASA scientists who can still talk to Voyager 2, but it FEELS that impressive.

2: Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., witnesses a miracle visitation of the “hit me” pitch and does, his 17th of the year. The Twins manage to load the bases for Michael A. Taylor, who is 0-6 in such situations. He was 0-6. He’s now 0-7. Radio says “he thought the pitch was low.” He was wrong. Diamondbacks 1-0

3: A deep southern accent arouses me from my meditation. Of course, Joe Mauer is entering the Twins Hall Of Fame this weekend (the AAA of HOFs), so many former Twins players will be on hand for the honoration celebration. What Mauer-era Twin had a deep accent? Dozier? Of course it’s Dozier.

He says he doesn’t watch many Twins games, since he’s busy with family. Suuuuure, that’s the reason. The kids are 1, 2, and 3 years old, as “my wife kinda wanted to spit them out.” Later, “no more kids, though, I’m medically incapable. Can I say that on the radio?” “Sure, sure,” Atteberry and Provus reassure him. This paragraph was brought to you by diapers and sildenafil.

Nick Punto now in the booth. He says “Polanco’ll get one” and HE DOES! LNP stands for Living Nick Prophet!

(It doesn’t. It stands for Little Nicky Punto, Tiny Superhero, the creation of author Anne Ursu when she did a Twins blog called BatGirl. The LNP posts, unfortunately lost to internet history, featured images of a teeny tiny Punto doing things like sleeping in flowers and getting sucked into sewage drains. It was genius, and it's a shame that it’s gone.) Tied 1-1

4: Remember “Walks Will Haunt”? So do HBP, apparently. Gurriel receives the plunking and again provides the scoring, on a two-out Jose Herrera duck fart just into no-man’s land in center-left. Ober is now at 86 pitches, and the entire Twins bullpen has swollen arms the size of Yule Logs, so this isn’t boding well. Christian Vázquez gets his second hit of the night, which is the Twins’ third. This includes Polanco’s homer. Rattlers 2-1

5: Radio says Corbin Carroll went to the same Seattle high school as Microsoft king Bill Gates and Bat-groupie king Adam West. Bert Blylevn shows up in the booth and amazingly, nothing bad happens. Edouard Juilen gets a hit and nothing good happens. Merrill Kelly is at 79 pitches and could probably throw another 79 without being at a disadvantage facing this lineup. Geraldo Perdomo made a nice play for Arizona.

6: In comes Entire Deadline Helper, the D-Flo himself, Dylan Floro. I am unexcited. Matt Monitto, on learning that this is Harry Potter Night at Target Field, provides the certain Comment Of The Game with: “Seriously? It was Wizarding Night at the AA Hartford Yard Goats game yesterday and that game was a walk-ridden slog (2:52 for a 5-4 game, on pace for >3 hours through 6 innings).”

Max Kepler hits a solo shot, and, as Atteberry excitedly yells, this “brings them to their feet!” Yeah, um, some of them. Basically the ones who caught it and the lower-level fans who seem to be hoping Max waves to them. Yeah, players don’t do that, folks.

Willi Castro has a single and steal, which means nothing because Joey Gallo is still a Twin, but it’s interesting that Castro now has 28 steals for the year. In his previous 303 games with Detroit, Castro had 18 steals. Tied 2-2

7: Meat Raffle himself, Caleb Thielbar, looks good back from injury, setting down DBacks 9, 1, and 2 on 11 pitches (including two strikeouts). Michael A. “Tater” Taylor strokes the Twins’ third solo dong of the night. The Twins manage to load-‘em-up with three walks. And there’s no more scoring, as three Twins also strike out. Truly, a team of the Falvine’s Three True Outcomes dreams. Joeyself on the Twins’ bases-loaded failure: “I was hoping for a HBP, but Castro got out of the way.” First lead, 3-2

8: Who else would appear on Harry Potter Night but His Dark Materials, Emilio Enrique Pagán. He gives up a single to Christian Walker (hence repeating the history of the Middle Ages), and then wild-pitches him to second. Ugh, I smell some foul wizard’s potion a-brewing. But that’s legal in this state now, so Pagán’s Magicks work.

9: It’s dance into the fire time, as Jhoan Duran hasn’t had a clean inning in his last seven outings (and has a 7.11 ERA during that span). Sure enough, he goes strikeout, walk, single (on which said walker advances to third). The safety squeeze is on, but Perdomo bunts LIKE A TWIN and pops it up and Duran catches it. A steal puts two RISP, the Twins look doomed...

I forgot, no robot umps yet! So a pitch that’s two inches off the plate is Strike 3, and Twims win! Cleveland remains 2.5 GB.

Studs: solo homers, bad umping, Caleb Thielbar, Nick Punto still bringing LNP luck charm

Duds: Brian Dozier’s proud papa petered peter

COTG: Besides the ones above, we have zkonedog wondering how Bally Sports can be “bankrupt” and afford celebrity baseball promotions like this one with Randy Johnson:

It’s terrible, with the eagle and all, but it would have helped if Johnson cued the same logo he uses for his photography business (which he’s quite good at). The logo? A baseball-exploded bird.

Tomorrow’s game features Ryne Nelson against Kenta Maeda at 6:10. If you’re going for the Mauer ceremony stuff at 5:30, have fun, but bring an umbrella, just in case!