Wednesday

5-27-09: Twins/Sox RGC

Hello again everybody...

Hope you all had a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. Mine was quite relaxing and lots of fun. Not *quite* as much fun as I'd hoped, but that couldn't be helped. I'll explain why.

As I promised last week, today you get the return of the Sports Take Running Game Commentary. I attended Game 1 of the 4-game series between the Twins and the Red Sox (whom I hate) on Monday. I took notes and put together the RGC to let you relive the experience with me.

Let's get to the gettin...

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), English author, dramatist and musician


Adams is probably best known as the author of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series. I haven't read it, but plenty of my friends swear by it. I have no idea if the quote is from the series or not. But it was sufficiently random enough to amuse me. So there you go.

«Read More...»


As I stated, today's column is my RGC from the Twins game versus the Boston Red Sox (whom I hate). I hesitated to follow through with this idea, since if the Red Sox (whom I hate) beat the Twins, it could turn out rather tragically. Some of you might get a little worried once I started questioning the usefulness of there being life on this planet. But I decided to give it a go and hope for the best.

Let's see how it turned out, shall we?

Twins vs. Red Sox (whom I hate), May 25th, 2009

Pregame

- The seats we had were pretty good. Section 125, row 33, which turned out to be the row immediately in front of the press box. Fortunately Sid Hartman was sitting far enough away that there wasn't much chance of getting spilled on. Many of you won't get that joke, but the few that do are smiling right now, trust me.

- Two problems in the pregame: the burger I had tasted like it'd be cooked sometime during the Ford administration. And I realized once we sat down that I was quite literally surrounded by Red Sox (whom I hate) fans. I'm not sure which was worse, the guy two rows down who actually had a Red Sox (whom I hate) lawn gnome that he kept trying to get on camera, or the "I play softball, so that makes me a ballplayer" guy who was sitting directly in front of me. This could be a long game...

- The game pitted Francisco Liriano for the Twins versus Brad Penny for the Red Sox (whom I hate). Two line-up notes: Baby Jesus (aka Joe Mauer) is getting a day off, and David Ortiz (aka Big (steroid) Papi) is also getting a day off. Mauer has played something like 20 of the last 21 games and got hit by a pitch last night, so his absence is understandable. Papi can't hit sand falling off a camel lately, so his absence is also understandable.

Let's play ball!

Top of the First

- Our first look at 'Cisco on the hill. He fans Jacoby Ellsbury to start things off. Looking good.

- Then 2008 MVP Dustin Pedroia hits a duck fart (copyright Dan Gladden) into right field for a base hit. Not as good.

- 'Cisco comes back to get Kevin Youklis to fly out and Jason Bay to strike out, and strands that duck on the pond. Solid start.

Bottom of the First

- One other line-up note I missed. OF Denard Span isn't feeling well, so Carlos Gomez (aka Go-Go) gets the start in center and leads off the game for the Twins. Turns out Carlos managed to get himself stuck in a revolving door on the way into the park today, and banged his head bad enough to require two stitches to close a cut. I swear I'm not making this up. He cut his head going through a revolving door. That's it, for the rest of the day, we're calling him "Stitches".

- Stitches flies out to kick things off, and the Twins go quietly in the first.

Top of the Second

- 3B Mike Lowell leads off with a single and that's followed by a DH Rocco Baldelli double and suddenly I'm nervous for 'Cisco.

- A Varitek K, Bailey K and Lugo K later, the Twins are out of the inning and I'm back to feeling good about Liriano's chances.

Bottom of the Second

- DH Jason Kubel leads off with a fly-out. I know he had the flu or something last week, but it feels like he's tailed off quite a bit lately.

- RF Michael Cuddyer jumps on a Penny fastball and knocks it into the left field seats. Nice! 1-0 Twins. Cuddyer hit for the cycle (single, double, triple and home run in the same game) on Friday night. It took me .0002 seconds to copyright the term: "Cuddycyle". Be jealous.

- 3B Brian Busher strikes out and C Mike Redmond grounds out to end the inning.

Top of the Third

- CF Jacoby Ellsbury leads off with a single, but is promptly picked off by Francisco as he tries to steal second.

- 2B Dustin Pedroia singles. If this guy was on any other team, he'd be one of my favorite players. Talk about making the most of your abilities. Dammit, why does he have to be a Red Sox (whom I hate)?!

- 3B Kevin Youklis doubles sending Pedroia to third. Why are people booing? Oh god no... they're "Yooooooooook"-ing. Come on people! Not in the Dome! I'm ill.

- LF Jason Bay doubles in Pedroia and Yoooooooklis. I'm quickly reminded how much of Red Sox (whom I hate) Nation surrounds me. Let's see, a Taser couldn't neutralize them all... hrrrmmm...

- DH Mike Lowell singles in Bay and suddenly it's 3-1 Red Sox (whom I hate). Umm 'Cisco? Maybe you want to get somebody out here? I'm just sayin...

- Baldelli strikes out and Varitek flies out to end the inning. And kudos to Stitches on the Varitek fly out. Gomez sprinted back to the wall and crashed into it as he appeared to take a home run away from Varitek. I'm not 100% sure it would've cleared the wall, but even if it wouldn't have, it was still a stellar play by Stitches. 3-1 Red Sox (whom I hate) after two and a half.

Top of the Fourth

- After and uneventful bottom of the 3rd, 'Cisco gets two quick outs in the fourth. Things are good, right?

- Ellsbury singles. Not good. Pedroia singles. Dammit, he's good. Yoooooooklis doubles them both in. Crap, crap, crap, crap. It's 5-1 Sox (whom I hate), and that burger tastes really bad the second time around.

- Bay mercifully pops out to end the inning.

Top of the Fifth

- So why do I keep skipping the Twins' at-bats? I'm not going to make you suffer as I suffered. I like you people too much for that.

- Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey comes on for the Twins. Not a good outing for 'Cisco, but maybe the boys can rally behind Dickey! Wow, that sounded dirty.

- Lowell singles to lead off the inning and I'm audibly growling now.

- Baldelli and Varitek fly out. Okay, not as bad.

- Somebody named Jeff Bailey gets hit by a knuckleball and has the temerity to shoot Dickey a dirty look on his way to first. Okay, first of all, you're Jeff Bailey. Nobody knows who you are, so shut up. Secondly, you got hit by a knuckleball. My 5-year old nephew can hit harder than a knuckleball. So shut up and take your base, ya pansy.

- Lugo grounds into a fielder's choice, and Dickey gets out of the inning. It's still 5-1 Red Sox (whom I hate). Dammit.

Bottom of the 5th

- Buscher flies out to lead off the inning. I'm not saying Brian is a bad guy, but he's quickly becoming the leading candidate for the "What the hell is this guy doing on our roster" award. Not good.

- Redmond follows with a double. Okay boys, rally time!

- Delmon Young strikes out. Maybe not so much with the rally.

- I just noticed that Varitek is wearing catching gear with some sort of camouflage design on it. I know it's Memorial Day and all, and I don't want to seem disrespectful, but camo tools of ignorance? Really?! Yeesh.

- My brother's favorite player (sarcasm alert) Nick Punto grounds out to end the inning. Still 5-1 Sox (whom I hate).

Top of the Sixth

- Ellsbury grounds out.

- Pedroia rips a line drive to right-center, and charging out of nowhere to make a diving catch? That's right, Stitches strikes again! Maybe Gomez should bang his head every day, apparently it results in some impressive defense!

- Yoooooklis pops out to end the inning. Yes, it's still 5-1 Sox (whom I hate), and I'm sick of typing that. The 5-1 part, not the (whom I hate) mind you.

Bottom of the Sixth

- Stitches follows his amazing defense with a double and moves to third on a throwing error by Ellsbury. Yep, we need to bang Gomez's head every day before the game.

- The press box announces that today's attendance is 27, 636. I'd like to congratulate Twins fans on a solid number, only I know that the Nation has buoyed that stat. I'm vexed.

- At exactly 3pm central time, every Major League game in progress stops to honor our fallen veterans with a moment of remembrance on Memorial Day. Very cool.

- After a Tolbert K, Justin Morneau announces his presence with authority (copyright Nuke LaLoosh) and cranks a double to score Stitches. Okay, now it's rally time!

- Kubel follows with an RBI of his own, singling in Morneau. 5-3 Sox (whom I hate). We're back in it baby!

- That chases Penny from the game, and Ramon Ramirez enters to face the Cuddycycle. Cuddy grounds into a fielder's choice.

- Buscher grounds out to first and just like that, the rally is snuffed out.

Seventh Inning Stretch

- A 96-year-old former Marine strangles a cat to the tune of "God Bless America" and nobody cares. Thanks for your service, sir.

Top of the Eighth

- Somebody named Jeff Bailey exacts his revenge for being hit by cranking an R.A. Dickey fastball out to left field for a home run. Should've hit him with another knuckler. Putz.

- Lugo and Ellsbury fly out. Pedroia grounds out. First easy out he's produced all day. Dammit he's good!

- 6-3 Red Sox (whom I hate) and the Twins are running out of chances.

Bottom of the Eighth

- Hideki Okajima comes in to pitch to Stitches. And the music guy plays Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."?! A Japanese pitcher facing a batter from the Dominican, and you play the Boss?! The music guy either has a heightened sense of irony, or he's just plain not paying attention. Stitches flies out.

- Tolbert follows with a pop out. And then Morneau is called out on strikes on a pitch that might have been able to see the strike zone from where it passed the plate. Apparently the home plate umpire doesn't want to lose his reservation at Murray's.

- Still 6-3 Sox (whom I hate). I have to say, as annoying as the Nation has been during this game, I expected far worse. I have no idea what that portends. Am I softening? Nope, I still hate them.

Top of the Ninth

- Here go the communists. I'll never understand why people pay for nine innings and only stay for eight. Their choice I guess, but I hope the Twins come back in the 9th and screw them!

- Yooooklis strikes out looking. Make-up call? Perhaps...

- Bay and Lowell single back to back and I'm worried again.

- J.D. Drew comes on to hit for Baldelli and flies out to right. A Varitek ground-out later and we're out of the inning. Still 6-3 Red Sox (whom I hate).

Bottom of the Ninth

- Red Sox (whom I hate) closer Jonathan Papelbon is on to pitch. He might be the most hateable human being on the planet. Okay, you're right, Bin Laden and Jong-il are worse. How about the most hateable human being in the Western Hemisphere? I can live with that.

- Kubel leads off with a single. Yes! Rally-time again! Suck on that Paps!

- Cuddy strikes out looking. Dammit. Murray's called and they're definitely not holding that table!

- Brian Buscher steps to the dish. I know Baby Jesus is taking a day off, but wouldn't this be a good time for him to pinch-hit? Wait a minute. Who's that in the on-deck circle? It's a bird, it's a plane, IT'S THE BABY JESUS! Of course! Ron Gardenhire officially knows more than I do. Give Buscher a chance to get on and then Mauer can tie it! Well, unless Buscher grounds into a double play. Wait, why did I just think that?! I have to go punish my brain! Buscher flies out to center. Why is he on the roster again?

- Baby Jesus time. Well he can't tie it. BUT HE CAN STILL HIT A HOME RUN! Mauer crushes a Papelbon heater over the wall in right-center. I can't officially promote him to Adult Jesus until the All-Star break, but damn this is impressive! 6-5 Red Sox (whom I hate). Come on boys. We can do this!

- Delmon Young sees fastball and hits fastball. Deep to center. Way back, way back, caught on the warning track. Dammit. Ballgame. Sox (whom I hate) win 6-5.

Postgame

- It's hard to be too upset about the loss when we got to see greatness in the bottom of the ninth. And though it pains me to give them credit, the Nation wasn't nearly as annoying as they could've been.

- Does a better starting pitching performance give the Twins a win? Who knows. But the boys didn't give up and fought back to make it a nail-biter in the end. That's pretty much all you can ask.


So there's your Sports Take Running Game Commentary. Hope you enjoyed the game as much as I did. Or perhaps even a little more, since the sting of a loss to the Red Sox (whom I hate) still lingers.

That's all for today ladies and gents. I'm back on Friday with your usual heaping helping of DFTU goodness.

Until then, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. You know, I've heard something about the Nation-away-from-Fenway.

    Since 90% of the Sox fans cannot actually GO to games in Fenway, they travel...and they are reasonably polite guests (except @NY, which I will grant is probably the Regular Fenway crowd, too).

    So, as you've said before, you hate the team, not the good people of Boston.

    ReplyDelete