Saturday, May 26, 2007

Recap 5/26/2007 Twins 8, Black and Blue Jays 9

Oh what a night. In a season full of close calls and inability to capitalize in crucial situations the Twins finally put together a game worth remembering, a game that could have sparked a team big winning streaks. Regretfully to say it ended the wrong way.

The contest began innocently enough with each team pushing a few runs across in the early innings and the sixth inning began 3-2 in the jays favor. But Ramon Ortiz who likely came into this game acutely aware that he may be pitching for his Twins life finally collapsed just as he has done all May as he started the sixth with two outs but then allowed a homerun followed by a double, followed by a homerun and suddenly the Jays had a commanding 6-2 lead.

For the next few innings it seemed as though manager Ron gardenhire would be content to allow the game to slip away as he pitched all three new bullpen pitchers, Julio DePaula, Carmen Cali, and Jason Miller over the next two innings. Of that trio only DePaula really struggled and so far his Major League career has been nothing short of a dismal failure.

However the Twins bats refused to quit on this night and down by five entering their half of the eighth, the Twins would score two in the eighth on a Michael Cuddyer two run homerun. Since May 13th Cuddyer has been on a bit of a hot streak hitting .340 (16/47) with five of his seven homeruns and 16 RBI's coming in that span. In the ninth the Twins five batters reached base beginning with Punto's infield chopper over second, and ending with Morneau's walk to open the inning and tie the game. Regretfully to say Torii Hunter's very hard hit grounder to third was fielded cleanly and John McDonald stepped on third and threw out Hunter at first. Redmond then chopped out to second. Speaking of Redmond he has been fantastic in Mauer's absence catching all but one game since May 4th. In that span he has hit .365 (23-63) with five doubles, a homerun and 4-5BB/K. Furthermore he's played fantastic defense while taking a serious beating behind the plate on many nights over the stretch. In short, he's been the teams less attractive, older, more naked, Joe Mauer.

After an uneventful tenth where the only baserunner was Frank Thomas who draw a leadoff walk against Nathan, the Blue Jays got a two out bases empty homerun from Alex Rios in the eleventh. Rios has been nothing short of dominant against the Twins so far this season going 7-10 with a walk. Thankfully to say Justin Morneau had another opportunity to play hero in the home half of the inning with runners on first and third and one out. When he came up he made good and hammered a liner right back through the middle, sadly the shift was on and Royce Clayton made a nice diving stop and forced Cuddyer at second but Morneau beat out the throw and the Twins tied the game.

The thirteenth would prove to be the undoing for the Twins tonight though as Royce Clayton
led off the inning with a double to the corner in right. He would advanced to third on a ground out up the middle that Jason Bartlett made a fantastic play on to get Jason Phillips. After a strikeout of Alex Rios, Clayton would score on a single by Lyle Overbay.That would prove to be the game winner for the Jays as the Twins would go down in order in the bottom half of the inning as Punto and Castillo struck out and Bartlett Flew out to left.

Forgive me if this entry is long and rambling. I know it is, but I began writing it in the top of the eighth when the Twins were down 7-2. Needless to say I've had to rewrite it about 6 times since then and this is the result.


Andrew Berg said...

You forgot to mention the three completely idiotic baserunning mistakes: the two runners sent home from third who had little to no chance of scoring (one with only 1 out in the inning), and Hunter totally needlessly trying to stretch a very standard single into a double and not coming close. Either of the first two runs would have been enough to win it in the ninth, and at least the first non-run was followed by Cuddyer's homerun. Somebody has to cut down on Ulger's greenies.

Corey Ettinger said...

Yeah, but the Twins wouldn't be the Twins without Ulger. It seems like every team has that one guy, player or coach, who ends up costing its team games. Ours happens to be Scotty. Which is much better than say, Mariano Rivera.