Game Diary: Day Baseball

This running diary is coming to you LIVE from my bedroom in my mom’s house in Minnesota. I am joined by my trusty dog, Samantha, who has been sleeping since about noon yesterday, and a whole bunch of boxes that I still haven’t unpacked since moving out of my dorm room last week.

Amazingly, despite it being just 11:25 a.m., I have already been awake for about three hours. I was up bright and early to play a little 1-on-1 morning baseball with my uncle (I lost 4-3). Not sure exactly what 1-on-1 baseball is? Boy, are you missing out.

The Twins and Blue Jays will be starting the third and final game of their series in about 10 minutes and, surprisingly, the game is actually on TV here. In fact, it’s on two channels. That means I have a decision to make. Do I go with the local, FOX Sports Net broadcast, with Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven as the incredibly Twins-friendly announcers? Or do I go with the ESPN broadcast?

At this point, I don’t even know which ESPN announcers will be calling the game, but from what I know of their crop of talent, I’d say there’s a far better chance of the ESPN guys saying stuff I can ridicule, so I think I’ll go with them. After all, if ESPN gets too mind-numbing, I can always flip back to the homers on FSN.


The pitching matchup today isn’t particularly exciting: Kyle Lohse (1-3, 5.93) vs. Justin Miller (1-0, 3.38).

Lohse has really been awful this year (20/25 K/BB ratio, .312 OAVG), but he had arguably his best start of the season last time out (6.1 IP, 2 ER vs. Chicago) and he did well (6.0 IP, 1 ER) against the Blue Jays earlier in the year. Carlos Silva has picked up some of the slack for Lohse so far, but the Twins are going to need him to get back on-track soon.

Meanwhile, Justin “The Illustrated Man” Miller has pitched well this year. He has a 20/8 K/BB ratio in 24.0 innings and he’s served up just one homer.

Here are the lineups:

     MINNESOTA                     TORONTO
LF   Lew Ford                 RF   Reed Johnson
SS   Cristian Guzman          2B   Orlando Hudson
RF   Jacque Jones             CF   Vernon Wells
1B   Jose Offerman            1B   Carlos Delgado
CF   Torii Hunter             C    Gregg Zaun
DH   Michael Ryan             3B   Eric Hinske
3B   Michael Cuddyer          DH   Josh Phelps
C    Henry Blanco             LF   Simon Pond
2B   Alex Prieto              SS   Chris Gomez

A few things …

You’ll notice Doug Mientkiewicz is out of the lineup. He hurt his back last night. In his place is Jose Offerman, who is not only starting, but hitting cleanup for about the 100th time this season (or so it seems to this Twins fan).

You could lock me in a room with Ron Gardenhire and all the booze and drugs in the world I am confident I could never be convinced that Offerman should be anywhere near hitting cleanup in a playoff-contender’s lineup. And yes, I know the Twins have a bunch of injuries, but still.

Gardenhire’s unwillingness to “risk” losing the DH by playing Matthew LeCroy (his backup catcher) there is beyond silly. The only reason I’m not blowing a gasket about Offerman hitting fourth is that Mientkiewicz, Shannon Stewart and Corey Koskie are all out of the lineup. Plus Joe Mauer, of course, but he hasn’t really been in the lineup. Still, there was no point in his entire career when Offerman should have been hitting cleanup and, at 35 years old, now is definitely not the time.

Damn, looks like the ESPN feed is blacked out here. Oh well, I’ll have to live with the Twins’ announcers. I’m sure they’ll provide plenty of “interesting” comments.

You’ll also notice the lack of “Luis Rivas” in the lineup, which is nice to see on a lovely May afternoon. I’m no Alex Prieto fan, but I’d be just fine with Alex Prieto, Ariel Prieto or Carlos Prieto starting at second base at this point. Just as long as it’s not Rivas.

For the Blue Jays, Chris Gomez is in for an injured Chris Woodward at shortstop, Gregg Zaun gets the start in place of Kevin Cash behind the plate, and Simon Pond and Reed Johnson get the nod over Frank Catalanotto in the outfield corners.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Here we go …


As Twins play-by-play man Dick Bremer just said, this is definitely a “makeshift” lineup for the Twins.

Uh oh, we were just told that the injury list also includes Luis Rivas, who “strained his groin” while running out his sac bunt in the ninth inning last night. That means Matthew LeCroy is the only healthy bench player and, as I said, Gardenhire isn’t exactly willing to use him in anything other than an emergency.

Miller starts Lew “LEW!” Ford off with a fastball way outside for ball one. Ford hits a hard grounder to deep short that Gomez makes a nice play on for the first out of the ballgame.

I’m disappointed — Miller is wearing long black sleeves to cover up all of his ink.

Cristian Guzman hits a sharp grounder to second base that eats Orlando Hudson up, but he recovers quickly and gets Guzman by a half-step at first.

Jacque Jones is first-pitch swinging, and he grounds out to Carlos Delgado for the third out. Beautiful eight-pitch first inning. I suspect this is what the whole game will be like, at least from the Twins. They are without their three most patient hitters (Stewart, Koskie, Mientkiewicz).


Reed Johnson leads off the bottom of the first with a single slapped into right field. Lohse left a fastball up and out over the plate.

The only “projected” starters from the start of the season in the lineup for the Twins today are Guzman, Torii Hunter and Jones.

Lohse gets Hudson swinging on a 93 MPH fastball down and in. Velocity has never been a problem for Lohse, and the location was also very good on that pitch.

Vernon Wells smokes a hard grounder to Guzman for an easy inning-ending double play. 16 total pitches through one full inning.

To quote Ham Porter: “It’s gonna be a quick game, cause I gotta get home for lunch.”


FOX Sports Net easily has the worst and most repetitive commercials in the history of television. It’s not even close.

Bremer: “We’re starting something new here on FOX Sports Net today. The FOX Sports poll sponsored by FOX’s new show, The Jury. ‘Will the Twins have a 20-game winner this year?'”

First, the amount of “hidden” ads in baseball games these days makes me sick. Second, there’s no way in hell the Twins will have a 20-game winner this year. I just looked it up and they’ve had exactly one 20-game winner in the last dozen years.

Oh goody, Offerman is up. And whaddya know, he took strike three looking. And now Torii Hunter grounds out on the very first pitch he sees. Honestly, do they have a flight to catch?

Blyleven: “Miller with the long sleeves on because his body is about 50% … or more … filled with tattoos.”

Bremer: “And during spring training, hitters complained.”

Isn’t it nice when questions get answered so promptly?

Michael Ryan lines a hanging breaking ball into center field for the Twins’ first hit. I have to say, for a guy who stunk up the joint at Triple-A last year, he sure has hit the snot out of the ball with the Twins.

We just learned that both Bremer and Blyleven are “tattoo free.” Bremer: “And the reason we know this is that we discussed this last year.”

And now we just got a shot of the two of them in broadcast booth, pulling their shirt sleeves up to show that, in fact, their bodies are clean of any ink. The inspection of the lower-halves will come in the bottom of the inning, I assume.

Michael Cuddyer flies out to center field to end the inning. I’m a big Cuddyer-backer, but he really needs to do something offensively at some point very soon. He still hasn’t been left in the lineup for more than a few weeks at a time at any point in his career, but sometimes you just need to have a good two weeks when you get a chance.


A little more on Cuddyer … He is now a career .241/.305/.408 major-league hitter (in only 316 at-bats) and he turned 25 years old in March. I still think he’s a poor-man’s Tim Salmon, but time is running out (at least with the Twins).

Does anyone else find it strange that the Jays would bat Gregg Zaun after Carlos Delgado in this game? Zaun is a great backup catcher, but he’s not at the top of my list to bat behind someone like Delgado. Delgado singles sharply past a lunging Prieto and into center field. I can hear the Rivas-backers now: “Rivas could have done that.” And you know what? They’re right!

Lohse starts Zaun 3-0. Apparently Lohse fears Zaun a little more than I do. Lohse gets the 3-0 pitch over for a strike and then walks Zaun on the 3-1 pitch. 1st and 2nd, 0 outs.

DOG UPDATE: Sam is officially alive. She stood up, stretched, passed gas, and repositioned herself on top of my blanket. She is now snoring, which I’m told is a sign of breathing.

Hinske hits a hard grounder right down the first base line and Offerman makes a pretty nice play on it, fielding the ball while going into foul territory. He thought about trying for the force at second, but ended up barely getting Hinske at first. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

Josh Phelps bloops a single in front of Torii Hunter in center field, and the ball hits off the turf and flies over Hunter’s head. Jacque Jones quickly grabs it up, but he makes one of his patented “throw the ball directly into the ground” throws into second base, as Phelps slides in for a turf double. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. 1-0 Toronto.

I have now heard, for the 50th time in three games, that Simon Pond is Canadian. You’d think he was from Antartica or something. Pond, who I’ve heard is Canadian, grounds out to second base to drive in the runner from third. Runner on 2nd, 2 outs. 2-0 Toronto.

Former Twin Chris Gomez now at the plate, as Bremer asks, “Okay, why is Josh Phelps still at second?” Not a bad question. If I were Phelps and Carlos Tosca asked me that back in the dugout, I think I would go with “it’s too early to run in my opinion, so I didn’t.” I happen to think honesty is the best policy.

Gomez hits a grounder to Cuddyer at third base and he boots it. Blyleven: “If this play is the same and Phelps is at third, he scores there.” Yes, but it is only 12:05 p.m. I’m not a fan of running until at least 12:30.

Also, you can put another mark in the “Um … no” column for the ongoing “Should Cuddyer replace Koskie as the regular third baseman next year?” question. Reed Johnson lets Cuddyer off the hook with a flyball to Hunter in CF for the third out.


Let me ask you this … how does FOX Sports Net make money if 99.2574839% of their commercials are for FOX Sports Net shows? They’ve got to be generating less commercial revenue than Air America.

Justin Miller got eight new tattoos while waiting for that last half-inning to end. The next step for Miller is definitely the Mike-Tyson-face-tattoo-look. I’m a big fan of that.

Hank White flies out to right field for the first out of the inning. Prieto just squared around to bunt, pulled the bat back and then barely checked his swing on a pitch that went to the backstop. He then grounds the 2-2 pitch to Hinske for the second out.

Bremer: “The two best teams in the American League are the two teams that are the most banged up.”

He’s talking about the Twins and Angels, and if you think those are the two best teams in the league I’ve got a bridge and a large amount of swampland to offer you. I’ll give you a 2-for-1 deal.

Ford strikes out swinging to end the inning. 38 pitches through three for Miller.


Commercial: “It’s Lynx basketball on FOX Sports Net! This summer the women take center-stage! As your Minnesota Lynx look to light up the scoreboard and make some noise in the WNBA!”

Did I mention I have a bridge for sale? And swampland?

Lohse gets ahead of Hudson 0-2 and then doesn’t get the call on a fastball that looked pretty good from my bed. Hudson hits an excuse-me chopper down the third base line. Lohse makes a nice play on it and throws out Hudson, who was sliding, at first base. As a fan of sliding into first, perhaps Orlando Hudson would be interested in my bridge/swampland property.

Wells hits a high flyball to Hunter in CF for the second out. Blyleven just said that the Twins’ pitching coach is blaming Lohse’s problems on him “trying too hard.” Another customer!

Lohse gets Delgado swinging on a nice 1-2 changeup in the dirt to end the inning. 44 pitches through three innings.


I think I like Max Kellerman more than most people, but his “It’s just my opinion … but I’m right!” promos aren’t the best endorsements for his new show. By the way, for those who haven’t seen Max much, he is actually quite the sabermetrician, which is perhaps why I’m more tolerant of him than a lot of people.

Aflac trivia question: “How many Cy Young awards have Toronto pitchers won?”

I’m going to say four: Clemens twice, Pat Hentgen (the year he had a ton of innings; I think he beat out a very young Andy Pettitte?) and Roy Halladay.

Dick and Bert both go with three. Dick says “Clemens twice and Halladay last year.” Bert correctly realizes that Hentgen also won one. He does not, however, recognize that the question was asking for awards won, not the number of award winners, so he also (initially) goes with three as his answer. After only about 10 minutes of non-stop blather, the boys get it all straightened out. In the meantime, Guzman flies out to CF for the first out.

Yay! Jose “Cleanup Hitter” Offerman is up again. I think I played on Little League teams where Offerman would have hit sixth. Blyleven: “Offerman played all of last season in the independent league, hoping to get picked up. He was not.” There’s something you love to hear about your cleanup man!

Offerman yanks a single to right field. I’ll shut up now. 1st and 2nd, 1 out.

Torii Hunter is up. My pessimistic nostrils smell double play here. Counts goes to 0-2 as Hunter misses an outside breaking ball by five feet. Miller goes back to the same spot on 0-2 and Torii, miraculously, lays off. Another outside breaking ball that Torii spits at.

Bremer: “Bouncer to the right side. Out at second … out at first.” Maybe he should have just swung at one of those outside curves. The good news is that my nostrils are hitting 1.000 today.


Oh, the Aflac trivia answer is coming up … four. YES!

Blyleven on Clemens’ success this year: “See, I retired at 41 because I didn’t have the arm strength to go nine innings any more. I didn’t want to be going five or six innings. And my shoulder just didn’t recover after starts.”

Blyleven on pitchers today who have the “go nine innings” mindset: “David Wells, when he’s healthy.”

Bremer: “Or when he’s not peeling carrots, or whatever it is he was doing.” [RIMSHOT!]

While Abbott and Costello do their act, Lohse gets a 1-2-3 inning. He might just turn in a solid start after all.


The funny thing about having the MLB Extra Innings package is that I see the commercials on FOX Sports Net in other markets. It’s funny, because they are identical commercials to the ones shown in Minnesota, but they have different logos and different names substituted in the little jingles.

For instance, for Minnesota it is “Garnett, Sprewell and Gaborik are coming for you!” Elsewhere, it is … well, I don’t remember exactly, but insert a couple of good athletes and a hockey player and you get the point.

Michael Ryan grounds out to Gomez at SS for the first out of the inning. Cuddyer draws a five-pitch walk to bring up Henry Blanco, who officially turned into a pumpkin about two weeks ago. Blanco grounds out to second base and Cuddyer moves up to second with two outs.

Remember when Blanco was hitting .360? Sure you do, I even wrote about it here. Well, he’s 11-for-72 (.153) since then and down to .206 on the year. Oh well, Mauer will be back soon.

Blyleven: “Prieto 27 years old, in his 12th year of professional baseball … from Venezuela.” I know that’s not rare or anything, but that always gets my attention. 12 years in the minors and he’s still just 27. I bet he’s got an interesting book in him. “The Alex Prieto Story.” I bet it would sell about as well as my bridge/swampland combo.

Prieto strikes out swinging on an 85 MPH fastball right down the middle to end the inning.


Commercial: “It’s Lynx basketball on FOX Sports Net! This summer the women take center-stage! As your Minnesota Lynx look to light up the scoreboard and make some noise in the WNBA!”

Did I mention FSN sometimes repeats commercials? Also, I’ve now seen the ad for “Daunte Culppper: Beyond The Glory” four times in the last hour.

58% of the people said “Yes” to “Will the Twins have a 20-game winner?” The lesson, as always: The majority of people are a whole lot dumber than they are given credit for.

Pond slaps a sharp grounder to Cuddyer, who handles it flawlessly and tosses over to first for the first out of the inning. Gomez lines a 1-0 fastball to Cuddyer for the second out. Lohse is doing a nice job here, basically just throwing strikes and letting his defense do some work.

Dick and Bert are now reciting each and every 20-game winner in Twins history. “You’ve got a 20-game winner in Rick Helling who can’t even make the staff right now.” Oh boy … so many things wrong with statement … can’t process info …

Cuddyer goes 3-for-3 in the inning with a nice diving stab and throw to first for the third out.


Incidentally, Rick Helling won 20 games with a 4.41 ERA while with the Rangers. The year was 1998, Mark McGwire was setting the all-time single-season home run record, and Aaron Gleeman was getting his first up-close-and-personal look at high school girls. Well, not that close or that personal. My mom reads this, after all.

Lew Ford draws a leadoff walk. Guzman attempts a drag-bunt on 1-1 and bunts through a would-be ball low and in. He then takes a fastball right down the middle for the third strike.

Jacque Jones dumps a hit in front of Simon Pond in left-center and Pond dives face first as the ball bounces off him and rolls back toward second base. Pond races over and tries to pick it up, but “misses.” He tries again, while staring at the infield, and whiffs again. Foruntately for him, Lew Ford stayed at third base throughout the entire incident. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

Guess who’s up? Offerman! He reaches out on a low 1-2 fastball and laces the pitch into the gap in right-center for a two-run double. Runner on 2nd, 1 out. 2-2 game.

By the way, Jose Offerman for President! Anyone know his stance on stem-cell research?

Hunter drives one deep to left field, but Pond makes the grab a few feet short of the warning track. Offerman, no doubt contemplating his cabinet appointments (Aaron Gleeman, Secretary of Dumb Statements), stays at second.

The Jays intentionally walk Michael Ryan with Cuddyer on-deck. 1st and 2nd, 2 outs. Consider your face good and slapped, Mike. Blyleven: “Some hitters don’t like that. It’s like a slap in the face. ‘You think you can get me out? You can’t get me out.'”

Bert now stealing my material (the first sign of insanity, I believe). Zaun tries to pick off Offerman at second base and the ball shoots into center field. Offerman tries to score and is gunned down at the plate by 10 feet. He makes a feeble attempt at running Zaun over, but basically just falls into a heap at his feet. That’s an interesting way to get the third out.


Bremer: “Lohse has set down 10 men in a row.”

Lohse gets Orlando Hudson looking to start the inning. 11 in a row. Vernon Wells clobbers a high fastball for a deep double to the wall in left-center. 0 in a row.

Bremer: “Lohse had retired 11 straight.” So I’ve heard!

The Twins show that they can do the intentional-walk thing too, sending Carlos Delgado to first base. Remember that stuff I said about Gregg Zaun batting behind Delgado? Well, here we go. 1st and 2nd, 1 out, Zaun up.

Lohse still getting the fastball in at 92-93 MPH. Ugh! Zaun bloops a single in front of Jacque Jones in RF to score the go-ahead run. I move one step closer to the all-time record for “Most dumb statements and/or quasi-predictions made in a running diary.” Normally a record chase like this one would be a big deal, but it’s actually my own record I’m looking to break.

J.C. Romero is warming up in the bullpen. Great play by Guzman. He fielded a chopper up the middle, stepped on second base for the forceout and threw to first in one motion. Double play, inning over.


I just checked the CBS.Sportsline play-by-play and saw that Justin Miller is at 100 pitches through six innings. That means, after an eight-pitch first inning, the Twins saw 92 pitches in innings 2-6 (18.4 per inning). I’m impressed, surprised and pleased.

Miller’s day is done as Aquilino Lopez comes in to start the seventh. Cuddyer is still up from last inning.

DOG UPDATE: Literally no movements in three innings. I fear death, but am pleased by the lack of gas.

Cuddyer draws another walk. Blanco at the plate. I might actually bunt in this situation, just to stay out of the inevitable double play. Yes, I just said I might bunt. Alert the media. Go ahead, do it.

Well, Gardenhire didn’t bunt, but he did put the hit-and-run on. Blanco hit a soft flyball to medium right field, and Cuddyer scampered back to first.

Cuddyer is running again on the first pitch to Alex Prieto. Prieto fouls the pitch off. Cuddyer is running again on the 1-1 pitch. Prieto swings through it and Gregg Zaun throws Cuddyer out comfortably. Just to be clear, I NEVER said I would hit-and-run, particularly with one out. Gardenhire, on the other hand, is a big fan of running into outs.

Bremer: “The Twins trying to make things happen here in the seventh inning.”

Yeah, they made something happen all right. Prieto strikes out to end the inning. My dog, when she’s alive, “makes something happen” in a very similar fashion about three times per day. We pick it up with a plastic bag.


Has there ever been a less essential character in TV history than Nicole Ritchie in “The Simple Life”? Paris Hilton would be better off with a pet rock. Or Rick Solomon.

Josh Phelps raps a ground-rule double over the fence in right-center. Lohse is still in, pitching to Simon Pond (a lefty) and he’s at 86 pitches. Juan Rincon is now warming, next to Romero. Rincon is officially the “vulture” of the 2004 season, with six relief wins already. He has pitched well, but no reliever wins six games by the middle of May without getting lucky and/or giving up a lead or two (you can’t get a win if you hold the lead).

Lohse walks Pond. Bremer: “General Manager J.P. Ricciardi coming out of the Oakland system. Billy Beane and his disciples not real fond of sacrifice bunts.”

Gomez bunts, advancing the runners to 2nd and 3rd. For the record, the Twins have 10 sac bunts this season. Gomez’s bunt was Toronto’s ninth of the year.

The Twins now intentionally walking Reed Johnson to load the bases with one out for Orlando Hudson. I’m not a big fan of this move. Hudson isn’t going to ground into a double play, and I’d take my chances getting Johnson out instead of Vernon Wells. Lohse gone, Romero in.

Commercial: “It’s Lynx basketball on FOX Sports Net! This summer the women take center-stage! As your Minnesota Lynx look to light up the scoreboard and make some noise in the WNBA!”

Third time in two hours is the charm! I’ve seen more of the Lynx this afternoon than I’ve seen in the past however many years they’ve been in existence (Three? Five? Eight? I honestly have no idea).

Romero gets Hudson looking on a 2-2 fastball. Bases loaded, 2 outs. Romero out, Rincon in to face Wells (you know this’ll work, just so I’ll look dumb yet again).

I just saw two “Best Damn Sports Show, Period” commercials in one commercial break. I feel violated.

Wells hacks at the first pitch and fouls back a 93 MPH fastball. I just looked and if Rincon ends up winning this game (very possible, assuming he gets Wells), he would be tied for the major-league lead in wins with Clemens and Jarrod Washburn.

95 MPH fastball fouled back. Aaron Fultz warming up to face Delgado (hopefully in the eighth). 96 MPH fastball fouled back. Do you go off-speed here? I think so … nope. 96 MPH fastball fouled back, still 2-2. 93 MPH fastball, lashed into right field for a two-run single. 4-2 Toronto. I’m no pitching coach, but he was clearly on the fastball. Damn. Rincon out, Fultz in.

Commercial: “It’s Lynx basketball on FOX Sports Net! This summer the women take center-stage! As your Minnesota Lynx look to light up the scoreboard and make some noise in the WNBA!”

That’s four in seven innings. Same as the amount of hits the Twins have. Coincidence? I think not. What we clearly need is more Lynx commercials. Fultz strikes out Delgado to end the inning.


Lew Ford sends a warning-track flyball to Simon Pond to lead off the inning. Pond has looked very shaky out in left today. He looked drunk on the looping single earlier and has made two fairly easy flyballs into more than they should have been. Anyone know if he’s from Canada?

Lopez out, Jason Kershner in. Cristian Guzman is up. Remember when everyone was all excited about him this year? Sure you do, it was this week! I wrote about it in my very best pessimistic way right here. Well, after he makes an out here, Guzman’s batting average will have fallen below .300.

Told ya. Chopper to Gomez, who makes a nice running throw to nail Guzman by a full step. Two down. Jacque Jones hitting against a lefty. This gives me a chance to buzzkill another thing Twins fan are excited about: Jones’ hitting vs. lefties this year. Ah, nevermind, he just singled to center field. I’ll just shut up again. Or not. Offerman strikes out to end the inning.


Zaun hits an incredibly high chopper to first base and Aaron Fultz comes off the mound to field it about three feet from the bag. Offerman was also going after the ball, so there was no one on first to take the throw.

Fultz gets Hinske swinging on a high fastball for the first out. Phelps grounds one to Prieto, who makes a nice turn to Guzman, who tosses to first for the DP. End of the inning.

Last Call!


Terry Adams in to close out the game. He’ll face Torii Hunter, Michael Ryan and Michael Cuddyer.

Hunter singles. Blyleven: “We just need baserunners.”

Ryan tries to lay down a surprise bunt on the first pitch, but fouls it off. He then pops out to left field on a 2-2 pitch. Runner on 1st, 1 out. Cuddyer singles through the infield and into right field. 1st and 2nd, 1 out. Tying run at the plate.

Gardenhire is letting Henry Blanco hit, and he has LeCroy on-deck to pinch-hit for Alex Prieto. Not a bad move. Blanco seems marginally more likely to not make an out. Then, presumably, LeCroy would go to 1B, Offerman would move to 3B or 2B, and Cuddyer would move to 2B or stay at 3B.

WOW! Blanco just got an infield hit. Chris Gomez fielded the slow grounder right behind second base, but he didn’t get much on the throw to first (he was too late for the force at second) and Blanco, one of the slowest runners in baseball history, actually beat it out. Bases loaded, 1 out.

You hang ’em, we bang ’em. Adams hangs Matty a slider over the plate and he takes him DEEP to left-center for a GRAND SLAM! 6-5 Minnesota. Amazing.

Bremer: “The only move Ron Gardenhire can make today and he gets a pinch-hit grand slam from Matthew LeCroy.”


Gardenhire leaves Fultz (a lefty) out there to at least act like he’s starting the inning. The Jays pinch-hit Frank Menechino (a righty) for Pond (a lefty), so Gardy immediately calls on Joe Nathan (a righty). I think that’s what he was going to do anyway.

Nathan walks Menechino on a 3-2 fastball that was just a hair outside. Frank Catalanotto pinch-hits for Chris Gomez.

Bremer: “We’ll see if Catalanotto is asked to bunt here.”

First, he’s hitting .348. Second, if they were going to bunt, they’d have just left Chris Gomez in to do it. That way, you don’t waste a bench move, and Gomez is probably a much better bunter anyway.

Catalanotto checks his swing on a nasty breaking ball down and in. The 3B ump says he didn’t go, but he did. No problem … Catalanotto hits a grounder back up the middle that Nathan slows down enough for the Twins to turn the double play.

Reed Johnson is Toronto’s last hope. Nathan is throwing 94-95 MPH. Nasty 1-1 curve, big-breaker at 83 MPH. Johnson just watches it for strike two. How fitting. Johnson hits a weak grounder to first base and it is fielded and taken to the bag for the final out by … Matthew LeCroy.

That’s one helluva win. I wouldn’t want to try to repeat that, but I’ll take it.

Minnesota 6
Toronto 5

W: Fultz (2-1)
L: Adams (3-3
S: Nathan (13)

HR: LeCroy (1)

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