Thursday, August 9, 2007

Young guns stymie Twins

After a run-of-the mill Bannister game(7 IP, 1 ER, W) Tuesday, and a run-of-the-mill ODP start last night(lots of hits, lots of earned runs, L) fans were understandably unsure about today's outcome. Fortunately for those 14,000+(according to the likely bogus attendance figure) of us loyalists to made their way to the K today, Kyle Davies and Joakim Soria did not disappoint. I was vehemently against the Davies trade as it's the same man who sent my fantasy team into the crapper in April and was eventually sent down. Today made me a believer out of this trade. Davies mixed up his pitches very well and carried a no-hitter into the fifth. Of course it never fails, I didn't notice it until my friend Brad reminded me and seconds later, it was gone. KD still got the win though, throwing 6.2 innings of shutout ball. Joakim came in for a crucial(for fantasy points as well) four-out save. Masterful pitching from our three 23-year-old right-handers.
-Everyone has been to a game where they sat near someone who they wanted to strangle. I've probably been to at least 20 of them. Today was the most recent. A man in a black Earnhardt T-shirt(bad sign already) with hair just long enough that you knew a lengthy mullet once existed, was that token drunk guy. Normal commentary like tirades against Buddy Bell or why player x didn't get a hit when he was talking them up ensued for about seven innings until two unique things happened.
1. With a man on first and one out, Greinke was dealing with the top of the order. Three times he threw over to first to check on the runner. All three times this mundane move happened, our token obnoxious fan yelled, "Oh yeah!" I don't think it was the alcohol either. This man was completely enamored with the pickoff play. I'd never, in 15+ years of watching baseball, have talked to anyone who remotely enjoyed the pickoff play. Usually drunk fans yell at managers or argue balls and strikes from the nosebleeds but never have I seen someone focus so intently on such a routine aspect of the game. It got even more surreal when Zack stepped off the rubber and had a meeting with LaRue. After he stepped off, he screamed, "Oh yeah, he knows what's goin' on. Yeah!" My friends and me were laughing it up the whole game but were perplexed as to this guy's fascination. I can't imagine what would've happened had Zack actually picked the guy off. I think an extremely rare, one-man standing ovation would've occurred. I'm almost certain of it.
2. After Greinke walked the aforementioned batter(I was probably too caught up in fan x's pickoff rant to remember who was up), Buddy yanked him and put in Gobble to face Morneau. This guy, in Randy Quaid-fashion, was livid and stormed out of his seat. Apparently he had had it with Buddy's lefty-lefty matchup scenarios. I could understand this if we were down after blowing a lead or something but we were up 1-0 in a series-clinching game. He didn't return until the ninth. He must've been cursing in an empty bathroom while Gobble and Soria got the last two outs.
The win put us at 50-63, 14 out and at .442. Our numbers at this time last year were 40-73, 35.5 out and at .354. 10-game turnaround is staggering after we sputtered out of the gates almost as badly this season as last. It took us until September 2 to win our 50th last year. This is truly amazing and fans should really appreciate the effort and progress. No chance at losing 100 and maybe(not likely) a chance we won't lose 90. That'd be amazing. I'd take 73-89 this year in a heartbeat. Hopefully we can take two of three from the Jays with Nunez, Meche and Bannister pitching.

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