Sunday, April 08, 2007

Shut-Out in the Cold

I would've been pretty unhappy with yesterday's game had I not been watching it with a bunch of friendly blog luminaries and knowledgable Twins fans while getting buzzed off a couple tall beers. Thanks to those circumstances, I was only mildly bothered by a baseball game that was about as unappealing to a Twins fan as possible.

After starting the season 3-0, the Twins suffered their first loss as they came out flat and fell 3-0 to the White Sox on a very cold afternoon in Chicago. Carlos Silva was surprisingly solid, allowing just one run on five hits and a walk over five innings, but his hefty Latino counterpart on the pitching staff wasn't quite as effective and the Twins' offense was essentially non-existent. The Twins' bats could muster just three hits in the game, one coming on an infield single by Luis Castillo and the other two coming off the bat of Michael Cuddyer, and Dennys Reyes had the first ugly outing by a Twins reliever on the season. Reyes entered the game in the eighth inning with the Twins trailing 1-0 and served up a homer to the first batter he faced, Juan Uribe. Reyes then failed to scoop up a playable Scott Podsednik bunt, allowing Podsednik to reach first. After Darin Erstad had sacrificed Podsednik to second, Reyes tossed a pick-off throw into center field, and Podsednik was able to score all the way from second thank to a lazy effort by Luis Castillo.

It was that type of day for the Twins. Their best chance to score came in the second inning, when they loaded the bases with one out. At that point, Jason Tyner hit a relatively routine pop-up to shallow center, but Cuddyer -- who was at third -- inexplicably ran home and crossed the plate, realizing all-too-late that the ball been caught and being easily doubled off at third. The offense was able to draw four walks against Sox starter Javier Vazquez in his 6 2/3 innings of work, but they managed only one hit against him, which is disappointing considering that Vazquez is generally quite hittable.

This all made for a tough game to watch, but fortunately the company made it worthwhile. Whether I was sending snarky anti-Cuddyer comments down to the other end of the table where SBG and Gleeman sat, or watching Corey Ettinger knock his chair to the ground in disgust at a Nick Punto strikeout, I enjoyed the afternoon and hope we can do something like it again soon. Kudos to Star Trib blogger Howard Sinker for putting the event together.

6 comments:

TheBentKangaroo said...

I would certainly hope Cuddyer thought there was two outs, and not that Tyner's deep fly ball (for him) had any chance of dropping in.

The game was awful on so many levels, but at least there was one pleasant surprise near the end. I wasn't paying too close attention, but I think I hear Brenneman clearly say, "Ball one to Torii Hunter." I nearly died.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the at bat that killed the chance for a big inning from Hunter? He came up after Morneau walked to first and then hit the first pitch to the left side of the infield, failing to advance the runners. This came right as the Fox baseball team was discussing "the Twins way" to play the game - that during batting practise, the twins don't just play homerun derby like other teams, but try to work on real life hitting situations - like advancing the runners.

Nick N. said...

Good point. Hunter has looked clueless so far this year, including his two strikeouts so far in today's game.

Corey Ettinger said...

Bring up Span!

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