If I were more inclined to talk merely about baseball in this post, once again, the tragedy in the title would likely refer to the demeanor by which the Twins went about losing to the Kansas City Royals last night. Of course, anyone reading this blog knows that the tragedy is far bigger than that. With the events that occured on I-35W in mind, I assume that most readers will have less time today for baseball and with that in mind, I'll keep my comments short and I will subdue my desire to rant too much.
Despite what happened on 35W, I still managed to make the game, as the allure of cheap hot dogs and student seats was enough to get me out to the Metrodome. Unfortunately for me and all the other Twins fans who made it out, the Twins didn't give us enough to chear about. The gave felt all too predictable. Boof Bonser had a good outing, going seven innings, giving up eight hits and two runs while walking none and striking out four. Naturally, despite his best efforts, there was no win for Bonser to pick up.
The Twins offense did give Bonser a little bit of support, with RBI singles from Jason Bartlett in the third and Jason Kubel in the fourth and seventh. However, the eight hits (with a little help from the Royals embarrassing outfield defense) the Twins managed against Royals starter Brian Bannister their unsurprising difficulty with baserunning, as Jason Bartlett and Alexi Casilla had hurtful gaffes on the basepaths that may have prevented the Twins from scoring more.
Thus, it was no surprise that the Royals came back to tie it, with help from a Lew Ford error and a Matt Guerrier wild pitch, and it was no less predictable that Alex Gordon hit a two-run, game-winning home run off of Juan Rincon in the tenth before the "fearsome" trio of Ford, Nick Punto, and Casilla could come to the plate in the bottom of the tenth to quickly end the game. Another solid pitching outing was wasted by the all-too familiar offensive ineptitude of the Twins lineup before their chances were hurt more by the confusing decision to send homer-prone Rincon, who now has a horrible 6.21 ERA, out in the tenth instead of Joe Nathan or even Ramon Ortiz if Nathan was too tired. Adding to this was Ron Gardenhire's decision to micromanage the eight inning and waste three relief pitchers before the Royals tied the game to send it to extra innings.
It may sadden some fans to know that today's game is cancelled, but there is good reason for that obviously. Hopefully, this will give the Twins some time to rest while Ron Gardenhire stumples on the principle that Punto only hinders the offense and that using your best relievers first in extra-innings is always a good rule to go by.
Lastly, I would like to say what we are all thinking: thoughts and prayers to anyone and everyone involved in what happened.