Saturday, September 01, 2007

Great Scott!

You'll have to excuse any grammatical errors in this post, as I must admit that I am slightly inebriated as I am writing. Allow me to explain...

I woke up in the morning yesterday with no plan of attending either game in the double-header against the Royals. After following the Twins' humiliating 9-4 loss in the first game online while at work, I was even more apathetic. Yet, John Bonnes (aka Twins Geek) sent me an e-mail inviting me to meet him at Grumpy's Bar in the late afternoon during happy hour before the later game. Seeing as how I had no plans after work and I live very close to downtown Minneapolis, I decided to take him up on this offer.

We met up for dinner and drinks, and I was able to meet his whole cast of characters (TVOR, The Chatty Chatty Princess, The Boy ), and soon after we headed over to the Metrodome to take in the nightcap of the double-header. I was hesitant to join considering the Twins' earlier effort, but I figured, why not?

I was unable to maintain focus throughout much of the game, in large part because I was handed multiple drinks courtesy of Mr. Bonnes (thank you John!). When I started seriously paying attention, I realized that it was the seventh inning and Twinkies' starter Scott Baker had not allowed a single baserunner. Suddenly, I realized that we were in the middle of something special.

Baker entered the ninth inning with a perfect game. He issued a walk to lead off the ninth, then recorded an out, bringing him within two outs of a no-hitter. At this point, the Royals pinch-hit Mike Sweeney (he's on the roster now??), who delivered a soft line drive that dropped into left center for a base hit to break up Baker's no-hitter.

It was a bummer to see his no-hit bid broken up, but Baker still had an absolutely phenomenal start, and I'm very happy that I was able to see it in person. In total, Baker pitched nine innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out nine and allowing no runs. The Twins won the game 5-0. At this point, I think it's fair to say that Baker has cemented his role in the starting rotation for next season. I'm loving this kid.

I'm also loving John Bonnes and his wife, and his friends. What a great bunch of people. They treated me to several drinks before, during and after the game, and -- despite my protest -- they never let me pay a dime. John was really my inspiration to get into this whole blogging thing in the first place, and he is really one of the most friendly, outgoing and interesting people I have met through this experience. I found that his wife, who is best known as "The Voice of Reason," is equally friendly and conversational.

Thank you John and Co., for bringing me along for what turned out to be a terrific baseball game. And thank you Mr. Baker, for pitching your heart out in a lost season. It is efforts like this that make the ultimately irrelevant September games worth watching.