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Suck-Ass Performer of the Game
Jason Kubel
Jason Kubel
(0-5, 2 K, 3 LOB)
Suck-Ass Performance Stats
Player Number
Jason Kubel 14
Michael Cuddyer 11
Nick Blackburn 10
Matt Guerrier 10
Denard Span 9
Alex Burnett 8
Orlando Hudson 8
Kevin Slowey 8
Jim Thome 8
Scott Baker 6
J.J. Hardy 6
Jon Rauch 6
Francisco Liriano 5
Justin Morneau 5
Delmon Young 5
Jesse Crain 4
Brendan Harris 3
Ron Mahay 3
Joe Mauer 3
Carl Pavano 3
Matt Tolbert 3
Danny Valencia 3
Drew Butera 2
Matt Capps 2
Alexi Casilla 2
Jose Mijares 2
Nick Punto 2
Jason Repko 2
Drew Butera 1
Brian Duensing 1
Randy Flores 1
Ron Gardenhire 1
Jeff Manship 1
Pat Neshek 1
Glen Perkins 1
Trevor Plouffe 1
Wilson Ramos 1
Anthony Slama 1

Date: 8/7/10

Opponent: Cleveland Indians

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Pavano

Final Score: W 7-2

Record: 62-49

Recap: That's more like it! A nice dominant win over the Indians, led by the Pavstache on the first anniversary of his acquisition. Excellent. Now let's see if we can go and get the series win tomorrow. I have to say, those uniforms were, um, hideous. Those poor ballplayers back in the beginning of the 20th century. My first thought was to wonder why we chose to wear throwbacks from over 100 years ago when the Indians were wearing uniforms from the 1940s, but a little research led to the discovery that we only had a Negro League baseball team for 4 years (1907-1910), and the St. Paul Gophers weren't even an official team. I guess that kind of limits your choices if you're honoring the Negro Leagues. Oh well. But they were really ridiculous. The bagginess, the collar, the short-brimmed caps, the giant wing-like sleeves. They were like prisoner uniforms with kimono sleeves. I wanted to chain them together and send them to dig a ditch. And boy did the players seem slow trying to run in those things. It was like they were dragging a parachute behind them.

Enough about the uniforms though. Pavano had another solid outing to earn his 14th win of the year, tied for the most wins in the AL. It wasn't one of his best outings. He did walk 4, which is unusual for him, but he kept the team in the game which was the important part. He also really buckled down when he needed to, most noticeably in the 7th inning. The Indians got a lead-off single up the middle followed by a walk. Then the runners were bunted over to 2nd and 3rd. Pavano got the next batter to ground out sharply to 1st, which kept the runner from scoring. Choo was intentionally walked, leaving the bases loaded. And keep in mind the Twins were clinging to a 1-run lead at this point. The 'stache laughed in the face of danger, and struck out Shelley Duncan to end the threat. 

After that point the Twins poured on the offense and ended up scoring 4 runs in the 8th and 9th. Mauer had 4 hits, Cuddyer had 3, and Kubel and Casilla had 2. Kubel and Plouffe each had a solo home run. It was Plouffe's first MLB home run. Kubel was having some adventures in right field. He made a really nice running, over-the-shoulder catch early in the game, but then he fumbled about the rest of the game. He ended up with 2 errors, including one in which he charged the ball to come up throwing only to miss the ball completely. Luckily it didn't cost us any runs.

Best Moment: Guerrier showing off his best batting stance impressions. The by-play between Thome and him was priceless. It pretty much made my day.

Most Questionable Moment: When Cabrera was "caught stealing". That was just a shitty call.

Worst Moment: Kubel's 2 errors.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "I looked absolutely ridiculous. The guys told me I looked like I had a diaper on. I really appreciate that from my teammates before I'm going out there to pitch, but that's the kind of relationship we have." - Carl Pavano. Wow, I could hardly love Pavano more than I do after reading that quote. Hilarious.
  • "I did get a couple glimpses, and I couldn't look any longer because it was terrible. It was really terrible." - Carl Pavano on his appearance in the throwback unis.

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Delmon Young (0 for 5, 5 left on base). Sorry Skinny Delmon, but even you must suck on occasion.


Date: 8/6/10

Opponent: Cleveland Indians

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Liriano

Final Score: L 7-6

Record: 61-49

Recap: Well that was pretty awful. Bad pitching, bad umpiring, bad ending. It started with Liriano, who really struggled with his control. He gave up 7 hits, 6 of which were singles, but the real issue was the walks, 6 to be exact. Admittedly the strike zone was intermittently small and inconsistent, but it was just a bad outing. He threw over 100 pitches, only 61 for strikes, in just 4.2 innings. He was pulled in the 5th when he walked the bases loaded.

For most of the game the offense was looking pretty flat, too. We scratched out a run in the 3rd when Butera scored on a fairly shallow sac fly. He maybe would have been out on the throw to the plate, but it actually hit him. We were down by 4 runs going into the 7th inning, but Casilla drove in 2 with a double to cut the lead to 2. Kubel made it a 1-run game in the 8th with a solo home run, but Mijares gave a run back in the bottom of the inning to again give the Indians a 2-run lead. Then in the top of the 9th, Hardy led off with an infield single. Thome was brought in to pinch-hit for Butera.

He walloped a pitch to left that appeared to hit a railing and bounced back onto the field. It sure looked like a home run to everyone, but the umps ruled it a double. The umpires decided to review the play. I honestly don't know what they could have seen. I'm totally bewildered. Yes, it was tough to see but it was obviously a homer. Obviously. I'm not even mad really, I just don't get it. Gardy went ballistic and did everything in his power short of streaking to get ejected (I'm sorry, that was a horrible mental image). The umpires obliged him, Thome was left on 2nd, and the inning continued. Casilla actually came through and drove in 2 more runs with a single. Essentially the umpires' ruling didn't matter since Casilla drove in the 2 runs anyway, but you just never know what would have happened if it was ruled a homer. Oh well.

After Mauer made the final out for the Twins, we went into the bottom of the 9th tied. Matt Guerrier took care of the tie quickly though. Matt LaPorta homered on the second pitch of the inning, and the Indians won, walk-off fashion. Hopefully we can bounce back tomorrow. Stupid Indians. At least the White Sox lost, too. Gotta look on the bright side sometimes.

Best Moment: Casilla's game tying 2-run single.

Most Questionable Moment: Thome's "double". And the strike zone.

Worst Moment: Losing.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "It's a home run. HD showed it plain as day. And the angle from the side showed it plain as day off the railing...Go ask the cook in [the Twins players lounge]. He can tell you. He's from Cleveland." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "I think the way the ball bounced back with that railing there, I mean, I was certain it was a home run. I just don't understand...why that couldn't have been correct? That's where I think the tough part of that is, especially this time of year. We're in a pennant race and everything's important." - Jim Thome
  • "It was just one of those days." - Francisco Liriano

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Francisco Liriano (4.2 innings pitched, 7 hits, 6 walks, 1 wild pitch, 4 earned runs)


Date: 8/5/10

Opponent: Tampa Bay Rays

Home/Away: Away

Starting Pitcher: Slowey

Final Score: W 8-6

Record: 61-48

Recap: Guess what? I'm alive! And I'm back for good for the rest of the season. Well, assuming I can keep my internet working. Anyway, it seems like a good game to get restarted on. That was completely bizarre. And kind of awesome. I mean, how unpredictable was that game? Jason Bartlett has a pinch-hit grand slam? Jason Kubel drives in the winning run on a pop-up? The bullpen implodes to ruin a good start? Okay, so maybe that last one wasn't so unpredictable, but still.

I have to say, when we lost those first two games in Tampa after steamrolling through the basement dwellers, I thought it was just another example of our inability to compete with the AL East. But they were close games, and we bounced back to at least split the series, so I feel good about that. The game started off really well, with the Twins exploding for 4 runs in the 1st inning thanks to back-to-back-to-back doubles by Casilla, Mauer and Young, plus a couple of singles. Slowey was fantastic for the first 7 innings. He was working quickly and had great control.

The Twins had a comfortable (Ha!) 6-run lead going into the bottom of the 8th. And then B.J. Upton homered to lead off the inning. Just 1 run, right? A blip on the radar, no big deal. But after a strikeout, Slowey hit Kelly Shoppach. Sean Rodriguez followed with a single. Carl Crawford grounded out and advanced the runners. At this point I was feeling nervous, but we only needed 1 out to escape the inning with a 5-run lead. Slowey walked the next batter, and Gardy had seen enough. Enter the Crain. The bases were loaded, he faced Willy Aybar. Aybar worked the count full, and then took a very close pitch for ball four. I'm fairly certain it was a strike, but whatever. A run walked in, and the tying run came to the plate. At this point, I was expecting something horrible to happen. Of course it did.

The Twins pulled Crain in favor of Mahay. Bad sign #1. Jason Bartlett, former Twin, was brought in to pitch. Bad sign #2. I wasn't drinking. Bad sign #3. On a 1-0 pitch, Jason Pear crushed a pitch to left. It was his first career grand slam, and only his third homer of the season. Come on, where's the love for your former team? You couldn't have grounded out to short? At this point I was braced for a loss. Yet the crazy bottom of the 8th gave way to an even crazier top of the 9th.

Jason Repko lined a pitch to left to lead off the inning. Crawford cut off the ball quickly and I thought Repko might be thrown out at 2nd, but he is speedy-quick and didn't hesitate rounding 1st. So with a runner on 2nd and no outs, everyone thought Casilla would be asked to bunt. But no. Casilla eventually grounded out and advanced the runner anyway. Mauer was intentionally walked to bring Skinny Delmon to the plate. He hit a ball on one hop to the shortstop, who threw to 2nd to force Mauer. Skinny Delmon hustled down the line to avoid a double play and keep the inning alive. It ended up being a huge play as it gave Kubel a chance.

Kubel was the batter. He hit a towering pop-up, and I started yelling at the TV. The Rays had a shift on for Kubel, and all of the sudden you could see from the way the shortstop was moving on the right side of the infield that something was wrong. The ball had hit one of the Tropicana Field catwalks, and it dropped back down in front of Bartlett for a truly strange single. Repko apparently had no idea what had happened until he got into the dugout. Skinny Delmon made it to 3rd on the play, and the Twins added on a run later in the inning. Was it fair? Well, those are the ground rules of the field. Is it kind of a cheap way to win a ball game? Maybe, but things like this happen in baseball. A win is a win, so I'll take it. And it's not like the Rays were guaranteed to win if the ball had been caught. The Twins may have seen the last of the Metrodome, but it doesn't mean they can't still have a little dome magic. 

Interestingly, there has only been 1 other ball that hit that particular catwalk, the highest in Tropicana Field. Remember this play? Still hilarious, even after a year. Speaking of catwalks, I would pay good money to see Kubel as a model. I should also probably mention the two great defensive plays by Casilla. He's certainly trying to show that last year was a fluke. The Twins now get to face some Central opponents, starting with the Indians. We're still a game and a half back of the White Sox, and we start a series against them on Tuesday.

Best Moment: Kubel's pop-up RBI single.

Most Questionable Moment: Jon Rauch has hand, foot and mouth disease? Question mark?

Worst Moment: Jason Bartlett's grand slam.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "It was awesome. I was on third base, came in and touched home. I looked back, and I saw Bartlett sprinting in, and I didn't know what was going on. Everybody told me it hit the rafters when I got in. That's a part of this field." - Jason Repko. Wow, he sounds positively gleeful. Do I detect a mean streak there? I like that in a man...
  • ""I know it works both ways, but to lose a game in a pennant situation like that, because of a roof, truly indicates why there's a crying need for a new ballpark in this area, regardless of where they put it." - Joe Maddon
  • "We've lost ballgames here just the same way, so back at you." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "I got around 1st base and looked at Bartlett and Reid Brignac. They were running in, and I was like, 'What the heck?' I didn't realize until it finally bounced." - Jason Kubel

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Ron Mahay (0.0 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 home run, 1 earned run, 3 inherited runners scored, 1 blown save)

And just because I can't skip this, here are the SAPotG for the games I missed:

Game #103- Jason Kubel (0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB)

Game #104- Denard Span (0-4, 2 LOB)

Game #105- J.J. Hardy (0-3, 3 LOB, 1 E)

Game #106- Jim Thome (0-4, 3 K, 3 LOB)

Game #107- Delmon Young (0-5, 7 LOB) and Matt Guerrier (0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 HR, 3 ER, 1 L)

Game #108- Michael Cuddyer (0-6, 2 K, 6 LOB)