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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: 9/3/10

Opponent: Texas Rangers

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Fox

Final Score: 4-3

Record: 78-57

Recap: I must say I'm pretty impressed with the resiliency of the Twins. I was afraid that horrible game on Thursday might send us into an immediate downward spiral, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I guess I have to remember this is a different team than what we've had before. We just keep on winning, despite all of the setbacks we've faced. We've been without Justin Morneau for almost 2 months; how insane is that? 

After the brutal decimation of the pitching staff, the Twins opted to go with Matt Fox as an emergency starter in this game. I wasn't feeling too confident about this, I must admit, with Fox pitching on 3 days rest and little sleep, having been rushed over from Rochester in the early hours of the morning. Nonetheless he delivered a very impressive start for the Twins, giving them 5.2 innings with only 2 earned runs. We really needed a solid start, and that's what he gave us. In addition, the Twins called up Burnett and Delaney from Rochester, so we had some more bullpen arms. Burnett took over after Fox and gave up a run in 1.1 innings, although he did end up with the win. 

The offense only had 8 hits, but at least a couple of them were extra-base hits. That was a nice change from Thursday. We were down 3 to 2 going into the bottom of the 7th, but Valencia singled with 1 out in the inning (he had to be removed from the game soon after due to a hamstring injury; major bummer). Repko walked, and Ron Washington tried to counter with his bullpen. He brought on Ogando to face J.J. Hardy, who hit a single to drive in the tying run. Washington tried again, bringing in a lefty to face Span, but he also singled to score the go-ahead run. Then it was up to our bullpen to hold the 1-run lead. Rauch gave up a hit but got an out. Flores gave up a hit and didn't record an out, so Capps ended up getting a 5-out save. It was a good, solid, well-played game, and certainly a complete 180 from the last one. There were some good defensive plays as well. I certainly appreciated that! Now let's see if we can clinch a series win.

Best Moment: Repko's awesome outfield assist at 3rd in the 9th inning.

Most Questionable Moment: I can't think of anything right now.

Worst Moment: Valencia getting hurt. Ruh roh.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "I just told him I hope you took it all in. He pitched his tail off. That was a big league performance, and I wanted him to know that." - Ron Gardenhire, on Matt Fox.
  • "I told countless people that was the most fun I've had, that I've ever had on the mound. Just to be able to help the team out and give them a chance to win, that was my goal coming in. I was able to do that, so it's a lot of fun." - Matt Fox

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Delmon Young (0 for 4, 1 strikeout, 2 left on base)

 

Date: 9/2/10

Opponent: Detroit Tigers

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Baker

Final Score: L 10-9 (13 innings)

Record: 77-57

Recap: I've got to officially nominate that as Worst Game of the Year. That was a horrible game on so many levels. First of all, it was an extra-innings game that we lost, which is always a major bummer. But that was just an annoyance compared to all of the other awful things in this game. Let's see, our starter left the game after 2 innings with an elbow injury. That's not good. Because that left our bullpen with 7 innings to pitch. And that's before the extra innings. So 11 innings were left up to the bullpen, and did I mention that some of our relievers (Fuentes and Capps) were unavailable?

We completely burned through our bullpen, with Manship, Rauch, Flores, Guerrier and Crain all pitching. As if that weren't bad enough, we ran out of bullpen arms and had to move on to our starters. Duensing, who had just thrown over 100 pitches on Tuesday, was pressed into service for 2 innings (he was supposed to pitch this Sunday, too). When the extra innings continued, we turned to Blackburn, who was supposed to pitch on Friday. He ended up with the loss. Not only have we completely fucked over the rotation, we also are going to have limited bullpen options. Manship ought to be unavailable, and Guerrier and Crain possibly, too. Oh yeah, and this could have been prevented if we had just called some pitchers up from Rochester. Now we're going with some guy named Matt Fox as the starter for Friday. He's going on 3 days rest, and I don't know how long he will make it. We did at least call up Burnett and Delaney as well now (a day too late). I really hope this game doesn't end up being more costly than just one loss.

But all of that was just our pitching issues. As if that weren't bad enough, both teams had unbelievably horrible defense, with multiple double plays that weren't turned on both sides. The Twins blew a 4-run lead in the 8th thanks to some errors and misplays. The Tigers gave up 4 unearned runs; we gave up 2 unearned runs, but there were even more runs that scored that shouldn't have thanks to the fact that the scorer can't assume a double play. But wait, there's more. The umpiring was brutal, and both teams were hurt by bad calls (although I have to say there were more that went against the Twins; I'd be more upset but we played so awfully that it's not like I can really blame the umpires for losing). There were at least 2 questionable calls at 2nd (one of which ended with Gardy getting ejected), at least 1 at 1st base, and then the strike zone was pretty bad as well. Oh, and the Twins had 15 hits...AND THEY WERE ALL SINGLES! How do you even manage that? We gave up 5 home runs, including 1 to Gerald Laird (GERALD LAIRD?!?!) which ended up being the game winner.

I really don't want to talk any more about that game. I will say that the bright spots were Manship, who came in and pitched 4 innings with 1 run, Jon Rauch (the only pitcher who didn't give up a run), Cuddyer, Valencia, and Morales. And Repko had an outfield assist to Mauer, who had a sweet block of home plate to prevent a run. Let's hope Fox can give us a lift on Friday.

Best Moment: The outfield assist and Mauer's play.

Most Questionable Moment: All the bad umpiring against both teams.

Worst Moment: Pretty much everything else.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "I think we saw a pretty wild game tonight. Too much to talk about. Too many things happened. Defense. Plays we didn't make. Plays they didn't make. And that's why the game kept going as long as it did." - Ron Gardenhire
  • "They missed double play chances, we missed double play chances. A lot of crazy things happened in the game and that's why you end up having to figure out some crazy things here and using all kinds of pitchers." - Ron Gardenhire

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Denard Span (0 for 6, 5 left on base), J.J. Hardy (0 for 2, 4 left on base, 1 error), Randy Flores (0.1 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 home run, 1 earned run), and Matt Guerrier (0.2 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 home run, 3 runs, 1 earned run, 1 blown save).

 

Date: 9/1/10

Opponent: Detroit Tigers

Home/Away: Home

Starting Pitcher: Liriano

Final Score: W 2-1

Record: 77-56

Recap: Wow. That was really quite a game. It was my last Twins game of the season (barring any unforeseen circumstances, such as free tickets being mailed to me anonymously), and it was one of the better games of the season in my opinion. It also proves I'm not totally cursed, which I was beginning to fear after my jaunt to Texas. The pitching was just phenomenal, there was some great defense, and a walk-off hit as the cherry on top.

Liriano and Scherzer were both at the top of their games tonight. Liriano struck out 7 over 7 innings, allowing no runs and just 5 hits. He was helped out a couple of times when his defense doubled off runners at 1st base. Delmon Young made a running catch and threw to 1st for the force out, and then Hardy did the same on a line drive that he snared. But although Liriano was good, Scherzer was even better. He pitched 9 innings with just the 1 earned run, which came after a double by Skinny Delmon, a single by Valencia and then a sac fly by Morales (at which point Valencia continued the trend of being doubled off 1st when Jackson made a great catch). Scherzer allowed only 4 hits and struck out 9. Honestly, I felt bad for him; he really deserved to win the game with the way he was pitching.

While Scherzer pitched the first 9 innings, the Twins ran through their bullpen. Crain got 1 out in the 8th but also allowed a single. He was taken out when Damon was announced as a pinch-hitter, and Flores came in to get the next out. Then Guerrier was brought in to finish the inning, but he walked Cabrera before giving up a single to tie the game. Matt Capps came in for the 9th inning. He allowed a lead-off walk to Santiago (Tiger tiger!) before striking out the next 2 batters. Santiago attempted to steal 2nd with 2 outs, and he was thrown out on a great throw by Mauer. The ball reached Hardy at exactly the height to tag Santiago in the crotch, and it looked like the tag was applied right as his foot reached the bag. It was an extremely close play that went our way.

The Tigers had a little less luck in the bottom of the 10th. Perry came in to relieve Scherzer. Cuddyer reached base with a lead-off single that just barely made it between the 3rd baseman and the shortstop. Skinny Delmon worked the count full, and Gardy sent Cuddyer on the 3-2 pitch. It was fouled off. The next pitch he sent him again, and again it was fouled off. Finally Perry struck out Young with Cuddyer running on the pitch again. The catcher threw extremely high to 2nd, but somehow their 2nd baseman Will Rhymes (I really like this name by the way) managed to leap up, catch the ball, twist, and apply the tag to Cuddyer on the way down. I couldn't see much at the game because of where I was sitting, and when I watched it on TV at home it initially didn't look very close. However on the replay it was clear that the tag was applied right as Cuddyer reached 2nd. In this case he was ruled safe, and he ended up scoring the winning run when Valencia hit the walk-off single. It was only our second walk-off hit at Target Field. Not bad for a rookie. Anyway, it was an awesome game, and a pretty good game to end my in-person games with.

I know I've mentioned this before, but if you haven't seen it when you're at Target Field, you must make sure to check out the creepy water tower on a building behind the parking ramp with the wind veil on it once it gets dark. I don't know who owns it and who operates it, but there are lights used to project a face on it. It can scare the shit out of you the first time you notice it. At least it can scare the shit out of my; I'm not exactly renowned for my bravery. It was doing some sort of Exorcist head spin thing, as well as winking at me. I don't really enjoy feeling like I'm being hit on my inanimate objects. My parents have a mounted deer head in their house that leers at me in a similar way (I may be a tiny bit paranoid; just a tiny bit). Admittedly the water tower does have its charms; it did have some pretty rainbow colored ribbons at one point and a smoking baseball, but the face is too much.

Best Moment: Walk-off win!

Most Questionable Moment: Wait just a second here, Valencia gets a pie in the face, and it's actually made of whipped cream?!?! Where is the shaving cream? I demand to know why seasoned veteran, hug-happy, and all-around great guy Jim Thome was assaulted by eye-irritating shaving cream after his walk-off homer while Valencia was given the red-carpet treatment of an actually edible pie! And then Valencia had the nerve to complain about it. I am outraged! Outraged, I tell you!

Worst Moment: Guerrier giving up the hit that tied the game.

Quotations of the Day:

  • "My first walk-off hit in pro baseball. It was nice for it to come in a situation like this." - Danny Valencia
  • "It was one of the best games I've thrown in the big leagues, and it doesn't feel right. We didn't win. I'm so tied to how this team does and my teammates. When we don't come away with wins, it doesn't feel right. That's what kind of stinks about it. Even though I threw the ball well, we didn't win." - Max Scherzer

Suck-Ass Performance of the Game: Matt Guerrier (1 hit, 1 walk, 1 blown save). Yeah, it wasn't technically his run, but I definitely blame him for letting the game get tied up.