Opponent: Detroit Tigers
Starting Pitcher: Baker
Final Score: L 10-9 (13 innings)
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).