First off, I missed you guys. Packing, moving, unpacking, life. Ugh.
So the Twins headed on down to Arlington, Texas to take on the Texas Rangers this week and Monday's premiere didn't go as well as planned.
Nick Blackburn kicked things off and allowed three runs in the first, three in the second, three in the third, and that was about it for him. Nine runs seems like a big deficit to come back from, but it's not unheard of. Many fans were probably still watching the game at that point.
Enter Jose Mijares. Five runs later, welcome new-comer Chuck James. Four runs after that, Phil Dumatrait coughed up three hits but managed a scoreless 1.2 innings. Good job, buddy. Alex Burnett tossed the seventh inning and gave the Rangers their 19th and 20th runs before the unbelievable went down.
Michael Cuddyer was spotted warming up in the bullpen.
The Twins, having used up all their pitching staff, were forced to place a position player on the mound for just the fifth time in the franchise's history. Cuddyer didn't have time to choose a warmup song, but he got right to work. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases, and I was dying of laughter. Yes, I was still watching the game at that point... it was like a car accident or a horror movie - I just couldn't look away.
He wasn't bad, but he sure as heck wasn't any good. But he got out of the jam, which is more than I can say for the previous five guys on the hill aside from Dumatrait. Cuddyer pitched in high school and had always wanted to climb the mound in the big leagues, since he's played every other position in the game other than catcher and shortstop.
My favorite post-game quote? Ron Gardenhire:
"The first five innings looked like a ZIP code, that will tell you how it went…33354. I think that’s Florida…Fort Lauderdale."
After a game like that, you have to have a sense of humor at Gardy's age. We don't want him dropping dead of embarrassment or a heart attack... unless you're one of those Fire-Gardy folks, I guess.
So were you guys impressed with Cuddy's performance on the hill?