Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.
On my way to meet with a student Wednesday night, Scott Baker walked two batters and then -- almost predictably -- gave up a three-run homer to Miguel Cabrera.
On my way home from the meeting, the Twins rallied and loaded the bases before Trevor Plouffe struck out in an at-bat that radio analyst Dan Gladden managed to describe without cursing. Short version: Gladden was explaining that -- with the future Hall of Famer Al Alburquerque struggling to throw strikes -- Plouffe shouldn't do anything at the plate to help him. Gladden then described two fishing attempts before a called strike three. Because I trust Danny, I DVR'd the game but opted not to watch.
I did have the thrill of watching Alexi Casilla channel his inner Gomez and try a two-strike bunt in the ninth, a decision that stunned Dick'n'Bert, agitated Ron Coomer during the postgame show and had Gardy asking about words that he could say on TV.
I saw the highlights of the foul pop-up that dropped between Butera and Morneau (I've never heard "a fan yelled" as an excuse before at the "major-league level") and Delmon Young giving 64 percent when he dropped a foul fly in left field.
Three-run homer, two-strike bunt, missed foul-ball catches, crummy bases-loaded at-bat. Any one of those has the potential to be the deciding factor in the outcome of a game. When all of those things happen during one episode of the current Twins horror show, and it seems not much different from the recent episodes, you have a team that's not giving itself a chance to win.
Nothing that happened Wednesday was a circumstance beyond the control of the players involved. There wasn't an umpire's call or a fabulous pitching performance or anything else external that was the difference between victory and defeat.
This was the 2011 Twins being the 2011 Twins, and it was pretty embarrassing.
The good news: I have a high school graduation tonight, a birthday dinner on Friday and a film festival to attend Saturday.
You go ahead and watch, if you dare. I'll meet up with you in a few days.
(If you need a support group, the TwinsCentric guys are having a meet-up at Smalley's 87 Club for Friday night's game. There will be drink specials, which sound necessary. There will also be a raffle for some front-row tickets. I presume first prize will be two tickets. No word on whether second prize will be four.)
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