Last night, not only did Katie and I get to witness the Twins getting to a new accomplishment of the year, we also got to see the new stadium. Granted we broke some rules viewing the stadium (there was a no loitering sign...and I climbed a chain-link fence to get high enough to see over the wall in the parking ramp)...but it was fun and super cool to see part of the sod on the field. Here are some pictures before I move onto the game.
I was a bit nervous going to the game last night when the pitching rotation changed and Armando Gabino was listed as the starting pitcher for the Twins. Now, if you are like me and said "who?" when his name was written...you have a right to ask that. Gabino is a rookie call up from Triple-A Rochester who's only appearances this year in Rochester have been in relief. Yeah, I'm not gonna lie...I was VERY nervous about him starting. The Twins have recently gotten back into a kick where they are on a winning streak. They had won their last 4 games, and 6 of their last 7! I wanted them to keep winning and keep moving up in the standings to catch those blasted Tigers.
I think last night's game was the longest, non-extra inning game I have ever watched or been to. The game in Milwaukee (that a couple of my friends were at) may have came close...but nonetheless this one felt never-ending. My hopes were starting to falter when we just couldn't seem to do anything with guys on base. We were trailing 5-3 (though not a huge deficit, still enough) in the 4th inning. The relief staff (mainly Humber) seemed to only know how to throw balls...not strikes. It's not a good sign when two of the pitchers get booed in one game.
Much to my surprise, Bobby Krappel came in and pitched a fairly solid outing going 2.1 innings (not terribly shy of the starting pitchers 2.2 innings) and only giving up 1 earned run. Jesse Crain (whom I actually cheered for) relieved Krappel and I felt we might actually have a shot.
I will admit, it was still hard to stay positive when Delmon Young and Alexi Casilla were leading the stats with the most hits. Everyone else seemed incapable of getting more than 1 hit. I however have NOTHING bad to say about Delmon Young (at least not in reference to last night's game). Justin Morneau was also tired of hearing me complain that he probably wouldn't hit a home run after just coming back the day before from an inner-ear infection. With the next pitch, he clocked the ball into the upper level cheap seats in right field. Thanks, Justin for proving me wrong. I like being wrong about those things.
I enjoyed watching the bullpen scatter like shrapnel when Denard Span came flying over into the bullpen area again to try and field a ball. That bench was cleared so fast it was funny! I don't think any of them wanted to be Denarded like Jesse Crain was the night before. Katie and I did think it would have been funny (at least slightly) if Jesse would have went on the DL with a concussion because of getting Denarded. Thankfully, he was on the bench and in fine form last night and ready to pitch.
Thankfully Brian Bass reminded me why I didn't like him as a Twins player and with the five batters he faced, he couldn't muster an out. See, Brian Bass...this is why we never liked you in MN! Thank God he's no longer on our team...our bullpen is suffering enough.
Okay, onto the 3 Stars of the Game:
1. Delmon Young (he went 4 for 5 with only 1 RBI, but the game winning RBI. I told him, if he got Cuddy home, I would give him the number one star and say nothing bad about him.)
2. Alexi Casilla (yes it is hard for me to write this...and I feel like I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone with my top picks for the game, but what can ya do? Casilla went 2 for 3 with a walk, RBI and a stolen base.)
3. Justin Morneau (he went only 1 for 5, but it was a home run, and it added a run to our total. Plus no one else did much worth receiving a star.)