Oh, Ricky, you're so fine.
Let's start with something positive. Ricky Nolasco pitched a Good Game. No qualifiers, no excepts, no almosts. In fact, if one wants to put an adjective to it, it would be that Ricky Nolasco pitched a Really Good Game. Seven innings, three hits, one walk, six strikeouts. That's a Really Good Game by anyone's standards. We'll see if he can repeat that or if it's just a fluke, but for right now let's just congratulate him on pitching a Really Good Game.
The offense didn't do much, but Danny Duffy is a Very Good Pitcher. It's not a disgrace when you get shut down by a Very Good Pitcher. They did manage to score once, in the seventh, when Joe "Mr. Clutch" Mauer delivered a run-scoring single. Two of the five Twins hits came from Mr. Santana and Mr. Vargas (one each). It's nice to see each of them pick up a hit off a Very Good Pitcher.
It hurts to lose a game this way, of course. When we finally get a Really Good Game from Ricky Nolasco and we have a one-run lead going to the bottom of the ninth and we have a rested Glen Perkins on the mound, we figure this one is in the win column. But even the best closer blows a save once in a while. We hate it when it happens, but it happens. They say we should always look on the bright side of life, so we can take HomerDome's approach and say that at least it did not happen against the Detroits or the Chicagos. It happened against the Kansases City. I suspect that's the team most citizens would like to see win the division. That doesn't mean we wanted them to win last night, but perhaps it can soften the blow a little.
So we'll try, try again tonight, as Staff Ace Phil Hughes goes to the mound against ex-Twin Liam Hendriks. After a rough stretch in July, Hughes has pitched four consecutive Really Good Games. It was kind of a shock to see that Hendriks is only twenty-five; it seems like he's been around forever. He's making his fourth major league start of the season. So far, he's been what he was for the Twins, a really good AAA pitcher who hasn't done much in the majors. I have this feeling that he's going to go all Levale Speigner on us tonight, but we'll see.
Only thirty-one games left. Tonight's the night to start that season-ending winning streak! We'll just have to settle for 89-73!