twins win handily. or at least that's what i'm told. i'm simultaneously cleaning for a birthday party and packing for NY.
anyway, twayn was right about that "white stocking" thing. in other news, the white sox are still (pale)hosers.
Twins 1, Royals 0
WP: Hot Carl (9-13)
LP: Wood (5-3)
I can has save? No, you may not.
Okay kids, here it is, the crowing of a new King Of The Savers: Jose Valverde ran away with this one by converting 100% of his 49 save opportunities into saved games for the Tigers. Sure, you could say that the guy is a douche, but I think he's got flair. No one celebrates like him, and this year he gets to wear the crown. I've heard that it's good to be king, but this much I know for sure ---> heavy is the head that wears the crown. Watch your back, Jose, and protect your neck.
99 bottles of loss on the wall
99 bottles of loss
take one down pass it around
98 bottles of loss on the wall
Baseball is a funny thing. For me, it's about more than winning and losing, it's about the lapse of time. Baseball is like a time machine that effortlessly takes it's audience simultaneously forward and back. When spring training stats gearing up I can almost smell the fall leaves, and likewise, when the season ends I can almost feel the warmth of the sun on my face. The long dark off season will give us fans time to reflect on the past season, rounding the corners off terrible performances, inflating good performances, and finding hope that next year will be the year. Talking about baseball leads one down the path of well worn cliche, but really, I don't know how else to describe this game. Yeah, our local nine lost 99, and that blows (fersure), but there is more to this game than the final record, and on Wednesday night the nation witnessed some intense drama. Fall will come, winter will follow, and then soon enough we'll be right back here.
Rather than talk about the Twins playing out the string, how about a discussion on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's ballot? Last year we discussed the merits of various candidates in the CoC, but given the musical tastes of the nation a standalone post (and maybe a poll? Spooky?) seem to be merited.
Here's the full ballot:
Guns N Roses*
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Eric B. & Rakim*
Rufus with Chaka Khan
The Small Faces/The Faces**
Red Hot Chili Peppers
* first year of eligibility
** Rod Stewart is in already as a solo artist. Ron Wood is in as a member of the Stones. Kenney Jones is not in as a member of The Who.
The rules for nomination are simple: acts become eligible for induction 25 years after their first commercial release, which puts 1986 as the cutoff for this year. Voters can vote for up to five nominees. Who is on your ballot?
I didn't watch a bit of this game today. I barely paid attention to it online. But, I was glad to see they won it in the extra frame. Obviously, my ideas and enthusiasm for recapping games this season were tapped out by the end of July. I would apologize to the WGOM Nation for that, but I don't think the Twins are going to be apologizing to me any time soon, so we'll all just have to live with it.
Without going into too many specific points or breakdowns, I will say that I am not at this time particularly optimistic about this organization's chances for success in the near-term going forward. I was on record (privately, but I know I told this to at least one Citizen) before the season as believing the Twins would definitely not win the division or make the playoffs. I didn't foresee a collapse this large, but I didn't foresee the injury disasters of this season, either. However, I don't believe the injuries alone account for the weaknesses of this roster's construction. I believed in March, and I still do, that this roster, even at full strength, was not as good as last year's team and not good enough to make the playoffs. I hope the organization takes some major steps this offseason to address turning the team back around. I'm not sure I have much faith in the current regime's ability to do that meaningfully and successfully, though. I hope they prove me wrong.
Since this is the last Sunday recap of the season, I tallied up my non-joke Hitter and Pitcher of the Week awards. I now present you with the Second Annual DK Hitters and Pitcher of the Season.
Co-Hitters: Jim Thome and Jason Kubel each were awarded weekly honors five times. It's hard to remember (for me, anyway), but for a couple of months before he got hurt and the Team MVP took over, Kubel basically was the Twins' entire offense. I think all but one of his awards came in April or May. Thome, meanwhile, is the sentimental and very deserving pick for reaching a career milestone in a Twins uniform.
Pitcher: Scott Baker was also named five times this season. This, too, may be hard to remember, since he was shelved by injury for almost the entire second half, but Light Rail was by far the best starting pitcher the Twins had, showing, I hope, those who doubt him that he really can be a very valuable piece of the rotation puzzle when he's healthy.
Like you didn't see that coming.
The Twins officially have the second worst season in their history and still have to win one game to avoid tying for the worst record. The Twins need to go 3-1 to avoid 100 losses, which ain't happening.
It's sad when a pitcher has a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning and you're just waiting for him to fall apart. Of course, considering all the balls in the air in the first five innings, it wasn't difficult to realize Diamond was living dangerously. Of course, it sure would be nice to get your best reliever in the game before you blow a six-run lead. It also would help if the Twins would stop running themselves out of innings (or at least scoring position).
In the first game, the Twins ended a nine-game streak of scoring at least three runs after scoring two runs or fewer in seven of their previous nine games. Of course, a lot of good the extra offense did them as the Twins went 1-8 in each nine-game stretch. At least the most recent nine have been more entertaining (and more painful).
Stat of the day: Ben Revere had six doubles in 451 career at-bats before getting three doubles in the doubleheader.
Weather: 61 degrees, drizzle
Wind: 12 mph, L to R
Time: 2:52 (:27 delay)
By the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River (Non-flammable for Half a Century!™), the good people of Cleveland paid tribute tonight to Jim Thome. The Gentleman Masher rose to the occasion with a home run, a double, and an infield single, driving in half of the Tribe's runs for the night. I'm going to miss that guy. Oh, hell - I miss him already.
Like many games this season, the Twins could just as easily have won this one had they been able to coax a clutch hit with men in scoring position. The Twins left a team total of 11 runners on base, and left runners in scoring position in seven innings.
Despite that brain-rattling level of offensive impotence, the Twins managed to score five runs off Cleveland, four of them off starter Justin Masterson, who struggled with his command and didn't make it out of the fifth inning.
Chris Parmelee earned his coffee tonight by leading off the Twins' scoring in the top of the first, driving in Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe! with a roller up the middle that made it to the grass just in time. In his next at bat leading off the third inning, Parmelee jacked one into the right field seats and took a 360-foot stroll. Joe Benson added to the Twins' tally with a productive out, scoring Dinkleman on what would have been a double play if not for a throwing error by pivot man Jason Kipnis.
With the game tied 5-5 going to the home half of the ninth inning, Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire sent seven-million dollar man Matthew Dicus Capps to the mound to extend the game. Instead, he extended an invitation to mash a tater to pinch hitter Carlos Santana, who deposited said tuber over the fence in right center. Meanwhile, in the District of Columbia, young Wilson "League Minimum" Ramos has played in 109 games and booked 420 plate appearances. He's batting .267 with a 112 OPS+. Drew Butera is not.
A win, an honest-to-God win. I haven't seen on of these on my recap day since....
(goes to check the archives) ....
(scrolls further back in the archives) ....
Ah, here it is - July 14 was the last time the Twins won on a Thursday (they moved to 6 games under .500 on that day, 6 games out of first). Which reminds me, let's check out the day-of-the-week standings with 6 days and 7 games (double-header on Saturday, get excited!) remaining.
I would have bet and lost a large sum of money that there wasn't a day of the week over .500 this season. I will note that Tuesday now has the longest losing streak at 8 games (going back to July 26).
Twins 4, M's 5
WP: Jimenez (1-0)
LP: K-slow Who improved his record to 0-7 on the year. Yay!
Scotty Baker pitched a scoreless ninth earning an honorary save.
Save: S. League (36)
Twins record 59-95 (holy balls this team is bad)
36 saves, eh? Not enough to crack the top 5 on the leader board. Dancie McDoucheface is still in the lead with a perfect 47 for 47 saves converted. Kimbrel is hot on his heels with 45. I'm fully expecting Mr. McDoucheface to blow up in the postseason.
Yeah, I didn't watch this one. I'm in the process of working out the details of leaving the country, and I had to wash my hair. The Twins have a firm grasp on last place in the Al central, so, there's that.
Only nine more games, thank god. The Twins made it interesting in the 9th, before channeling the early 2010 Twins to remind us all they are the 2011 Twins:
• League pitching.
• Tosoni pinch-hitting for Butera.
• Tosoni singled to center.
• Revere singled to center, Tosoni to second.
• Plouffe safe at first on a sacrifice plus pitcher League's throwing error, Tosoni to third, Revere to second.
• Cuddyer struck out.
• Parmelee grounded into fielder's choice, first baseman Carp to catcher Olivo, Tosoni out, Revere to third, Plouffe to second.
• Valencia grounded out, third baseman Liddi to first baseman Carp.
Yuck. That's ten losses in a row. Bring on the Mark Appel era.