MINNESOTA 2 -- BALTIMORE 4
Lowest WPA - Pavano (7 IP, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 SO), Doumit (0 for 4), and Plouffe (0 for 1)
Highest WPA - Span (2 for 4)
Fangraphs - MLB Recap
Ron Gardenhire turned to Rick Anderson and asked, "Is Duensing ready?" Anderson frowned and picked up the bullpen phone, speaking only a couple of words. After hanging up the phone, he returned to Gardenhire's side. "Ronald, he's ready, but I have to seriously question why we would use him in this situation."
"This is the perfect time to use him, late in the game, score's tied, Adam Jones is a dangerous hitter coming up."
Anderson blinked in confusion, "Tie game? Ronathan, it's not a tie game. And Adam Jones is right-handed, wouldn't you rather have Duensing come in to face Markakis for the lefty-lefty matchup?"
"Nick Markakis, the right-fielder."
"What are you talking about? Look, it's 0-0 in the eighth inning and I don't have time to do some ridiculous comedy routine with you and your made up ballplayers. We had a bad year last season, and I want to start this off right."
"Made up..? 0-0..? Wait, what do you think happened in the first inning?"
"We walked Hardy, then Pavano got a groundball or two and we got out of the inning. Pavano looked pretty good today, nice to see all those groundballs turning into outs isn't it? Just the one Hardy single on a groundball, but then he got Jones and Wieters and got out of it."
"Rontell, I think we need--"
"No time, got to make the pitching change now. Back in a second. And Rick? We don't need our bullpen walking people, talk to this Gray kid when he comes in, will you?"
Gardy made his way to the mound, and Scott Ullger made his way off the bench to join Anderson at the rail. "What was that about?"
"I think Ronwin has completely blocked Nick Markakis from his memory. He doesn't remember the 2-run homer in the first, or the RBI triple in the sixth, and I bet if we ask him, he won't remember Markakis' lead-off walk leading to a run in the fourth either. What are we going to do?"
"Send him home" Ullger said.
"I'm worried he wouldn't be safe there"
Ullger stared blankly, "Why would that matter?"
"Memory loss could be the sign of any number of serious problems. No, I think we should keep him here and try to keep an eye on him, make sure he doesn't forget anyone else in this game."
To this day Ron Gardenhire believes that Josh Willingham's ninth inning donger won the 2012 season opener for the Twins, Rick Anderson has never corrected him, he figured it was a long season, it's probably best not to get too caught up in one result.