I’m convinced the Twins and FSN North have an unwritten deal. I’m unable to find the total number, but edge-of-your-seat comeback victories have never been a rare thing in the Metrodome. No baseball fan in the world would not have enjoyed the Minnesota half of the ninth inning on Tuesday night.
Although the Twins are unable to take all the credit, (thank you Mr. Morrow), you can’t help but feel great after a victory like that.
The bottom half of the ninth started off with a six-pitch Joe Crede strikeout. I’m mixed on my feelings on Crede so far this season. He has certainly proved himself to be worth the money we paid him defensively, but on offense he has yet to impress. As I’m sure you’re aware, Crede hits right handed pitchers better than left handed pitchers. While extremely bizarre, the Twins could use that to their advantage.
Brian Buscher proved what a valuable asset off the bench he can be last night – and that shouldn’t be changed. I am opposed to benching Crede consistently to Buscher. Now, that would obviously change if Crede were nursing a hopefully small injury later in the season.
After Crede went down swinging, Delmon Young stepped to the plate. Reports from Spring Training indicated that Young had matured his swing and stance at the plate, so he is going to be a very interesting player to keep up this year. Last night, it was more of the same we saw out of Delmon last year: he swung at the third pitch and lifted a fly ball to center field. For the record, it was a well-hit ball.
With two down and no runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Gomez stepped in hoping to start a rally. No one would have expected it, but Gomez saw a total of eight pitches that at-bat, and only swung at three of them. He drew a walk to keep the hope alive… although everyone knew there was no chance of coming back from a two-run deficit.
Due up next was Jose Morales, who has made me cringe more than any other Twin so far this year. Should Redmond spend any time injured, does anyone else think a Butera call might be in order?
Gardy pinch-hit for Morales with Jason Kubel, the benched outfielder tonight. On four pitches, and an uncontested Gomez steal, Kubel reached first base.
Punto was up next, but Gardy sent Brian Buscher to the plate and Brendan Harris to run for Kubel. A spark of hope was being kindled in Twins’ fans: they could win with one swing of the bat.
Buscher worked seven pitches, six of which were fastballs, to gain yet another walk. At this point, closer Marrow was taken out of the game and sinkerball-pitcher Miguel Batista was called on.
Denard Span took a called strike on the outside corner, but when an identical pitch in the same location came flying toward him, he slammed the ball into the AstroTurf. The ball lifted at least fifty feet in the air, and third baseman Adrian Beltre had no chance of a play. A run had scored, and the bases were loaded.
Span is a great leadoff hitter. Using Gardy’s current “outfield distribution plan,” though, Span would be sitting at least once a week. From my impression of the first two games, Span and Gomez are too valuable defensively to be benched. Offensively, it seems, as well.
Alexi Casilla entered the batting box with the entire Metrodome on their feet. A 92 mph fastball up and inside was crushed for one of the best-hit singles I had ever seen before.
Harris scored easily for the tie. Buscher crossed the plate for the third time in that half-inninng, and the game was over.
It’s amazing how good a 1-1 record can feel, isn’t it?