photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
It seems insane that this game (and indeed this series) was a simple July match. The drama levels were off the charts. The closeness and tenseness, the sheer down-to-the-wireness (or over-the-wireness, as in today’s extra innings) of the games was crazy.
I mean, OK, for example, from this game. Did everyone else see Justin Morneau’s HELMET go right into Placido Polanco’s knee as Polanco came down at second? And then, you know, Polanco was rolling around on the ground and getting up slowly and hopping and generally looking HURT?
Did anyone else want to BEAT JUSTIN MORNEAU WITH A REALLY ANGRY WOMBAT at that moment? Because I did. If you had given me an angry wombat, and if you had given me Justin Morneau, I would have made sure that the two became intimately acquainted, and not in a “I’m a wombat, cuddle me because I look cuddly” way. More in a “I’m a wombat, I will become a fuzzy whirlwind of terror and death” way.
Possibly Justin Morneau doesn’t understand. Placido Polanco is OUR TIGER. You don’t HURT our Tiger. We saw him get hurt last year and it made us all feel TERRIBLE (I had to see it in person and it was scary and awful). I’m not using a royal We there, I’m talking about us as in ALL US TIGERS FANS. His strangely shaped cranium just makes us want to hide Polanco in a corner where he can be safe and all ours even more. It’s the crippled kitten syndrome. You hurt our crippled kitten, and we will tear your face off. Possibly with a wombat.
In the 7th Polanco hit a sweet RBI double that made Nick Punto look SMALL and DUMB, so obviously he’s not seriously hurt, but that doesn’t make it OK. You don’t get between a mother tiger and its cub, and you don’t hurt Placido Polanco where Tigers fans can see it.
….and did I see Mike Rabelo hit a triple? I mean, seriously, a triple? Mike Rabelo? Mike Rabelo, hitting a triple? A triple, being hit by Mike Rabelo? I dunno. Seeing Polanco anywhere in the vicinity of getting hurt has obviously turned my brains into mush, and I am now freely hallucinating.
Bonderman had a massive freak out on the mound. Kubel homered, Punto got on base, whoever that wanker after Punto is just hit a sharp single that allowed Punto to go to third, Castillo hit one sharply to Carlos who got the man at second but Castillo was too fast and arrrrggghhhhh RBI. The game was tied. I think I need some sort of anti-Twins tag, to better describe my feelings of despair as that inning went on. I have “White Sox kill kittens” from last season’s campaign against the evil kitten-killing ways of the White Sox. What to do for the Twins? And I guess I should have something for the Racist Logos too. Although theirs will probably just be something along the lines of “lol racist mascot”.
Possible hallucination: did the Twins pipe cricket noise into their stadium? I could have sworn that’s what it sounded like for a bit there later in the game. If this did in fact happen… why?
Pat Neshek needs to stop existing. Unless he wants to come and pitch for the Tigers. Then he would be most cordially invited to carry on just as he’s been doing. He gets scarier and scarier and exponentially scarier every time I see him, and it’s just not OK anymore. It’s at the point where he gets into the game and you kind of throw your hands in the air and scream “Ay gavult! Not this one again!” His WHIP is 0.761. To help you understand what a sexy number that is, Jonathan Papelbon’s more than serviceable personal WHIP is 0.837. JJ Putz has a WHIP of 0.55, which is basically inhuman. Pat Neshek is very, very, very good right now.
That wacky play where Bobby Seay threw a wild pitch, Justin Morneau (who was at third) started for home, then realized that the ball had been corralled and was waiting for him at home. So he started back to third, essentially putting himself in a suicide rundown. Seay threw down to third and Morneau, knowing he was a dead man walking and hoping he might get away with something, stuck his shoulder out. Although he might have ultimately been out at home anyways, he was called out on interference. Nobody argued, because it was pretty blatant, but still kind of wacky.
After the game Ron Gardenhire said something to the effect of “It would have worked in hockey. Unfortunately, in baseball, there was an umpire right there.” His own manager takes digs at Morneau’s Canadianness.
Brandon Inge went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, and they were BIG RBI. The Twins guys also went on at some length today again about how Inge is in the running for the Gold Glove at third this year, and how good he’s been out there. Brandon Inge, pretty much your basic awesome hero.
Although I’m a little concerned about the level of shockingly good play put on by the Royals of late, it should be a relief to play them. Sure, our bullpen will be absolutely decimated for the first couple of upcoming games, but at least it shouldn’t be as freakin’ dramatic.