Two Nights in Teflon
9/28 Minnesota 2, Kansas City 1
Luke Hudson, Kansas City's pitcher, shut the Twins down for 8 innings, but thankfully for the Twins, Brad Radke and the Twins 'pen shut down a Royals squad playing the junior varsity (which is really saying something). For as much as this game should bother me, what with the Twins flailing again versus mediocre pitching, it really doesn't. Even in a pressure situation with quite a bit on the line, Joe Mauer still pulled through in the clutch, hitting a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, and Jason Bartlett (whom we acquired for Brian Buchanan, the second or third best trade of Terry Ryan's career) pulled through to drive in the game winner in the tenth. This team feeds off it's own momentum, and Joe Mauer is skilled enough to create his own mo'.
Also, I hope to God Brad Radke doesn't pitch in the playoffs. His shoulder is about to catch fire. Another point. Alexi Casilla, the stripper/infielder we acquired for J.C. Romero is a much more clutch lefty. Another show of genius by Terry Ryan.
9/29 Chicago White Sox 4, Minnesota 3
I'll say it. This game was a lot more fun than the Royals game, despite the loss. I don't have a problem facing the Yankees in the first round, so I don't mind that the Twins are going to end up with the Wild Card (The Tigers are home against the Royals this weekend). If the Twins are going to the World Series, then they will have to go through the Bombers, because the Tigers sure wouldn't beat them in the ALDS, so why not get them out of the way to take on the slumping Tigers or manageable A's afterwards? We're in the post season and playing better ball than anyone outside of Houston.
I went with some friends and got there a little late and ended up 8 rows from where the Teflon meets the bleachers. It's amazing how loud that stadium gets when it's sold out. The vibrating, deafening crowd definitely helps a buzz of six dollar beer.
Anyways, it was another flaccid attempt at offense on the part of the Twins, something I hope doesn't continue. I doubt it will, because the Twins only seem to suck against mediocre pitching, and fortunately, they teams in the postseason have pretty good staffs. They made another run at a comeback in this one, suggesting that maybe the Twins are just toying with me.
This was one of those games where you were so far away from the action, that the fans were more entertaining than the game. There was, of course, the band of twenty or thirty high school sophomores who showed up late. We wondered if they all remembered their permission slips. We sat behind a fifteen year old kid on a date. His mom had to drive them and stuck around for the game. How mortifying. And last but not least, a group of guys still in their pressed shirts showed up after a trip to the bar and were already clearly overserved. "What was that place we went to with the avocado stuff?" "[mumbles uninteligably]" "Oh, that's right." The only thing we needed was puke down our backs to make the night better. They left after the 7th.
On our way out, we ran into play by play guy Dick Bremer, who looked completely flustered. Of course, it's clear why what with all the drunks yelling at him. I can't repeat what they said, but I'm sure you can imagine. It's too bad, because the people that were cordial, he was nice too as well, but you could tell he wanted to get out of there.
My folks, also at the game, sat in front of Senor Smoke, Juan Berenguer. Clearly, my parents had better seats. They talked to him quite abit, apparently, and everyone got autographs. My dad invited him to join his softball team and actually got his cell phone number. They looked at his World Series rings, and generally got a new Panamanian best friend.
Now, all we need, is another ring for the Twins - Ryan