The Lonely Goatherd (aka Diary Of An Insane Night)
A recap of the events on the fateful night of 7-20-09 in Minnesota Twins fan history:
From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., I was at the local theater performance of “The Sound of Music”
It was a great performance, especially considering the small-town venue. It ran a bit longer than I thought it would, so I hurried out to the car radio to get the Twins games on the sub-woofers. At that point, I found out that this was happening…
Basically, it was a good ‘ole fashion beat-down courtesy of guys like Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and, well, pretty much everyone else. The high point came at 12-2 in the third inning, I believe, when it looked as if the Twins might set a new single game scoring record.
The only damper on the evening is that the A’s kept trying to crawl their way back into the game due to the fact that Nick Blackburn was essentially throwing batting practice (his sinker wasn’t moving at all). He left after five innings having given up seven runs.
Of course, the bullpen would come in and cobble together the rest, right. Yeah…the lines for the next two Twins hurlers:
Brian Duensing: 1.1 IP, 3 ER
Bobby Keppel: 0.0 IP, 3 ER
As I thought the game was well in hand, I was kind of messing around on Facebook while all the horrendousness was going down, so I don’t remember exactly what transpired, but suffice it to say that Duensing loaded the bases in the seventh, then Keppel gave up a grand slam to Matt Holliday to tie the game at 13-13…
Then Gardy, looking like he could bite the head off a bat, pulled Keppel for Jose Mijares. On the first pitch. Jack Cust took HIM deep, and the A’s had remarkably taken the lead. This was my status quote on Facebook at that point:
But that wasn’t the last of it by far. With two outs and the Twins looking to go down meekly in the bottom of the ninth, Cuddyer doubled and Kubel was intentionally walked. Delmon Young then stepped to the plate and did his level best to prolong the game (by not swinging…his premier aspect). On the second pitch to Young, the ball bounce high of the plate and, to the horror of Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki, could not be found. Cuddyer easily took third, then made the now-fateful decision to try and tie the game. He came barreling into the plate, slide across the dish right between Suzkuki’s legs and before the tag, and looked to home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski for the “safe” sign that would surely be forthcoming:
Unfortunately, to paraphrase poet Ernest Thayer:
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Twinsville – mighty Cuddy was called out.
I have watched a lot of baseball over the years, and that “out” call may have been the worst umpiring decision I have ever seen. Cuddyer was halfway across home plate before Suzuki’s glove hit him, yet Muchlinski gave him the fist pump. I am usually not one to call for suspensions/fines lightly, but if Muchlinski doesn’t get some sort of reprimand from MLB I would be disappointed. A major league umpire should make that call in his sleep.
Preview (47-46, 3rd, 1.5 GB CWS): Anthony Swarzak (2-3, 4.50) vs. Dallas Braden (7-8, 3.45). How exactly does a team bounce back from a loss like last night? That is the question I posed to Bert Blyleven on the Carsoup.com “Email the Booth” website before tonight’s game.