Results tagged ‘ Bobby Keppel ’
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.
Back in their hey-day, the Three Stooges used a gag in one of their infamous shorts where Curly and Larry create the “Two Man Quartet“, much to the dismay of Moe (2:22 in the clip).
Tonight, the Minnesota Twins used a similar approach to beat the Kansas City Royals. A dinger from Justin Morneau (into the waterfalls!) and a run-scored from Joe Mauer provided the only offense of the game. The M&M Boys strike again!
Scott Baker did just enough (i.e. got lucky) to survive through five innings and a buttload of pitches, but was picked up nice by a very strong outing from newcomer Bobby Keppel. You mean we kept him the minors while Ayala and Crain stunk up the joint for months…grrr.
A strong showing? By no means. We should pound KC…we didn’t. Baker should breeze through their lineup…he struggled. Yet, a win is a win and keeps us in the same spot we were last night: On the cusp of contention, on the brink of utter failure.
Preview (40-39, T-2 w/CWS, 4.0 GB DET): Glen Perkins (3-4, 4.70) vs. Gil Meche (4-7, 4.27). With a big Detroit showdown looming this weekend, the Twins don’t want to fall any further behind in the “division race” (a.k.a. who sucks the least down the stretch).
Usually, when I hear that someone is “on assignment”, I think of something like this. Guns firing, things blowing up, cool gadgets, and a guy in a suit who always gets the girl.
Unfortunately, for Mr. Ayala, his “assignment” will be the kind of trip where a stunt like this might be the most exciting baseball-related action that happens on any given day (thus is life in the minors for a former major leaguer).
To replace Ayala, the Twins called up Bobby Keppel (a righthanded pitcher who has both relieved and started) from the AAA Rochester Red Wings.
This is a move that, at least I felt, needed to be made quite a long time ago. After only a month or so, it was pretty clear the kind of pitcher Ayala is now. He can play the law of averages (much like Livan Hernandez before him), but on too many occasions he will give up the big dinger or just plain get hammered by batter after batter.
With Craig Breslow, Jesse Crain, and now Ayala gone from the pen, I actually like the direction this is heading. Besides Sean Henn, the Twins are moving away from the re-treads holding on for one last hope and more towards the future. Yes, it is a full-bore rebuilding effort, but the Twins have always had a knack for doing that kind of thing on the fly. In all honesty, we seem to handle changes better DURING the season than before or after it.
Unless one of our current pitchers really struggles or gets hurt, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ayala never resurfaces in a Twins major league uniform.