Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Island of Lost Chances

I'm sure many of you reading this post are bleary-eyed today for the very same reason that I am, last night's epic 16 inning 4-3 loss to the now "surging" Seattle Mariners. Even though I am in college, where staying up until 2 a.m. is a pretty normal, I'm still going to keep today's post short for the sake of my sanity. Simply put, even though the Twins came out on the short end of the stick it was still a very entertaining game. Entertaining, yet EXTREMELY frustrating! This is a game that the Twins should have won about five times over, but what a game! Great defensive plays, plays at the plate, and a plethora of ejections. Let's list all the missed/blown chances for the Twins in extra innings:

9th- This was possibly the most frustrating moment of the entire game. The M's sent Eddie G. out to face his old teammates and he did not disappoint; his old teammates that is. Eddie was true to form: a couple of singles, and then, with two outs, he allowed a key run-scoring hit to tie or lose the game. Last night, that hit came from the most unlikely of sources: our very own Torii Hunter! Listening to the game, I could just picture the swing Torii would put on the 3-2 pitch from Eddie. It would be a little back-door slider (or splitter in Eddie's case) and Hunter would pull his head out and miss by about a foot. Somehow, miraculously, Torii instead lined a double to right field. Guzy scored easily from second, but Koskie was thrown out at the plate on a TERRIBLE call by the home plate ump. Like the vast majority of you I couldn't actually see this call, but I'm willing to take Gordo and Gladden's word for it. Koskie, who is usually pretty mild-tempered, thought the call was so bad that he was tossed from the game for arguing. So was Wayne Hattaway, which would have been a very entertaining sight to see. Damn the ump and damn Victory!

10th- Lew Ford, who is still the official player of this blog, connects with a one out double. With two outs, Cuddyer comes through with a single to left. Unfortunately, the throw from Raul Ibanez is a good one and Ford is... "OUT at the plate! Ohhhhhh, my," to quote John Gordon.

11th- The entire inning was just one big disaster from the get-go. It starts promising enough, with a leadoff Stewart walk, but he is erased on the subsequent Guzman bunt. Boys and girls that is one of baseball's cardinal sins: you have to get the sacrifice bunt down! What happened next is something that no mere box score can explain. With Mientkiewicz at the plate, Guzman takes off for second. Mientkiewicz lines a single to right, but for some reason Guzman thought that Ichiro caught the ball! He touches second but then turns and GOES BACK TO FIRST!! Instead of a single, all Dougie gets is a lousy fielders choice! I know the hit-and-run play wasn't on, but Guzy, what were you thinking!?!? You see, that is why we have such novelties as "third base coaches": to help prevent these kinds of debacles. Instead of first and second with one out the Twins now have a man on first with two outs. Naturally, Dougie Baseball is picked off trying to steal a couple pitches later.

14th- Guzy started the inning off by reaching on an error. Mientkiewicz was bunting, but for some reason towards the left side of the infield (much to the dismay of Dan Gladden). The bunt was a shallow pop-up, and Spiezio nearly made a diving catch charging in from third. Guzman had to wait and see if the bunt would be caught, so the catcher forced him out at second. Another botched sacrifice! Punto walked and after a Ryan groundout, Jones was grazed by a pitch to load the bases for our man Lew! But Lew couldn't deliver (hey, nobody's perfect) so the game remained tied.

As somewhat of a pessimist, I was predicting the Twins' doom the moment Seth Greisinger entered the game. He actually did a nice job for two innings, but the veteran line-up of Seattle was just too much for him in the 16th. Too bad the Mariners had to win on yet another cheap call by the umpire! I can't wait to see the highlights tomorrow, just so I can see how bad those two calls (the ones in the 9th and 16th) really were.

I've got 9 a.m. class tomorrow so I'd better get at least a little sleep. Today's entry should at least help those of you who chickened out and didn't stay up until the end of the game. John and I also feel it is important that we consistently post at least six days a week until we are better established. Coming up later this week we have (hopefully) our first guest writer! Stay tuned for that, and good night everyone!

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