Friday, October 9, 2009
I know the Twins are horribly overmatched. I know they're not supposed to beat the Yankees. I know they'll be lucky to avoid being swept. But that doesn't make what happened any less painful. Seventeen runners left on base (ugh, I wish there weren't so many easy outs in the lineup). Carlos Gomez with a costly baserunning gaffe. Joe Nathan with a blown save (seriously, what is it about him and Yankee Stadium?). A horribly blown call (is it just me, or does the umpiring seem especially atrocious this postseason?). Failing to drive in any runs with the bases loaded and no outs in extra innings. And a walkoff home run that would probably have been a routine fly ball in any other ballpark. This is, without question, the worst loss of the season, and the worst I can remember in a long time. Worse than that blown save against the Pale Hosers. Worse than that implosion against Oakland. Yeah, I know what I said about just being happy to make the playoffs, especially after beating Detroit in such dramatic fashion. I take it all back. I wish this was happening to the Tigers instead.
I suppose this is all karmic retribution for the Twins sneaking into the postseason by winning a game they didn't really deserve to win. I mean, if it weren't for that blown-hit-by pitch call against Brandon Inge, the Tigers would probably be the ones struggling to avoid a sweep by the Evil Empire. And I could looking forward to 2010 instead of wondering how I'm going to sleep tonight.
I guess if there's anything good to come out of all this, it's that Blackbeard pitched a pretty good game. He didn't make it out of the sixth inning, but he allowed only one run on three hits to a lineup that has pounded him in the past. The middle relievers were pretty good, too, shutting down the Yankees until Joe Nathan blew up in the ninth. Make no mistake, Nathan is the goat in this game. If it weren't for that home run to A-Rod, Phil Cuzzi would never have gotten the chance to fuck up royally in the first place.
I know I shouldn't count the Twins out just yet. They've been on the brink of elimination so many times this season, only to pull off improbable comeback after improbable comeback. But it's tough to muster any enthusiasm for this team, or frankly, baseball in general right now.