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Home » June 2006 Game CommentsJune 2006 » Garbage


Game 62: June 13, 2006
Red Sox (36-26), 2
Twins (29-34), 5

BS, L: Julian Tavarez (1, 1-2)
W: Dennys Reyes (1-0)
12 innings

Some Twins blog writer somewhere is probably exuberant with joy about last night’s game. In that parallel universe, Annaoj might be pretending that she is rookie Jason Kubel writing letters back home to South Dakota. They probably have pictures of Kubel getting drenched by Michael Cuddyer, as if they were Super Bowl champions or something. Perhaps they should save the festivities for when they have a .500 record.

Speaking of, Cuddyer has a fan page. Who knew Mrs. Cuddyer had the wherewithal to put together a site for her son? Updates have been sparse, however, with no new content since May of 2004. Anyway, there’s 34 Twins blogs compared to 127 Red Sox blogs, according to Baseball Blogs. So, top that, St. Paulites and Minneapolitans.

In my head, perhaps I thought it would have been better to lose with a batter of the opposition belting a grand slam rather than walking in the winning run as Rudy Seanez did back on June 6th against the Yankees. At least if you throw a strike, you give your fielders a chance to fend away the opponent. But it’s frustrating to watch a greenhorn attain glory with a gopher ball that just barely clears the garbage bag that comprises the makeshift right field wall.

Except for the bottom of the dozenth inning, the game was brilliantly played. In his eight inning appearance, Johan Santana confounded a season-high 13 batters, including David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez twice each. The left-handed Cy Young award winner struck out the side in both the first and fifth innings and looked for all the world unhittable. It made Jason Varitek’s line drive homer in the seventh inning all the more remarkable. He smashed the scoreless tie with his seventh roundtripper of the year with two out and on Santana’s first pitch of the at bat.

Curt Schilling was similarly sharp although not as untouchable as his adversary. He compiled a line of eight innings, six hits, one walk, five strikeouts, and a single blemish in the form of a Cuddyer circuit clout in the seventh. The reborn utilityman mashed his tenth home run to tie the game, mirroring Varitek by doing so with two outs.

A shame that one of the best pitchers’ duels this season had to take place in the jury-rigged Metrodome. With the new ballpark approved, the Twins have already removed references to the tomb-like edifice on their official site and in their place uploaded artists renderings of the yet-to-be-corporate-branded stadium. There doesn’t appear to be a retractable roof, so there might be one other town that has more miserable April games than Boston. But at least baseballs won’t be disappearing into the nooks and crannies of suspended sound systems any longer.

Both teams showed defensive polish with their faceted play on the field, supporting the outstanding efforts their starters put forth. The Red Sox turned three double plays, including a strike ’em out, throw ’em out to end the fifth inning when Torii Hunter threatened to score with Kubel at the dish.

Ramirez also made two key catches in the eighth inning. Hunter again menaced the visiting team, this time with a leadoff single. In two consecutive at bats, Ramirez made a running catch of Luis Rodriguez’s shallow fly ball to left and then just managed to backhandedly glove pinch hitter Terry Tiffee’s sinking liner.

Of course Minnesota had a pivotal twin killing of their own. With Trot Nixon and Alex Gonzalez reaching base on consecutive singles in the eighth and just a single out, Santana bore down on Coco Crisp. The Red Sox center fielder grounded right to the mound and Santana initiated the 1-6-3 double play to complete his virtuoso performance. Hunter returned Ramirez’s favor in the 11th inning with his contorted capture of a Ramirez deep line drive that would have been extra bases.

The Red Sox scored in the top of the 12th. After Varitek struck out to begin the inning, three Red Sox batters reached base in sequence. Only a single run was notched with Gonzalez’s ground ball to his counterpart Nick Punto, who very nearly doubled up Gonzalez.

If only there were Jonathan Papelbon or Mike Timlin clones to pitch the 12th inning. Things got ugly, and I’m not limiting the discussion to Julian Tavarez’s face. The middle reliever struck out the American League’s leading hitter, Joe Mauer, easily enough, but then proceeded to hit Cuddyer with a pitch and relinquish a ground-rule double to Justin Morneau. If the ball hadn’t bounded over the baggies in center field, the game would have ended in a somewhat less painful manner. Instead, Hunter was walked intentionally to give the Red Sox the force at every plate, one out in the inning, and the outcome of the game in the balance.

Perhaps the Twins have found an Ortiz of their own in Kubel.


If there were Paps clones, every team would have one.

Hey, if Reyes won the game, shouldn't he have one win? (just checkin')

Yeah, that was an error on Chris Snow's part. He tried to work with me here at EE, but he just couldn't cut it. He had to go take that job with the Minnesota Wild.

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