Don’t let the final score fool you. At one point, this was a nice, normal baseball game. The first four innings were just Jose Berrios and Wily Peralta trading zeroes.
Berrios got into trouble in the fifth.
With two outs, he gave up a single to Harold Castro, and then walks to Zack Short and Jake Rogers. Remember those names for later, by the way. With the bases juiced, and two down, Berrios got ahead of Akil Baddo, who you may remember from a recent Star Wars film, 0-2. Didn’t matter. Baddoo cranked a sharp liner to left, plating two. Jonathan Schoop, another former Twins out for revenge, followed up by sending the next pitch out to right for another two-run single, before Robbie Grossman, he of the damp bedding, grounded out to end the threat.
The Twins added one run in the bottom of the fifth via a Max Kepler dong. Another home team run came in via the small-ball in the sixth, setting the stage for the second four-run, lead changing inning of the night.
Peralta left the game after five innings—the Tigers would use another half dozen pitchers to finish out the game, with no one but Derek Holland capable of getting more than three outs.
In middle of the seventh inning, Ryan Jeffers left the game due to an apparent knee issue, and was replaced by Ben “Mort Mortivedt” Rortvedt.
In the seventh, Daniel Norris was responsible for the first run, leaving a runner on first after a walk and a fielder’s choice. Joe Jimenez came on to take his place, and was credited with two more runs—besides the inherited runner, he would walk the bases loaded. Gregory Soto entered with the bases loaded. After a wild pitch scored the lead runner, he gave up consecutive RBI singles to Alex Kirilloff, Jorge Polanco, and Max Kepler. Mort popped out to end the inning, because he’s a rally killer with a sub-.130 batting average. Still, the Twins held a healthy two run lead.
Akil Baddoo must still be mad about being left available for the rule-5 draft. His 8th inning homer closed the Twins’ lead back to one. They got that run, plus another back in the bottom of the inning, off the bats of Josh Donaldson and Kirilloff. This would only set the stage for the dramatics.
Taylor “Normally not terrible” Rogers came on for the penultimate frame with a three-run lead to protect. Instead he gave up a single to Eric “Brick” Haase and double to pinch hitter Willi Castro (replacing his probably-not relative Harold.) To make matters worse, he walked Zack Short. Jake Rogers came up to bat as the go-ahead run against probably-not-his-relative Taylor. Jake won the battle of Rogers, and I believe is now the Duke of Toronto or something. But seriously, he hit a frickin grand slam, and sent Twins Twitter into a spiral.
But Morty Mortivedt wasn’t having none of that. He pulled up his big boy pants, settled Taylor down, and ended the inning. Then Morty found even bigger boy pants… maybe Miguel Sano’s pants? Whoever’s pants they were, he wore them proudly, and stroked a majestic dong to tie the game up at 9, in the ninth.
Other than that, Derek Holland managed to escape unscathed, so noted bullpen whisperer AJ Hinch sent him out for the tenth. This would prove be a mistake. An even worse mistake might have been pitching around Nelson Cruz, although you can’t really blame him for that. Still, it put two men on base, and Jorge Polanco also wore the big boy pants. Hopefully Morty washed them first. Polanco ended the game with a three-run walkoff that brought us to our final tally.
Also, a shortstop named Short? Did the baseball gods run out of creative juices that day?
Whoever’s pants those were.
No duds, Twins sweep. Must suck to be the Tigers right now.
COTG: Nice work, Norff!