Not the first, but might be the last

An odd point came up as Don Kelly was explaining what happened on the fly ball in the eighth.

“Once it went through the lights, I lost it,” Kelly said. “There’s
really nothing else you can do. I mean, it’s not like I took my eye off
of if. People were saying they’ve seen many, many balls lost here. It’s
not the first. It’s not going to be the last.”

At that point, someone pointed out that it might be the last. After all, there’s just four games left at the Metrodome before the Twins move to the Target Center for next season.

“Thanks,” Kelly said with just a slight crack of a smile.


I think everyone knows I’m not a fan of Jim Leyland, but I can’t blame his moves today for the loss. He put in Kelley and Thomas for defense over Guillen and Maggs. How can anyone honestly say that was a bad move without second guessing? Contrary to what I read elsewhere, Kelley has played the outfield in the Dome, for two games in July. If it had been his first time out there, I may, and only may, have questioned it, but that wasn’t the case. Regarding sending Verlander out for the 8th, of course you do that. That’s a no-brainer. If anyone needs proof of what could have happened if he’d been replaced, I give you Cuddyer’s 3-run jack off Lyon. This was a dome loss through and through, and the end of this abomination of a “ballpark” can’t come soon enough. I’d like to see Leyland replaced at the end of the season, but today wasn’t his doing.
If there absolutely must be blame handed out (and why is that?), then hand it to our hitters for leaving men on base. This is how Pavano has beaten us this year. More often than not, he hasn’t shut us down, but we don’t get the needed hits off him. Today was no exception. Even with the runners left on, we could have and should have won a hard fought 2-1 game. It’s just a tough loss in a tough place to play.
I expect us to get swept here, but that’s not the end of the season. It only means we enter the final two weeks with a one game head start. Good news: Minnesota goes on the road now until their final three games. Bad news: by the time they play KC, the Royals will have cooled off. Good news: the Twins have to go to Chicago to play a White Sox team that is about to play some better baseball. Bad news: Jake Peavey is back but will miss the Twins series, and probably pitch against us next weekend.
I don’t see an advantage to either club. The Twins will have to beat us in Detroit with superior baseball as they won’t have the most unfair home field advantage in professional sports to help them. The Tigers will have to start scoring some runs.

Well Rich I didn’t know that Kelly had played there before, and I don’t blame the guy the Dome is a horrible excuse for a place to play. But I do disagree with putting Verlander back out there, even though it may of been a fluke (those runs) my guess is that he just didn’t have enough in the tank to get him out of the situation. My thought is that maybe if he doesn’t go back out there, Lyon or Seay start with a clean inning and it doesn’t go the way of the trash can. We will have to agree to disagree about this one. Lyon has been great and if Justin had thrown fewer pitches I might agree with you, but he was up around 110 or so. Did anyone ever think that is is losing these games recently and having these big innings because his arm is falling off and getting tired?? He has been asked to pitch a ton of innings especially lately.
But I completely agree with you regarding the real culprit here, the hitters, while they got a million singles and had Pavano on the ropes several times they couldn’t manage anything more that a single. It was completely pathetic (how often have we said that lately???). If they manage even a few more runs, we are talking a different ballgame. The pitchers should not have to be that perfect. But when you get 11 hits in 5 innings there should be fore than 2 runs up on the board. What is comes down to is that the Twins are playing with purpose and the Tigers are just trying to hold on and not doing a good job of it. CAN YOU SAY CHOKE?????

I don’t mind agreeing to disagree about Verlander pitching the 8th. It was a tough call. You notice I called it a no-brainer. Did I sound like Leyland there? 🙂
Out of curiosity, I checked one more fact. Yesterday was the FIRST time that Guillen has played the outfield in the dome. Leyland actually went with his more experienced player in the 8th, who was Kelley. Man, baseball can drive us crazy but it’s never dull.
I hate using the word “choke” but if what we’re seeing continues, that will be the word for it. The Mets were labeled with it and we’ll be no exception. You saw what happened to their manager. Unfortunately, we’re now again with a sub-.500 record for the second half and this is the 4th consecutive season for that. Just as Leyland needs to address issues in his Hitting Department, the front office needs to address issues in their Manager Department. Any business would do that.
I also hate to say this, but today has begun to look like a must win. My projections don’t look good. In fact, I keep seeing visions of Inge’s blast on the final day of 2006 going just foul as Omar Infante straddles the fence atop the dugout steps, anticipating a celebration that didn’t happen. Nate, you better have it today, son. But if there’s the slightest sign of yet another injured pitcher trying to gut it out……………………

I can’t remember being happier to take one game outta three. Good riddance to the Metrodump forever. Sunday was a must win game, all right- for the Twinkies! Now they hit the road for ten games, and they’ll be toast by the time they get back home to close out that pit.
.500 ball baby! To the wire!

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