Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Wu of Pitching; or, Triage in Safeco Field

Twins 4, Mariners 1

Absolutely one of the last things I want to be seeing when I tune into a Twins game...

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In case you missed it, that was Justin Morneau in the 8th inning after a Ron Villone pitch struck him in the head. He spent at least a few minutes lying on the ground, although time in my house may have stopped still, but he appeared cognizant while the trainer and coaches talked with him and it was encouraging to see him walk off the field under his own power. Gardy said that when they asked Justin if he knew where he was, he replied, "On the ground in Seattle." It also looked like the pitch mainly hit his helmet, and the plastic didn't break, so I am optimistic that he'll be OK. Nothing that a hockey puck hasn't done a hundred times before, eh?

Prior to that accident, we were treated to a Carlos Silva Special Clinic--pay attention, you youngsters out there--on how to induce groundballs with minimal effort. It's almost Zen-like in its simplicity. The Wu of Pitching. A living haiku: 7 innings pitched, 68 pitches thrown, 9 scattered hits, no walks, no strikeouts, 17 groundballs, 3 flyballs, a solo HR allowed as a courtesy to the Birthday Boy Bret Boone. That's a W, kids. Videos and T-shirts for sale in the lobby. See you again next week, and bring a friend.

Juan Rincon and Joe Nathan closed out with 2 scoreless innings. Matthew LeCroy's 3-run blast in the 4th inning off Bobby Madritsch had given the Twins the lead for good; a Jacque Jones RBI single in the 8th just put a neat ribbon and bow on the package. The series goes to Minnesota. Now it's just back home and a day off to prepare for the big home opener and smackdown of the hated ChiSox, and here's hoping that Justin Morneau will be well and get back with us soon.

Take care, kid. We'll keep a light on for you.

My best wishes to Bobby Madritsch, as well. He's traveled a long path to finally begin a season as a member of a major league rotation, and I've looked forward to seeing his talent develop with the M's this year. He's the goods. My heart went out to him, seeing the look on his face as he rubbed his shoulder in the 5th inning. His whole history and fears about his future seemed to be expressed in his eyes. I'm glad to hear that it's only a "strain"--they didn't find any tears in his arm. You take care too, Mads. I hope you have a quick recovery.


At 4/07/2005 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No kidding, 'Wig, I think we entered a vortex at the BatQuarters when that happened. Awful. Just awful.


At 4/08/2005 1:46 AM, Blogger Leslie Monteiro said...

Good job by the good guys. After a very dissapointing Opening Day loss, the Twins rebounded very well by winning the next two and taking the series. While it stinks to lose on Opening Day, it's great to win the series and that's what baseball is all about in the course of 162-game season.

I was very happy with the way the Twins played in this series especially offensively. It was good to get couple of runners in base and then Matthew Lecroy goes deep as he hits a rare HR to give the Twins the lead for good. Before the game, Bert Blyleven told Matthew to hit a HR for his birthday. When Matthew hit it, Bert went nuts in the booth and he started screaming. I was very happy with how the Twins got on base a lot in this series and how they drove in. I hope they keep it up.

It was nice to see the "B" guys play well especially defensively. Juan Castro did a good job defensively. It was nice to see Mike Redmond call a good game today and he got a runner out.

I don't know what was Dan Wilson, Mariners catcher, thinking as he tried to trip Nick Punto. It was pretty stupid. Fortunately, that plan failed as Punto touch the home plate. It's a good strategy yet pretty stupid.

Carlos Silva pitched a very good game. I was very happy with his performance. He got 3 DPs. He was Radke-like today as he got lot of his groundballs outs which is his strength.

Juan was solid and Joe was super. With all the closers blowing saves left and right in the majors on Opening Week, it's good to see Joe Nathan make it look easy.

The downer was Justin Morneau leaving the game. That pitch by Ron Villone as it slipped into Justin's head was bad. Justin fell down and it took two or three minutes for him to recover. Fortunately, he was able to gain consciousness.

Great series. It was close to the wire and it came down to matter of breaks. Fortuantely, the Twins got the breaks.

It's great to be 2-1. I feel a lot better than I was Monday night after the game.

Twins deserve a day off.

Let's go kick some Whiney Sux butt this weekend.


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