Even though the Twins lost, and team manager/life-sized garden gnome/prototype for crusty managers everywhere Ron Gardenhire looked like he was having a furious internal debate about whether to take a couple
tylenol or a couple shots of tequila, he also looked pretty darned pleased to be leaving the park so quickly. Maybe it was because he got to go for drinks with rival manager/polar opposite/walking twitter feed Ozzie Guillen, maybe it was because he really wanted to watch Real Housewives of Orange County in his hotel room, or maybe it was because Mark Buehrle was pitching.
Mark Buehrle does the things that make Ron Gardenhire happy. He throws strikes (65% of all pitches). He pitches to contact (84% of all pitches, with batters stuck with a .293 average on balls in play). And he makes quality starts (65% of all his starts). This season the Twins staff was a little worse than Buehrle in all those categories (63% Strike Rate, 82% Contact rate, .304 BABIP, just 51% of all games are Quality Starts). Now...Gardy doesn't know or care about any of those stats...he focuses solely on the GSQ: Gardy Scrappiness Quotient. And whereas Buehrle (by virtue of his defense, endurance and beard) rates 94.8/100, current Twins pitchers earn a meagre 51.6/100.
At the end of the day, I can help but imagine Gardy sitting back watching the game, dreaming of the offseason when Mark Buehrle is a free agent, and Gardy can confess his deep and abiding admiration for him. And Buehrle admits that, deep down, he has always wanted to be a Twin. And he signs a fiscally sensible contract, and dons the red, blue and white, and anchors the Twins rotation and leads us to glory and through it all Gardy never has to drink away the sadness and the world is a bright and happy place again. But of course Buehrle wears the black and white, and all Gardy can do is fantasize. Fantasize about Buehrle.