Wha' Happened #6 (@Indians & Red Sox, V.s. Orioles & White Sox)

Rumors of our demise our greatly exaggerated. Rumors of the school year ending, our student teacher leaving and our work load increasing dramatically are absolutely accurate. Here now, a pseudo-recap of the weeks since the Twins last got a day off.

Game 27
Indians 7 - Twins 6
Long ago I first wrote about the magical Land of Cleve, a blighted kingdom where no team can win for long and where all the knights in the land eventually flee for other kingdom's with better salaries and dental packages.

But a strange thing happened in the last year. The Land of Cleve, they have rebounded, regained themselves and found a new King! King Terry the Lost who shockingly has found powerful knights throughout his kingdom (to complement the slightly quirky: Sir Kyrie who-Likes-to-Pretend-He's-an-Old-Guy-But-Really-Isn't.)

So it was with much confusion that the Territory of Twinnesota entered the land of Cleve for the first battle of the year, only to find that, rather than rolling over and begging for mercy (as they normally do) the resilient knights of King Terry the Lost, rebounded until Sir Drew of the Swollen Toes delivered the fatal blow to our hopes

[Wasn't that a lot more fun to read than just: "Drew Stubbs hit a walk-off..."]

Game 28
Indians 7 - Twins 3
Bad Correia!!
Kevin Correia pitched poorly! Let the indiscriminate blame and pointless recriminations BEGIN!!

Kevin Correia is directly responsible for the Twins loss in Cleveland, Joe Mauer's distraction from hitting, the repeated threat of snow in late April and May and the mailing of toxic ricin to political leaders.

Game 29
Twins 4 - Indians 2 
Let us take a moment to acknowledge the contributions of someone oft forgotten in my offense-centric recaps Glen Perkins aka The Dread Pirate Joe Nathan. (Remember, Perk adopted the intimidating name  to foil hitters. The real Dread Pirate Joe Nathan has been living like a King in Patagonia...or at least a Patagonia outlet store near Dallas)

Dread Pirate Joe Nathan v. 2.0
Sunday, with the Twins staked to a solid three run lead, The NEW Dread Pirate Joe Nathan entered the game determined to triumph in the most Dread Pirate-y way possible to wit: increasing the level of difficulty until his crew mates were convinced he was going to destroy them all...only to triumph at the last second. Following the lead off homer to left he bellowed "FAAARRRRGHARRAGH" [That's pirate for "good, now they have false hope"], then the hard stung single to right elicited an "AVARGH!!" ["Now I must defend my bounty of saves against the agents of the crown"], and when he settled down to end it all his triumphant "BLARGHERAGHERAGH!!!" [suck it Indians!] could be heard up and down the Cuyahoga.

Game 30
Red Sox 7 - Twins 6
Under careful scrutiny since St. Paul native/Twins Legend/Blue Jays Announcer/Walking Mustache Jack Morris accused him of using a substance on his shirt sleeve to throw a spitball, Boston starter Clay Buchholz attempted to throw suspicious parties off the scent of his duplicity by coating his sleeve in a different substance during the first inning.

That substance: suckitude!

And in an even greater sign of his criminal genius, Buchholz, swapped jerseys in between innings, so that one inning of giving up hits to the heart of the order [1st] and the bottom of the order [4th] (after applying copious amounts of suck to the ball) were balanced out by innings of dominance against the bottom [2nd] and heart [3rd] of the order.

Well played Buchholz, Well played.

(On a similar well played note, we were all so amazed at Joe Mauer's leaping catch of a relay throw home that we were brainwashed into assuming that he also applied the tag. Proving that no one plays it as well as Mauer does.)

I'd write more about the end of the game, but sometime around the 9th Red Sock wandering out of the batter's box and fouling off pitch after pitch to prolong the game, I decided that I should sleep...okay, I was put to sleep...which come to think of it is another genius strategem. CURSE YOU RED SOX!!

Game 31
Twins 6 - Red Sox 1
Full confession, I did not hear or watch one minute or second of this game. Instead I was with student-athletes at a track meet in Watertown which does not yet have a huge out-of-town-scoreboard (hint, hint local taxpayers!). But with 7 innings of shut-out ball, Scott Diamond is more than welcome to join the team I coach as an endurance instructor. (Back up Red Sox Third Baseman Pedro Ciracio is not allowed anywhere near the shot put, javelin or discus)

Game 32
Twins 15 - Red Sox 8
It was a thrilling trip to Boston, particularly for Aaron Hicks who made his Fenway Park debut. But just as Aaron was scared of "The Grimm" during the previous home stand, there was the awfully intimidating Green Monster out there in Left field. (I blame Hitting Coach Tom Brunansky's scary bedtime stories)
Fortunately there is one man who will always rescue our nation's children and worried rookies. He who personifies goodness and light, he who banishes fear and despair to the unfathomable void of the abyss beyond the stars. Yes our great and powerful chairman looked into the depths of the monster's eyes and slated the beast with his mighty bat of justice and truth (and also with the help of our mighty line-up which draws strength from the mere presence of his sideburns).

Rest easy young Hicks-y, for wherever our mighty Chairman resides no monster dares to tread.

Twins 33
Twins 5 - Red Sox 3
It's easy to make fun of rookies, they're young, they don't have a clearly defined personality. But one guy seems determined to stop me from making fun of him. That man? Oswaldo Arcia: the Blizzard of Oz!

How did our Blizzard Wizard triumph during his debut series at Fenway? By clobbering balls all over the yard. There are also unconfirmed reports of him shouting "Depulso!" to use a banishing charm on the two run shot that gave us a series victory over the "mighty" bean-towners. We here at Peanuts From Heaven will always encourage magic as a solution to life's problems...keep it up Oswaldo, keep it up.

Game 34
Orioles 9 - Twins 6
After all the triumphs in Boston, the Twins returned home to face another AL East team, and picked up right where they left off, battering an opposing pitcher just because they could.

But with all this natural awesomeness we neglected to discuss one important facet of the team: relief pitching. After-all, hitting is half the game, and really easy to romanticize; starting pitching talent is new and relatively amazing to Twins fans used to mind-numbingly bad starts; relief pitching...well...it's just part of the game, like the designated hitter and drunk guys.

Too much time feeling ignored and unloved can wear on you, and so [I imagine with absolutely zero proof] there was a discussion in the Twins pen between Josh Roenicke and Anthony Swarzak.

Roenicke: "Can you believe the blogosphere's ignoring use Anthony?"

Swarzak: "Swarzak!"

Roenicke: "I've gone more than an inning every game since April 4th! And you've only given up 3 walks all year!!"
Swarzak: "Swarzak!"

Roenicke: "Exactly! What's a guy got to do to earn a little gentle ribbing, a little joke that I sound like I should be a hockey player, or that I grew a soul patch because I was worried about whether or not I'd go to heaven"

Swarzak: "Swarzak!"

Roenicke: "Don't rub it in man...I know...I'll blow up randomly and then people will have to write about me...you in?"

Swarzak: [Cough...cough] "Sorry, I've had that cough of years now...yeah, sure let's do this.

So that happened, and we gave up the lead.

Game 35
Twins 8 - Orioles 5
It's funny but true...Vance Worley, arguably the most promising pitching acquisition the Twins made in the offseason, had gone winless since August of the previous year. Hmm, actually that's not so much funny as sad.

We got you Vanimal, we got you
This was most troubling for the heart of the Twins order, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. After all this was their very own Vanimal, and both were big fans. After all Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem was a genuinely popular band in Canada, and Baby Vanimal (from the Muppet Babies) was a favorite of Baby Jesus)

Thus it was that the Twins' biggest boppers came to the rescue of another poor performance by the vanimal, cranking out six hits, and quite a bit of head banging in response to the Vanimal's demand that he needed more runs.

Game 36
Orioles 6 - Twins 0
For Mother's Day, Scott Diamond's mom asked for just one thing: "play nice with the other boys Scotty!"*

We applaud Mama Diamond for raising a fine upstanding athletic boy, and we're all for sportsmanship, but clearly this instruction ran contrary to pitching coach Rick Anderson's "NO MISSING THE PLATE! NO MERCY!!" instruction. In the end, the Orioles kind of owned Scott Diamond and the Twins lost the game, but it's kind of nice that Scott Diamond listened to his mom (but lets just save that for mother's day)

*Note, I can't decide if this excuse is any less absurd than the "Mother's day game ball is slightly different" Twins writers actually used
Game 37

Twins 10 - White Sox 3
A little more than a week ago, ESPN noted that Adam Dunn (the White Sox Designated Hitter) had the  2nd lowest batting average in the American League (thereby questioning the whole "hitter" part of the title "Designated Hitter"). The lowest? Twins Centerfielder Aaron Hicks.

As a result this series with the White Sox felt seriously like a good ol' fashioned show down between Hicks and Dunn to prove who was marginally less bad than the other. Sure we could crunch the stats of who really won, but why not review it like the three rounds of your typical old school brawler video games.

The first round went decidedly to Aaron Hicks who seemingly owned every aspect of Adam Dunn's game. Delivering a punishing Centerfield Bomb attack on his face, pulling an amazing reversal on Dunn's own Dinger Assault, and then delivering his signature finishing move the "oh-my-god-you-can-get-more-than-one-hit-in-a-game-it-might-as-well-be another-home-run".

Game 38
Lets watch it again...and again...

White Sox 4 - Twins 2
In order to get back at Aaron Hicks decisive first round KO Adam Dunn resorted to the defense of all desperate video gamers: Mashing buttons on the controller indiscriminately hoping that things turn out okay. 

Sadly it worked, geting a cheesy, bottom-of-the-health-bar, lucky shot victory (what with the home run to Hicks' o-fer.)

Game 39
White Sox 9 - Twins 5
Before the last round of the fight [or game of the series if you prefer], Aaron Hicks pressed pause to go to the bathroom and get a Dr. Pepper.

Then Adam Dunn unpaused it, demolishing a blithely bopping on his heels Aaron Hicks with a pair of Dinger Assaults, as if that somehow proved that he was a better gamer than Hicks. When Hicks came back, Dunn stood up muttered something about "really gotta get home, my parents and lawn mowing and indiscriminate mumbling" grabbed a full bag of Doritos and a Dr. Pepper and took off.

So congrats Adam Dunn, you won this round...but Aaron Hicks will be back. Oh yes, he will be back.

Mr. Peanut for the last two weeks: Oswaldo Arcia (if only to stop festooning Joe Mauer with these trophies)
Nutty Buddy for the last two weeks: Pedro Hernandez/Casey Fien (they haven't been bad, but they sure haven't helped much)

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