On Friday, May 21st, I went to Target Field to see the Milwaukee Brewers play the Minnesota Twins. I went by myself, accidentally on purpose. I bought a scorecard and a pencil, and settled down in the right field bleachers, hangin' out with Michael Cuddyer and Corey Hart.
By the end of the first inning, the Twins had scored seven runs against Brewers starter Dave Bush, all on walks, singles, and doubles. Bush managed to record just one out before he got the hook (he got Justin Morneau to fly out to center). He walked in a run, too. At one point, Bush - normally a very quiet, noncombative presence on the mound - and home plate umpire Ed Rapuano got into a very heated argument, and both men had to be restrained from charging each other! Heh.
Well, obviously, it wasn't much of a game. The Twins took it, 15-3, including another crooked number: a five-run 4th inning against Brewers sad retread Jeff Suppan. But there were a couple other notable moments...
1. Carlos Gomez hit a home run! A three-run homer off sharp Twins starter Nick Blackburn. It was his first homer back here in Minneapolis, where he learned to be a man playing baseball, or at least slightly less of a boy playing baseball. When he tossed the bat after the ball had been well crushed to deep left field, it grazed Twins catcher Joe Mauer. Gomez was apparently unaware of this. Some players, were they to flip their bat and have it hit the opposing catcher, would be ducking and covering the next time they came up to bat - retaliation in the form of a beaning would be appropriate. However, since Carlos is such a goofy, unrestrained character, the Twins didn't seem to mind. Gomez apologized immediately after the game, and the Twins took it with good humor. But, for example, had it been "Hollywood" Braun? SMACK. PLUNK. CRUNCH.
2. Carlos Gomez fell over swinging at a breaking ball! That happened before the home run, and the crowd cheered and laughed a little. Again: we here in the Twin Cities are very familiar with Go-Go. I'm going to step in with a little editorial here: I fully support Carlos Gomez, and the way he plays ball. He's always exciting, even when his lack of finesse is maddening. This year, his good offensive numbers (power, on-base pct.) are up. As long as he plays his highlight-worthy defense in center field, and hits reasonably well, he can occasionally screw up the etiquette/refinement part of the game. Which, as we all know, is all kind of bullshit anyway. In today's media-friendly major leagues, Bob Gibson would be muzzled and/or drummed out of the game. More on that another time.
3. Todd Coffey! He ran out at full steam to finish the game in the 8th inning, when the Twins victory was just about inevitable. The fans sitting around me in the bleachers had never seen this guy before, and they were all very, very impressed. I wish he could've had his intro music ("The Ultimate Warrior Theme Song") playing, though - that would've probably been enough to start a Minnesota Twins Fans Who Love Todd Coffey Fan Club.
4. PLOOOOOOOOOOOUFFFE! Trevor Plouffe, a rookie from the Twins farm system, was brought up for this game to sub for the injured starting shortstop J.J. Hardy (a former Brewer, by the way). If there's one thing I've learned about crowds, it's that given the chance to shout/bellow/bay a word with the "oooo" sound in it, they will seize the moment with aplomb! BRUUUUUUUUCE... Bruce Springsteen. KUUUUUUUUUUUUUB... Jason Kubel. YOUUUUUUUUUUK... Kevin Youkilis. And now Trevor Plouffe. He acquited himself well, playing solid defense at short, and batting two for five with two RBI's and a double. Note: Ploof is the sound a sack of flour makes when dropped from the top of a ten-story building.
Allright, that's Friday, May 21st. The Brewers were, in a word, annihilated. But the weekend wasn't all lost for the Brew Crew - and I will write another entry soon about my very different experience at Target Field on Sunday, May 23rd. Stay tuned for the next installment of Nato's Rock And Roll And Baseball Blog, now with 100% more coverage of John Axford's moustache!