Jon Lester glared at the home plate umpire about balls that he thought should have been strikes. Cody Ross, inexplicably cocky to begin with, rolled his eyes in disgust at a strike that he thought should have been a ball. The Boston Red Sox fans, whose impatience and sense of entitlement lost their charm long ago, booed at their underachieving team’s efforts once again. That type of angst often emerges because a team is being dominated in every facet of the game and therefore feels the pressure of a tiny margin of error. Such was the case Thursday night as the Twins cruised to a 5-0 victory in Fenway Park.
Samuel Deduno set the tone by going 6 solid innings, logging a noteworthy 11 groundball outs in the process. Take away the 4 walks he issued and he pitched a near-perfect game. A mere 2 hits by the Red Sox was enough to provoke the Boston faithful. As the starting pitching for the Twins becomes more consistent, it gives us the opportunity to appreciate the heroes out of the bullpen. Tonight it was Casey Fien and Glen Perkins once again pitching well to close out the final 3 innings of this series-opening victory.
The sign of a good offensive team, especially one that will produce consistently and not be prone to extended cold steaks, is a lineup that gets contributions from everybody, sometimes in the form of unexpected heroes. Tonight it was Brian Dozier, whose 3 hits included a home run over the Green Monster in left field. Grant this 2012 version Twins the distinctiveness they deserve as compared to the teams of the last few seasons, because unlike those teams, these guys can flat out hit.
Dominant and timely offense, dominant pitching with lots of groundball outs, and a no-doubt victory all combined to frustrate the heck out of the volatile personalities that comprise the Boston Red Sox and their fan base. That made tonight’s victory that much sweeter.