Manager Ron Gardenhire played the match-up game versus Yankee’s right hander Ivan Nova and was rewarded for his efforts with a crucial 2 out double off the bat of big Jim Thome. As a lifelong Cuddyer apologist, I hate to see him out of the lineup, but Gardy made the correct call and the ball bounced his way. Unfortunately for Gardenhire, Scott Baker, as he’s said all spring, took a couple of innings to get comfortable on the mound and into a groove. In those first two innings he handed out a couple of free passes and was rewarded with 2-run home runs against the very next batter, putting the Twins in an early 4-0 hole.
This was the kind of Twins game I hate to watch. The game begins and the majesty of New Yankee Stadium is radiating off the grass and right through the television. You feel the excitement, you think to yourself, “This is the year we play well against the Yankees.” Before you can finish your first beer the Twins are down 4-0, the pitcher cannot find the strike zone, and the Yankees are hitting the ball out of the yard. Now you have seven more innings to watch, and you have no hope. By now you’ve prepared yourself for a loss, you’ll enjoy a few more choice beverages while you finish cooking dinner, and then turn the game off after another disappointing early loss. And the Twins give you reason to pause. A couple of clutch 2 out hits and suddenly the Twins are back in a 1 run game. Now you’re back on the edge of your seat watching four more innings of Twins baseball hoping against hope that somehow your team can score before Soriano and Rivera come into the game to close out the 8th and 9th innings.
Two hours and thirty eight minutes after it started the game is over. The Twins have fallen, for the fourteenth time in their last fifteen chances, to the Yankees. I told my brother this last night, I doubt that I’m the first to say it but I think it rings true, the Yankees have it easy; they never have to play the Yankees.