While it's been a bumpy ride for most of the season, Minnesota Twins fans were treated to an absolute gem on Wednesday night.
Pablo Lopez turned in a complete game shutout against the Kansas City Royals, the first of his career. He struck out a dozen batters, electrified the Target Field crowd, and gave Twins fans a truly special moment to cherrish.
Twins Daily's Nick Nelson called it one of the greatest games in franchise history, and he's not at all wrong about that. From the pure baseball standpoint to the context in which Lopez threw his complete game shutout, it was exactly the sort of thing Twins Territory needed to try and end the firs thalf of the season as strongly as possible.
Nelson wasn't the only one who understood the awesomeness of the moment. Twins fans everywhere basked in the glory of Pablo's performance and celebrated it as the epic achievement it was.
Twins fans react to Pablo Lopez complete game shutout
Twins fans at Target Field were on the frontlines of letting Lopez know just how everyone felt about his performance. As Lopez came out for his ninth inning of work, fans greeted him with a standing ovation.
Fans at home had plenty to say as well, both cheering Lopez on and bringing a strong meme game as part of the celebration of his feat.
It's been a tough stretch for Lopez, who has struggled after a great start to his season. Everything he does is juxtopsed against what Luis Arraez is doing down in Miami -- which just so happens to be putting together a historic season at the plate.
Because the Twins gave up Arraez for Lopez and with the offense struggling so mightily, there was growing frustration over the optics of the trade. It'd certainly be nice to have Arraez, but he doesn't single-handedly fix the offense, no matter how great he's hitting, but Lopez's impact has been felt more than once this season.
Wednesday night was a perfect example of how good this Twins team is when it's clicking. It was more than just a win and series sweep over the Royals, it was catharsis.