The twins held the San Francisco Giants to a meager hit in eight innings on Saturday night. It was the perfect summary of Minnesota’s August woes; the pitching held up, but the offense – despite plenty of opportunities – just couldn’t convert rallies into runs.
So the Giants carried a 1-0 lead into the top of the ninth, their one hitting a double in the fifth inning, their only run on a sacrificed fly later in the frame. Sonny Gray, Caleb Thielbar and Griffin Jax did almost literally everything they could to keep the home crowd in the game. If your pitching coalition gives you eight innings on a hit, there’s almost no excuse not to win a ball game.
But the Twins couldn’t score. Alex Cobb struck out seven in five innings, scattering four hits. Former twin Zack Littell added his own shutout inning; two more relievers came out of the Giants’ bullpen, each giving up hits, none allowing runs.
The desperate feeling of the last few weeks cast a pale shadow over the back half of this game, especially when San Francisco added another run in the top of the ninth, and Gilberto Celestino forgot how many outs there were (although that didn’t would probably not have been the case). mattered, with the fly of the RBI bag in question a bit too deep for reasonable play at the plate.)
So in the bottom of the ninth we went, down 2-0, and Camilo Doval on the mound, coming in late in the eighth.
And then, life.
Life, born from the freshly watered outfield grass in the sudden expectation of rain in the eighth inning.
A four-length walk to Max Kepler started ninth. But almost as soon as the hope burst, it was extinguished; Celestino hit a Baltimore chop that went 1-3 in the books, and Gary Sanchez hit an out-of-speed pitch after a decent battle, leaving Kepler at second and two out on the scoresheet.
However, national analyst AJ Pierzynski said it best, and as those of us in the Midwest know, this guy is always right, and never controversial. If the Twins could just get Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa into the box, they would have a chance.
Well, Luis would step in now, walking to extend play. Correa would take a backhand swing into right field, singular Kepler at home (although a confusing pinch of base running nearly put the game in jeopardy. )
And then, of all the heroes, it was Jake Cave who gave a little wink left, tying the game at 2-2 and finally resurrecting the roster in one of the loosest months in memory. recent Twins.
With the bulk of the work done, Rocco’s Magical Arm Barn introduced Jhoan Duran to keep things tied in the tenth inning (Presented by Rob Manfred.) A crucial fielder pick brought down the Manfred Mann, and some pitches and a Evan Longoria struck out later, Duran had brought the offense back into the field with the game still tied at two apiece.
Although the Twins didn’t register a hit in the tenth, it wouldn’t matter. Nick Gordon placed a perfect sacrificial bunt, moving the race winner to third. A walk to Gio Urshela and an intentional pass to Max Kepler would charge Celestino’s goals.
With nowhere to place the hitter, you’d think San Fran reliever Dominic Leone would place a premium on strike pitches. But, improbably, a four-length walk would roll base runners, tackle Minnesota’s third inning of the night and seal a victory on a night when the Twins were down 2-0 with one out to spend. .
With the Guards losing to Seattle at press time, the Jake Cave Clutch Rave could be edging their way to a two-game deficit by the end of the evening (actually, early Sunday morning Central Time.) Whether it’s hook or crook, jab or walk, the Twins have found a way to win tonight, and there’s only one column that will count over the next few weeks.
I’m sure you, like the Twins, will take it any way you can.
SS Carlos Correa (4 for 5, RBI)
LF Jake Cave (2 for 2, RBI)
RF Max Kepler (2 for 2, R, 3 BB)
Twin Launch (10.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 12 K)
Not in Jacob Caveman’s house
According to the FOX show, the Twins are the worst in the major leagues when it comes to running comeback wins. Tonight at least improved on that number, although three straight walks from the Giant’s Mound are what ended the game. Also, what are the chances of it happening? Both FOX games ended in a walk!