Monday, March 31, 2008

Ahhhh Baseball is Back

Baseball, glorious baseball.

I watched the Twins home opener on FSN West (all the other feeds were blacked out because it was Angels at Twins). It was Torii Hunter's first game back at the Metrodome in an Angels' uniform. The crowd cheered enthusiastically for him when he was introduced and he looked like he appreciated it. It was a great game to watch.

Last year's Twins team, and the year before, for that matter, struggled in the first innings of games. It seemed as if most of the teams got to the Twins early in the game and there were many games that the Twins never could recover from the first inning. Today's game was not like that at all. The Angels went down in order in the first inning, and the Twins in the bottom were able to score a run.

The final score was 3-2 Twins. Torii Hunter went 0 fer in his first game back. But Torii's bat has always been on the streaky side. And since he is on a team with the free-swinging Vladimir Guerrero, he may tend to pick up those bad habits. Carlos Gomez played very well in center field. The kid has incredible range out there. Only time will tell if he is a center fielder in the model of Kirby Puckett and Torii Hunter, but I sure enjoyed watching him out there.

Livan Hernandez pitched an absolute gem of a game. He went a full seven innings, which kind of surprised me. Not that he is not durable, or anything, just that it is early in the season and often times managers will pull a pitcher after six. Pat Neshek came in and pitched the 8th, not entirely an uneventful inning but he worked himself out of a jam with only one run scoring. Neshek's delivery is unorthodox, to say the least, but it is really fun to watch a sidearmer throw. Nathan closed it down in the top of the ninth with his typical dramatic flair.

I kept score on a piece of notebook paper. When I made up the score sheet, I deliberately only drew the lines for eight at bat innings for the Twins. I figured if I drew the ninth inning, they would have to bat in the ninth. I am almost as superstitious as a lot of ball players.

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