Okay. I get that baseball is a gentleman’s game where you aren’t supposed to show up another player, celebrate too much, or call a teammate out for doing something wrong. In just this week, we have had Jose Reyes point to the sky while he rounded the bases against the Phillies and a Twins pitcher throwing a tantrum in the dugout because Alexi Casilla mistakenly thought there were two outs – when in fact there was only one, leading to another run scored. Neither acts were thought of very highly by the other party, and rightfully so.
However, Cliff Lee was absolutely masterful last night. Though he gave up six hits in his eight innings of work, at least two of them were of the Punch and Judy variety, that just happened to fall in. He struck out 10, walked none, and still almost left with a No Decision thanks to Masa Kobayashi and his two-run, zero-out “inning” of work. I put inning in quotes, as he will not get credit for any work.
Had the tying run scored from second (after the double off of Kobayashi), I wouldn’t blame Lee for having a few words with the hopefully-former closer.
Perhaps something along the lines of, “Hey man, I got 24 guys out tonight; you couldn’t get one??” And if that didn’t work, there’s always the Universal Language of locking him in his locker…
But in all seriousness, I was lucky enough to be in attendance at last night’s game. When Rafael Perez came in to do Masa’s job, the crowd was on their feet through the entire frame. Perez looked like a man posessed out there, throwing 13 pitches – 10 for strikes. No ball left the infield thanks to superb plays from Ryan Garko (should be a “web gem” if it isn’t) and Asdrubal Cabrera on a bouncer up the middle.
As much as the fans were booing Wedge for the Kobayashi substitution, he has to get some credit for putting Cabrera in late in the game, as Jamey Carroll played the first seven innings.
Thankfully, we had that first inning (that should have been a lot better if not for two amazing grabs in center; one by Carlos Gomez, the other by Denard Spahn after Gomez left with an injury), or it would have been a lot more interesting. We still stranded nine guys, including a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play off of Ben Francisco’s bat.
Still, to be able to watch such a well-pitched game in person was a very nice way to end the week. The last game I attended was CC Sabathia’s man-handling of the Twins back on June 10th that wound up being the quickest game of the year. Needless to say, I’ve been very fortunate given the amount of wins we have seen as fans this season.
Tonight marks the return of Fausto Carmona. We’ll have our hands full with Scott Baker, but hopefully the former 19-game winner hits the ground running.
One quick note: There were a TON of scouts at the game last night. Our tickets were in the fourth row of 153, right behind home plate. Immediately to our left is typically a few guys clocking pitch release, jotting down certain numbers. However, there were three complete rows of scout-types there last night. I’m not sure if it is due to the looming trade deadline or not, but odds are that they were watching someone.
Oh, and here’s to Perez getting the 9th inning duties in the near future…