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Axel Kohagen

Gut Rot (Twins at Indians - Games 127-129)

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Cheating On My Mind (Twins 5 Indians 1 - Game 127)

I missed cheering for Deduno, who held the Indians to 3 hits in 6 innings. I was excited after the game ended, but I forgot Close Encounter of the Wild Kind took the mound.

Truth is, Twins gang, I’ve been sending all my hopes and dreams down Pittsburgh’s way. If the Pirates have a winning season I’ll screech in joy. If they make the playoffs I’ll hit a sports bar to watch.

The Pirates have made for a nice baseball mistress over the years. Cheering for them always felt charitable. Also, my Cubs-loving friend always poo-poos my claims the Pirates were going to worm their way out of baseball hell. If they pull this off, I get to poo-poo all over him.

And with Frankie Liriano pitching himself silly for the team? I couldn’t love them more.

I still get excited to check scores at night, but now it’s for another team. Don’t judge me, because I know most of you have another baseball team to be the delight of your dog days of summer.

Twins won. Pirates won. Guess everybody won, huh?

Leading With My Gut (Twins 2 Indians 7 - Game 128)

At Twins Fest, I told Liam Hendriks he was going to bounce back this year. I believed it in my gut. I told Kubel the same thing before his final year with the Twins, and look how well he did. I left that autograph line smugly convinced I’d heralded the coming of greatness.

Now, Hendriks only cameos with the Twins, and he gave up 7 runs on 7 hits in under 5 innings. More proof – if any was needed – that gut instincts tend to be the end result of finishing a story as best you see fit, not as the evidence suggests it will happen.

If your gut ever let you down, tip a beverage to all things statistical. Imagine what baseball teams would look like if everyone led with their guts.

Body Blows (Twins 1 Indians 3 - Game 129)

Pelfrey was another gut instinct nightmare for me.

I can’t help it. Once I think a pitcher’s going to break out, I never give up that belief. Pelfrey got filed in my “Watch That Man” bin and he’ll never leave, even if he develops a life-threatening allergy to baseballs or is shot into space. You’d think I still believed in Santa Claus.

Pelfrey gave plenty of evidence that he will not be the Twins pitcher of the future. He was edged out by Cleveland pitcher Scott Kazmir, another pitcher from my “Watch That Man” file. Kazmir’s probably not reaching the pantheon of greatness, either. My gut instincts need a few thousand crunches and a double dose of reality.

Twins lose. Pirates lose. I was riding high back on Friday.


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