The Twins won two out of three in their series against the Guardians. As luck would have it, we managed to go to the game they lost. It would’ve been much more fun if we attended the game where the Twins put up twelve and Royce hit his first home run, but we did not. We got the low scoring game, where the teams went into extra innings tied one-all.
The cliché holds true, though. A bad night at the ballpark is still a good night. I went in good company and enjoyed the conversation. The weather was nearly perfect – just a little cold when we staggered into extra innings. The skyline, and the pale blue sky above it, deepened into darkness in a beautiful, natural way.
Target Field is home for me. Now that we only get to one or two games a year, I have to drink in all of the experience and savor it for months. I will hold on to memories, like the cheeseburger and root beer I missed Urshela’s solo shot while buying. Seeing Rocco Baldelli get ejected after a Guardian baserunner crashed into Miranda and went bam-kaboom down into the dirt. Rolling my eyes when fans tried to start the wave and refusing to clap along with clap-along songs – Are there two clap-along songs now? Terrified of Kris Lindahl’s stretchy, seventh-inning arms. Wondering what that woman was doing, waggling a stuffed fish near the Twins’ dugout. Taking pictures of Duran, who I just found out is referred to as the “Durantula,” and I like that. Being annoyed with fans who walk in front of me while the ball is in play.
I’ve noticed I have a very specific response to good plays. I yell “yup!” and clap my hands a few times. Same word, same claps. Same vocal inflection. Nice and understated, like a Midwesterner should cheer.
As Meat Loaf said, two out of three ain’t bad. But it wasn’t enough to wash the taste of that Astros sweep from my mouth. Especially because of the game we watched. The Twins got hits. They put people on the bases. They just couldn’t get them across home plate. My wife said they didn’t have a lot of pop, and as she is in most things, my wife is right. This is a good team. They just need to get better at administering the coup de gras when they have the chance.
Of course, there were a lot of young players on the field last night. Buxton didn’t play Saturday night, even though I wished really, really hard he’d show up to pinch hit in the ninth or tenth. Correa is still out. I find myself silently willing Miranda to start hitting well. Like he’s my younger brother. I just don’t want him to get discouraged. We need to all chip in on a basket of muffins or something.
Now it’s time to take the Twins show on the road. We’d better do well against Oakland, even though the games will start too late for an old man like me to listen to. I’ll hold onto my memories and check the scores in the morning.