Recap: Twins vs. Cardinals Game 1

My legs hurt.

With the exclusion of Pat Neshek’s required preseason blow-up, today’s game went very well, both for the Twins and for myself while working at Target Field. I briefly talked with Parker Hageman of Over The Baggy after the game, and he told me that Neshek was only hitting 86 MPH on the radar gun, which is probably why he struggled so much today. That’s fine though, as long as he gets his kinks out before the season starts. I know that Carl Pavano received some complaints for giving up back-to-back home runs to Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus, but 3 runs allowed in 7 innings pitched with 5 strikeouts and no walks is a start that should make any pitcher proud.

Denard Span kicked the game off with a bang, didn’t he? Along with his leadoff triple, he also completed the difficult half of the cycle in his first two at-bats, while racking up the first Target Field hit, home run, run scored, and RBI by a major leaguer.

Fortunately, the Twins were able to turn to Anthony Slama to clean up Neshek’s mess in the 8th. He did allow one of Neshek’s runners to score, but when 4 runners had already scored and it’s in an exhibition game, allowing one more doesn’t really hurt. I know that I complained about the Twins and their seeming dislike of Slama in my second to last post, but they have to like him enough to let him come with the team to Target Field for these two exhibition games, and also let him pitch in at least one of the games.

It was really nice to see the crowd give Jacque Jones an extended standing ovation during his only at-bat, especially since he mentioned how rough it was while he played for the Chicago Cubs. I remember being really disappointed when I found out that the Twins didn’t want to re-sign Jacque after the 2005 season. It was also amusing when the fans in left field (above where I was stationed) started chanting Brian Dinkelman’s name, which continued while he batted later in the game. He hit the ball fairly well, but it ended up being caught in about medium-deep center field. I’m sure a home run from him would have driven those left field fans bonkers.

In terms of ushering, a new question that was commonly asked was where to go in order to smoke. My best answer is to go to any one of the gates, and people wearing Guest Services shirts or jackets will direct you where to go.

Lastly, Jon Rauch was recently named the closer of the Twins. This isn’t very surprising to me, since I figured the Twins coaching staff would act like most teams would, where the pitcher with the most closing experience would get first crack of being the new closer. In fact, I said that here:

First off, there is barely any doubt in my mind that the Twins (well, Gardy) will let Jon Rauch have first dibs on closing. He has the most experience (barely), and certainly provides an intimidating presence on the mound with being nearly 7 feet tall.

Almost seems like I was part of the decision-making process.


2 Responses to “Recap: Twins vs. Cardinals Game 1”

  1. RandyC Says:

    I thought it was kinda cool that Kyle Lohse was the starting pitcher for St. Louis.

    • Doctor_Teh Says:

      I agree. that was pretty cool. It seemed to be a well intentioned game all around, just sucks to see Neshek struggle, it worries me that that will hinder his usage early on in the season. What a start for Span though! Hope he has a great year.

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