The first weather-affected game goes against the Twins, as the Red Sox get the clutch hits and take the middle game of the three-game series. The Twins offense was dreadfully pathetic, as they couldn't come up with the big hit all game long. The key at-bat in the game came in the seventh inning, when the Twins loaded the bases with two outs. Boston was up a run at 3-2 and brought in Hideki Okajima to face Justin Morneau. Morneau, predictably, popped up -- just about as pitiful of an at-bat as you could come up with. Jesse Crain then returned to his old self in the top of the eighth by surrendering three insurance runs to effectively put the nail in the coffin. Those three runs were driven in by none other than Jeremy Hermida, no doubt the weak link in the Boston lineup. What Crain's history will tell you is that when he struggles, all that he can figure out to throw is a straight fastball, and that's when bad hitters like Hermida can feast on Crain. Many people were expecting big things from Crain this year, but I'm pretty skeptical. The only big thing I see from Crain in 2010 is his ERA (hey-o!). Worth mentioning as well is Michael Cuddyer's fly-out to end the game. He represented the tying run and of course failed to deliver. His home run in the eighth was classic Cuddyer -- a meaningless homer that pads the stats and looks good on his baseball card. If he would ever hit a homer that would actually mean something...
Kevin Slowey pitched poorly, barely getting through five innings and obviously struggling to pitch through the weather. As mentioned before, Crain's terrible outing put a stain on the bullpen's overall impressive start to the season, and they'll be getting some help in the form of Ron Mahay, who was called up from extended spring training. Alex Burnett drank his cup of coffee and he's back to Rochester and will likely sink into Twins oblivion. The Mahay call-up has everything to do with Jose Mijares, who's looked as good as a pregnant woman on roller skates so far this year. As Hank eluded to yesterday, to see Ron Gardenhire put Brian Douchebag late in the game for multiple innings is a plan waiting to backfire. Mahay's endurance is questionable, however -- he's always been a lefty to face a batter or two; certainly not full innings. In a sense, the Twins got an emergency pinch-hitter, too. Some may be surprised to hear that Mahay first broke into the big leagues as an outfielder for the Red Sox. His numbers translate to a Nick Punto-esque kind of career at the plate, so it's a great thing that he turned out to be left-handed, because he's made quite a career for himself out of pitching exclusively to left-handed batters.
Just as a quick sidenote, we are officially nine games into the season (that's 153 to go!) and Dick Bremer is already in pennant chase mode. In the middle of Wednesday's game, he was giving all-too-frequent-for-the-middle-of-April updates on the Kansas City-Detroit game, saying that it'd be a "good thing" if the Royals were able to beat the Tigers. Dude, it's APRIL. Last season is over -- there is no need to keep us apprised of the Tigers. For all we know, the Royals might be the team to catch this season -- it wouldn't be good for the Twins if KC won then, would it? Just do me a favor Dick: give it fifty games at least before you start blowing shit out of proportion. 50 games. That's all I ask.
Photos: AP/Andy King