Bull(pen) on Parade - one run allowed in the last three games of the series? I can dig the stingy.
I really hope that doesn't turn into a catchphrase around these parts.
And yes, I know the first game of this series was ugly in the later innings. I'm glad the boys got it out of their system, however, because the next three games were awesome. Piranhas? No. We're talking James Cameron designed, CGI-enhanced, flying - out of the ballpark that is - and devouring anything in their path. Piranha 2, baby. Only without the screaming bikini models.
If you'd have told me the Twins would only have driven in one run via base hit and two via sacrifice fly versus the Angels at Anaheim (where the Twins haven't one a series since 2002), yet come away with a 3-1 record, I would have been highly dubious at best. I probably would've snorted derisively and said, "Oh yeah? What are they gonna do, hit 9 home runs for 19 RBI?"
Which, I'm glad I didn't, because my brain would've exploded from the coincidence once the series ended.
And other than some early inning hiccups from Scott Baker, the starting pitching was pretty damn good, too. Especially Pavano (7 IP, 1 earned). Slowey managed to get himself out of some ugly jams tonight, so I'm willing to overlook his short 5 1/3 innings pitched.
Okay, on to the MotH (Men of the Hour, for those of you who've never read this blog, which I imagine is quite a few since I haven't updated in TWO FRIGGIN' YEARS):
There is no MotH. There is only a MotH when the Twins win. It's a little more incentive for the guys to give 110%, even though they don't read this blog.
I was tempted to go with Blackburn for 6.2 solid innings of one run ball - when your starting pitcher is that good, it takes a lot of pressure off the offense, which generally leads to better run production. But I'm not going with Nick. Sorry, the funny Pirate photomash will have to wait for another day.
I was also tempted to go with Justin Morneau, who's solo shot was the fourth (and winning) run of the game. But alas, the Star Wars photo mashup will have to wait for another day.
Instead, I'm going with John Rauch for closing this bitch out with a perfect ninth inning. Sure, it's only one game, but it was nice to see him step into the closer role and do a bang-up job. So you, John Rauch, are the Man of the Hour for Tuesday, April 6:
Yes, that's The Undertaker. Both guys are tall, like tattoos, and are the sort of chap you'd want to have your back in a bar fight.
So, for Game 3 of the four game series, who is the Man of the Hour?
There's actually two of 'em. It's my blog, I can do that.
First up, the man who hit a two-run dinger that gave the Twins the early lead, Justin ObiWan-Morneau-Bi:
And second is the starting pitcher who gave up one run in 7 innings, "Dancing" Carl Pavano:
Don't look at me like that. I can't be the only person who noticed his wind-up looks like the Hammer Dance.
Honorable mention goes to J.J. Hardy, who hit his second tater in as many games. If anyone has a favorite Hardy Boys novel cover, post a link to it in the comments section.
And for Thursday Night's Game? Man, it's a tough one. I was this close to going with Slowey, since he did only allow one run, but I don't know if he pitched long enough into the game to deserve it. Know what? It's his first game back after surgery in July of last year, so he does:
No photomashing needed - that picture is goofy enough. Although maybe I could add a porch swing and some sweet tea.
Honorable mention goes to Jim Thome. Damn, sir, that was one helluva shot. Keep it up and I'll have to make a tHomer Hankey reference.
I really hope that doesn't catch on.
Alright, then - the first series of the season was a smashing success. Bring on them Bitch Sox!