Your place for Minnesota Twins and New Britain Rock Cats coverage, analysis and opinion.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Baltimore Game 4 . . . 2 Days Late

I made it to Camden Yards for the final game of the Twins-Orioles series. Because the Orioles have been so bad in recent years, tickets are easy to come by. We ended up sitting 2 rows above the Twins dugout, and were surrounded (mostly) by Twins fans, many from Minnesota. It was a very friendly group, and it was awesome to hear this section yelling the Twins players' nicknames (Koobs, Cuddy, etc.). It was also neat to see media "personalities" and Twins' heroes Bert Blyleven and Tim Laudner in the Twins' dugout chatting up players and doing their homework before the game.

For those that have never been, Camden Yards is an excellent stadium, one of the best places to watch a ballgame. We arrived early for batting practice, and a few guys, including Cuddyer, Thome and Valencia, did not disappoint. Similarly, the Twins did not disappoint. Scott Baker was dealing all night long. His fastball was lively, and there were only a few well struck balls against him. In fact, he was so dominant that I never felt that the game was in jeopardy with him on the mound, despite the Twins' small lead.

Hero of the game: Jim Thome. I haven't seen him play, in person, since he played for the Cleveland Indians. I suppose we have both aged. It was pretty cool to see home run # 591 from about 50 feet away. Although it wasn't hit quite as far as his home run earlier this year at Target Field, this was a well struck baseball, reaching the bleachers in center field; most importantly, it got the Twins on the board early in the game, something which has been lacking in 2011. Later in the game, Thome delivered a single with runners in scoring position - - again, another statistic in which the Twins have been lagging. Michael Cuddyer hit a no-doubter to straight-away left field, Matt Capps pitched well in the ninth, and I think Alexi Casilla even singled and scored somewhere in there (on Thome's single), so it was a pretty good game, and, most importantly, a Twins' victory.

It's great to write about the Twins, and to listen to the games on the radio, or watch the games on tv, but the best thing of all is live, outdoor baseball. Further, on a personal level, I connected with a childhood friend and fellow Minnesota native who now lives "in the beltway," so it was a great opportunity to share baseball with another Twins fan.

Finally, Baltimore being the home of my childhood hero, Cal Ripken, Jr., I had to get a picture with his plaque on Eutaw Street.

No comments:

Post a Comment