Dateline: 16 October 2004, Running Cedar.
The Game scheduled at 10:00 between the Twins and the Yankees, with the Yanks having home field advantage.
Before this reporter gets into the game recap he would like to mention the superb work done by the Running Cedar grounds crew. If not for there hard work prepping the field this game would not have been played. As the Twins were the visitors they were up first facing Justin, a tough pitcher traded from the Red Sox during the summer. Jared drew a walk, Tommy drilled one to the right fielder for a double. An RBI single by Isaac scored Jared. Walks to Andy and Kyle sent Tommy home and a steal by Isaac finished the top of the inning. Score Twins 3-0.
The Twins sent Jared to the mound. Jared was throwing some good stuff and the leadoff batter drilled one to shallow left. Isaac advanced, got his nose under it and caught the ball for out one. The Twins players were starting to think that this was going to be an easy game. It was not to be. After a walk and some solid hitting by the Yankees, they had three runs and were looking for more. Jared has been in worse jams, so he took his time and struck out a batter for out two. With bases loaded a wild pitch triggered a runner from third to try and steal home. Kyle pounced on the ball, set his feet, and flipped to Jared who deftly applied the tag for out three. After one the score was tied up 3-3.
Top of the Second, Tommy walked, Isaac walked and then Tommy stole third setting up a score when Nick drove a shot back at the pitcher. Andy walked and Kyle, replicating Nick’s line drive beautifully, drove one back to the pitcher scoring Isaac and Nick. As the dust settled, the Twins were up 6-3. Jake came in walked one but threw heat after that. One strike out and two nice plays in the field retired the Yanks with no runs scored.
Top of the Third. Jared leads off with a walk and Tommy hits to a classic second Baseman to first baseman groundout that expertly moved Jared to second. Isaac goes down swinging. Jared steals third and later advanced to home on a wild pitch for another Twins run. This was the last score of the inning. Twins 7 Yankees 3. Jake repeated his performance from the second, allowing one man to get on and then shutting down the side with three strikeouts. At the end of 3 the score stands 7-3 Twins.
Top of the Fourth the lead off batter, Kyle draws a walk. The reporter thinks that the Yankees pitching staff was afraid to throw Kyle a strike because of his previous hit and his potential to drive one into the woods. Chris smashed a shot back to the pitcher advancing Kyle to second. Jake went down swinging and Kyle was picked of trying to steal third for a very odd double play (Strikeout, Tag out.) Later Tommy went down swinging. Jake went back to work in the bottom and decided to mix it up a bit. This time he struck out the first two, allowed one batter on and then struck out the fourth. So after 4 it was still Twins 7 Yanks 3.
Top of the Fifth and the Yankees went to their bullpen and brought in their big right hand closer, who struck out the side 1, 2, 3. Not to be outdone Coach Grossman signaled to the bullpen to bring in the ace closer Tommy Schmitt. As it began to rain, Tommy was rattled by the first batter who drilled one back to him. Tommy threw the ball to first but it was a little offline so the runner was safe. The next batter hit one to first where Jake scooped it up and tagged first for out one, but the runner who was on first advanced to second. He then moved to third on a wild pitch. The next batter struck out but not before the runner on third stole home. Tommy did not let one run rattle him because he knew that there was only one more out to go. The next batter hit a dribbler to Tommy who had to come off the mound to the first base line to field the ball. Jake was on first with right foot on the base and gloved hand extended. The runner was mere steps from first when Tommy fired a perfect throw to Jake at first for the out. And with the rain coming down the Umpire called the game with the Twins putting another one in the sin column. Final score Twins 7 Yankees 4.
Coach Goldstein was still grumbling a little and said, “We still need to stay awake out there especially at shortstop and second base. When the ball is hit to the shortstop, the second baseman needs to cover the base. We work that play all the time, but our guys sometimes still aren’t quite ready for it. Other then that I liked the hustle I saw out there.”
This reporter cornered coach Grossman and would not let him leave with out giving him a quote. He said, “I am very pleased with our progress. Our guys were more alert in the field today and are really starting to swing the bat. Christian and Kyle and Greg all got big hits today — I think are offense is going to start putting up some big numbers the rest of the season. Hats off to Jake for three outstanding innings of work on the mound. Finally, I am thrilled with all three of our catchers, Kyle, Isaac, and Nick — they are really getting in front of balls and making nice throws back to our pitchers. Our team has made tremendous progress. I really think we can play with anyone in the league.“
The 6-2 Twins will now face the undefeated Orioles in a thriller this coming Thursday night the 21st of October at Fox Mill District Park at 5:30PM. Tickets are moving briskly, but there are still some choice seats available for this game.