Game 122 // Sixth Inning, Pittsburgh // Baseball Winterland

TOP OF THE SIXTH: TWINS 6 (2) – PIRATES 3

 

The bullpen guys are rubbing their arms together, hopping around in their coats—as if whoever looks goofiest might be the last one picked to pitch.

It’s snowing, in April.

Whitecaps are swarming the surface of the Allegheny River.

A fleet of pirate ships are stuck in the ice. Clint Hurdle’s pegleg has frozen. His parrot has died. His eye patch whitens with frost. He begins to mumble, his teeth chattering, an old verse from he knows not where:

 

Ivan Nova on the mound, and Eddie Rosario hits a pop-up a mile in the air over the plate. Cervelli can’t tell snowflake from baseball, specks of white spinning around the sky in deranged circles—the ball going foul in the wind, then fair, foul again, then shooting back down into the atmosphere with a thud on the infield grass five feet behind Nova’s back.

Up and out of the cold, the TV guys shout in mental clarity a command: “Double play! Double play! Double play!” Josh Bell runs and picks up the ball, throws half-unsure to first, Josh Harrison gloves it and whips over to third as Brian Dozier dashes over from second—safe under the tag. 

The [technically correct] line on the MLB Gameday feed goes like this:

 

 

 

Rosario “grounds out”.

And from that strange luck turn, the Twins, in their wintry, way-north Midwestern way, channel their inner Paul Bunyan, take out their ax, and start hacking away at the Pirat—

Wait a second. 

* Goes on Wikipedia. Goes on YouTube. *

Could this be? I’m tired and I’m at an airport and growing weary. But… I think I’m not dreaming this one up this time.

 

 

Well, with that, I’m going to have to get off the computer and live the rare high that comes from tapping into the Great Synchronicity.

Before I do, let’s just say the Twins were built for this kind of game.

Look at Fernando Rodney. Just look at him. 

 

 

Minnesotans are built for this.

And in that sixth inning, the Twins went all Bunyan-esque indeed.

Morrison doubled home a run, then Escobar, then Buxton. Four runs in all. A 6-3 lead.

Pirate ships were splashed. Snowed upon. Frozen. Sunk.

Their hopes for a 162-0 season ended, at the icy bottom of the Allegheny.

And the Twins?

Do you know what comes next?

Their home opener.

A gift from weather heaven.

 

  

 

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