Game 139 // Third Inning, Seattle // The Twins Are Back

TOP OF THE THIRD: TWINS 10 (5) – 0 MARINERS

 

There was the era of Kaat, Carew, Oliva, Killebrew.

Then Puckett and Hrbek.

And on to Mauer, Morneau, Torii Hunter.

Does a new one begin right now?

 

 

 

It’s the top of the third inning out in Seattle, the Twins up 5-0, behind a lineup of the nationally unfamiliar: Garver, Polanco, Buxton, Cron, Rosario.

 

Names that don’t, maybe beyond Byron Buxton, yet ring a bell.

Names of a team yanking on that bell like Baseball Quasimodo, ringing out for all to hear, until enough plaudits come their way—up to their forgotten northern corner of America. 

 

The land of Paul Bunyan and Jerry Lundegaard.

 

Where the these Minnesota Twins have gotten something brewing.

Holding the second best record in baseball.

29-15.

 

 

At the start of this third inning, C.J. Cron homers. Then Miguel Sano goes yard.

Already 7-0. 

LeBlanc is taken out of the game, replaced by Parker Markel—who picked a peck of pickled peppers—candidate king of the Names from Childhood Storytime branch of major-league baseball. 

Beside their majesties Coco Crisp, Boof Bonser, Darryl Strawberry.

 

 

Markel comes in after the break, with a walk to Jason Castro, an infield single given up to Jorge Polanco, and then…

A chorus of Coors Light drinking 2000s-era bros chime in from faraway, in the homes of Minnesota nation:

 

“I love pom-poms and short skirts… and those [Minnesota] Twins!”

 

 

 

 

These slovenly, outdatedly cringeworthy voices, if they really are out there, seem to strike a chord in Jonathan Schoop—standing at the plate with a slider from Markel coming his way.

“And… Twins!” is in his head, Markel’s head, the fans’ heads, seeming to ring out around T-Mobile Park, with the stroke of his bat, as he connects and sends the ball flying over the left-field wall.

These Twins taking a 10-0 lead.

 

 

 

“You throw 96 miles an hour,” says one of guys on the Twins’ broadcast. “And you’re playing around with your slider? I’m just scratching my head.”

 

It’s the fifth time this year the Twins have hit at least five home runs.

 

Tonight, they’ve batted around twice in back-to-back innings.

 

 

 

By the end of the night, it was 18-4.

The Twins ahead in the A.L. Central by 5.5 games.

The best they’ve been in years.

30 wins, and 15 losses, a pretty little ratio.

 

 

 

And so, with this unsung group of Buxton, Polanco, Cron, Rosario, Garver…

 

Are we getting back to the times when the Twins were good?

 

 

 

 

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