I went to play tennis at the end of the seventh inning of Wednesday's game, looking forward to coming back and writing about the Twins' fourth consecutive victory, their very impressive 7-2 homestand, and them pulling within 3 games of the Tigers. Brian Duensing had pitched seven excellent innings (where has all this come from??) and the Twins had overcome two aggregiously bad calls by the umpires.
First, was the obvious call on Cuddyer's catch against the wall, which was overturned and called a double. Replays clearly showed he made the catch, but Duensing pitched around it and made it a moot point. The second was the pitch that was called a strike against Jason Kubel with 2 outs and the bases loaded on a 3-1 count. I'm not one who normally complains about strikes and balls, as I usually feel as if it evens out and the mistakes are never that bad, but this was awful. It was a straight fastball that was at least six inches outside, had absolutely no business being called a strike, and was at a critical juncture of the game. I don't blame Kubel for bending over to take off his shin protector, but he shook it off and came up with a big 2-RBI single anyways.
I won't dwell on the last inning, as I didn't watch it and am glad I didn't. Overcoming a 2-run deficit in the eighth inning (as it was when I left) is disappointing enough, but to see that the Twins were ahead by 2 with one out to go--and twice within one strike of winning--was heartbreaking. And it didn't end there, as Matt Guerrier only made Joe Nathan's outing messier by allowing the go-ahead run and another on top of it.
It's just one game, but it's one really gut-wrenching game.