Quasi play-by-play notes from the Twins' season opener

(unedited streamed thoughts typed as I was watching:)

Great to see Gomez sprint to take the field. First pitch of the game a strike, first 3 batters retired, 9 total pitches for Hernandez. Gomez starts the game with a double and scores with a Mauer hit. Hunter catches Cuddyer's short to right center amid a chorus of crowd noise. Morneau walks and Weaver hasn't thrown a slider for a strike yet. Delmon flies to Guerrero on the first pitch and Monroe flies out on one
pitch to Hunter (amid another chorus of noise). The strike zone has been pretty
wide, which is a good thing for Hernandez, a finesse pitcher who likes to eat at the
corners. Nineteen pitches for Weaver.

Anderson out in 3 pitches. Hunter is getting an ovation coming to bat, flies to
Cuddyer in short right in the second pitch. Kotchman singles, Cuddyer almost picked him off at first with a smart throw. Livan has been a master of the outside corner
so far tonight with a well working slider and change up. Force at 2nd. 6 outs, 20
total pitches for Hernandez. Weaver is wild with his 2-seamer also, Lamb growns out to the second baseman. Harris long fouls a hanging curve to the opposite field and
then takes a fourseamer down the middle for a called 3rd strike. Everett grounds out
, 3rd inning over. 30 total pitches for Weaver and all the new Twins' starters have
taken a taste of the Dome.

Napoli looks like Tim Laudner on the plate with Livan's 12-6 curve, K in 3 pitches.
Delmon throws out Figgins at the second base but the umpire calls him safe (very
clear at the replay). Man on second 2 outs, Matthews up, Livan working the inside
corner with a 2 seamer then a slow curve. The crowd gets behind Livan. Livan gets
Matthews on a slow grownder to the pitcher on a sinker. 3 outs, 39 total pitches,
the top of the Twins' order is up. Gomez bunts for a hit; head first slide on first.
3 throws on a row on 1st base by Weaver then ball high and out. Gomez steals second
on a pitchout. Man on 2nd no outs. 3-1, bouncer to the right, Gomez to 3rd with 1
out. Cuddyer out on 3 strikes, Morneau up & out to the second baseman.
Guerrero singles to the left, Anderson flies to Gomez, Hunter DPs to Harris, great
bare hand catch by Morneau (definite Webgem). 44 total pitches for Livan. Delmon
singles on a Texas leaguer on short right, Monroe up. Young steals 2nd on a hit and
run. Monroe stikes out. Lamb singles to right center, Young is in, 2-0 Twins.
Harris singles to center, Lamb to 3rd, Everett up, mount conference. Do I see a
bunt? Nope. Weaver's sliders are hitting the dirt now. Pickoff try (must have been
the 15th throw to the 1st base by Weaver). Fastball low 2-2. Double play to

5th inning, Angels' bottom of the order. Kotchman has a hit to right (2 for 2 in the game) Hernandez is getting a bit wild. Kendrick base hit to left. Man on 1st and
2nd no outs. Napoli singles to left. Bases loaded nobody out. Izturis up. Great
time for a strikeout. Double play, a run scores. Man on 3rd 2 outs. Figgins up.
strike one. 1-1 outside. 1-2. Crowd on their feet. 2-2. Mauer at the mound. 3-2
outside. Fastball inside low, base hit, right field. Score tied. Gary Matthews Jr
on the plate. 1-0 outside. 2-0 high. Gomez incredible running catch at right center
(another webgem, Torii who?). 65 pitches for Hernandez. 3-1 for Gomez, draws a walk.
Mauer takes a strike and another. Throw to first and another. Gomez off, steals
2nd. 1-2. 2-2. Mauer out to second basement, Gomez to 3rd 1 out, Cuddyer up. Single
at left on 1st pitch (slider), Gomez in, Twins 3-2. Morneau fouls a long one then
takes a strike down the middle. Another throw to 1st and another. Full count.
Cuddyer steals second on a missed hit and run. Morneau out. Young up. 1-2. 2-2 on
the dirt. Fies out to the right. Inning over. 85 total pitches for Weaver.
Guerrero grounds out to Everett. 2-1 to Anderson. 2-2. 2 foul balls. Curve. Flied
out to Delmon Young. Hunter up. Boos. Flies out to Gomez. Devine symmetry... 1-2-3
inning. 77 total pitches for Livan. Monroe grounds out to 2B. 2-2 to Lamb. Out at
the shortstop. Harris up. Nice slurve for a strike by Weaver. Harris get a double
with Izturis and Anderson both looking for the ball. (Noise please). Harris on 2nd 2
outs Everett on the plate. Oday warming up for the Angels. Everett flies to
Anderson. End of 6. Twins up 3-2. Weaver at 100 pitches.

Kotchman grounds out to Everett. Kendrick 2-0, 2-1 soft grounder to Hernandez, 2
down. Napoli flies out to Gomez. 1-2-3 inning. 84 total pitches for Hernandez. Gomez
up. 1-0. Foul ball 1-1. Sliden outside 2-1. Another one (and low) 3-1. Foul 3-2. K on
a curve on the dirt. Weaver is done, Oliver in, Mauer up. Mauer out at the
shortstop. Cuddyer up out at the shortstop. 7 done. Twins up 3-2.

Neshek in. One K (Izturis). Full count to Figgins. Foul ball, another foul and
another. Got him looking. 2Ks for Neshek. Matthews up, drops for a hit in shallow
left between Everett and Young for a double. Guererro up. Reyes is warming in the
bullpen. 1-0 outside. 2-0 outside. 2-1 foul straight back. 2-2 strike inside. Crowd
is in it. Way inside 3-2. Crowd yells. High fastball swing and miss. Stike 3.
Neshek strikes out the side. O'Day (a submariner) pitching for the Angels, Morneau up
grounds out to second. Nathan is warming up. Young hits throught the middle.
Kubbel PH for Monroe. 0-2. Texas league double on the left field. Kubel on second,
Young on third, Lamb is being intentionally walked. Bases loaded, Harris up, one
out. Punto PR for Lamb. 0-1. 0-2. Foul ball at right. K on a singing fastball. 2
out, Everett up. 0-1. Long foul, hr distance on the left field. Pop up to the left
fielder. Inning out.

Nathan in for the 9th. Anderson. 0-1, 1-1, 2-1, foul ball 2-2. Crowd is up. Fly
ball, Gomez has it. One out. Hunter up. Swing and a miss on a slider. 0-1. Another.
0-2. Another. Foul ball. Fastball inside 1-2. Broken bat foul. 1-2. High fastball
swing and a miss. K. 2 out. Kotchman up. Slider for a stike 0-1. BH swinging bat to
the pitcher. Willets running for Kotchman. Kendrick up. Foul 0-1, Foul 0-2. Crowd
is going. Up the middle Everett steps on the 2b bag for the last out. Twins win 3-2.

Tidbits & observations:

  • Impressed by the quality of Livan's pitching. He works the strike zone and changes speeds with ease and can throw strikes with all his pitches. He could be a great mentor for the Twins' young starters

  • Lamb's sideburns are rivaling Mauer's

  • Artificial turf likes Gomez

  • Gomex had a better game than Hunter

  • I think that Monroe should be more selective with his swings and run harder to the first base

  • Hernandez has the same ERA and record as Santana

  • Gomez's uniform is the dirtiest Twins' uni I've seen for a while

  • Neshek is on top of his game. (period)

Twins MVP: Gomez

Final score 3-2. WP: Hernandez 0-1; SV: Nathan (1)

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