Saturday, April 23, 2011

A useful rainout

A reprieve from the good god Jupiter Pluvius helped us weather the seventh day of the second half of the season. We were down, and the Giants, clodhoppered and merciless, were anxious to kick us right in our pitching staff, which hurt the most. A brief but violent thunderstorm presented the Cincinnati front office with a chance to cancel the July 11 game. A sellout crowd was advised at six o'clock that there would be no game. At eight o'clock the skies cleared, the moon shone, and the Giants screamed.
-- "Pennant Race," by Jim Brosnan

Even in the rain, a trip to Target Field is
worth commemorating with a self portrait.
Friday's rainout was legitimate, and it was legitimately to the Twins advantage, or so it would appear.

Had they played Friday, the Twins would again have been without Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, Delmon Young and Tsuyoshi Nishioka. There's no guarantee they will all be in the lineup when the game is played (either in July or September), but the odds are pretty good.

There's another factor here: Right now, Cleveland is 13-6, leading the division, and feeling pretty good about themselves. The Twins are 7-12 and filling the basement.

In the fullness of time, these relative positions are not likely to maintain themselves. Manny Acta, the Cleveland manager, has it right: The title chase still runs through Minnesota.

The weather-induced pause gives an opportunity to reflect on the Twins just-completed 3-5 road trip, and specifically to wonder if there isn't a silver lining to it.

Joe Nathan blew two leads in St. Petersburg, Fla., early in the trip. Imagine he'd protected one of those leads. He's still be the closer — even with diminished stuff. 

The Twins may well be better off having had that reality check on Nathan. Now they know, and he knows (which is just as important), that they're better off not entrusting key innings to him.

By the time this game is actually played, that too may change.

1 comment:

  1. I was sitting on the train heading back to the Megamall after the rainout last evening, and a couple guys were shooting their mouths off about how stupid it was to call off the game. They were full of hot air.

    It was rainy, cold, and windy. It was miserable weather, and I really didn't want to sit there and watch a ball game under those conditions while my cold advanced towards pneumonia.

    My son and I were fortunate to run across a couple rooms called "Twins Pub" that were warm and had great views of the field and stadium, as well as liquid refreshment and very friendly and helpful staff. It made our wait for the rainout announcement much more bearable than when we sat up topside in our seats. Even tucked up under the canopy it was cold and wet, as the wind blew the rain onto us.

    After so many years in the dome, I had never actually experienced a rainout at a Twins game before. It turns out it was a good day for one.