Miguel Sano

Photo Gallery – Twins vs Tigers – July 12, 2015

I‘ve been fortunate to maintain contact with a few of my friends from the small North Dakota community where I grew up.   The week leading up to the all-star break I was emailing one of these friends.   He indicated his plans for the weekend included attending the Twins/Tigers series at Target Field with his father and brother.   He then added that they had an extra ticket for Sunday’s game and wondered if I was interested.   So sure enough Sunday morning I was up early and headed north on I-35, destination Target Field.

Being able to make such a spur of the moment trip requires a wonderful wife, which I am blessed with.   When I mentioned the trip to her, she said, “you better go!”   So thanks to my wife and a long time friend I was sitting in the third row behind the visitors’ dugout on a sunny July day at Target Field.

I had a number of reasons to look forward to this game.   My favorite Twins player from the previous decade, Torii Hunter, was back in a Twins uniform.   Second, this would be my first chance to see Kyle Gibson pitch in person.   Finally, the Twins had two rookies I was looking forward to seeing in Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario.

Sano did not disappoint, in the first inning he reached down for a low pitch and hit it out out to left center field, his second career home run, giving the Twins and Gibson a 2-0 lead they never relinquished.   Rosario and Danny Santana each hit triples, Rosario in the third and Santana in the fifth.   Gibson cruised through seven innings, giving up one run (unearned) on four hits and two walks, while striking out six.   Trevor May pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to finish off a 7-1 Twins’ win.

Check out the attached photo gallery and feel free to comment or ask questions.


Photo Gallery – Twins vs D-Backs 9/24/2014

September 24 was the final day of the 2014 Target Field schedule for the Twins.   Even though it was a difficult season to be a Twins fan, the team was 67-90 going into the game, I was looking forward to seeing Phil Hughes pitch.   Hughes led the team to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As far as September days in Minnesota go, this one was pretty good, we had to endure a one hour rain delay in the eighth inning but the game was played in mid 60’s temperatures, great late season baseball weather.

Hughes was on his game this day.   He completed eight innings, giving up just the one run on five hits with no walks.   The pitch count showed 76 strikes and only 20 balls, which was consistent with how the former Yankee pitched the whole year.   I was hoping he would complete the game, but the rain delay in the middle of the eighth put a stop to that.

It was a quiet day at the plate for both teams.   The Twins were paced by Danny Santana, the rookie went  3-4 with a run and two doubles.   The only other Minnesota hit was a Brian Dozier single.

This game was my first chance to see Santana, Kennys Vargas, Eduardo Escobar and Hughes.   I knew Vargas was a big man, but I did not realize how big until I saw him in person.   I hope he can give the Twins the power hitter they need in the middle of the lineup.

I wanted to see this game because I felt it would be the last time I would see Ron Gardenhire manage the team, and that turned out to be the case.   The Twins needed to make a change after four consecutive 90 loss seasons, but Gardenhire had a good run, I estimate that I saw him manage the team in person about 35 times over the years.

I saw a much different game on this day then I did back on April 19 in Kansas City.   This 2-1 contest was fun to watch and moved at a fast pace up until the rain delay.   The game in April with Kevin Correia struggling and the defense having problems behind him was slow and sluggish.   Gone were Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello and Pedro Florimon, replaced by Oswaldo Arcia, Santana and Vargas.

I took lots of photos of this game and some of them are posted in this gallery.   Enjoy the pictures and comment if you wish.

Photo Gallery – Twins at Royals – 4/19/2014

The Twins visited Kansas City on April 19, 2014 to play the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.  I was fortunate enough to be there on a nice spring day to catch the game and take some photos.   In this early season game the two teams entered the game with almost identical records, 8-8 for the Twins and 8-7 for the Royals.   The game ended 5-4 in favor of the home town team (click here for box score).  As we know now these two teams headed in opposite directions the remainder of the season.   The Twins finished the year last in the AL Central with a 70-92 record.   The Royals earned a wild card playoff spot and fell one game short of a world series title, losing game seven to the Giants 3-2.

In this game Kevin Correia started for the Twins and lasted six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks, his second loss of the season.   Bruce Chen earned an unspectacular win for the Royals, logging five innings and giving up four runs on eight hits and four walks.

The bright spot for the Twins was Kurt Suzuki, he managed two hits in four at bats and hit his first home run as a Twin, he also drove in three runs.  Chris Colabello managed two hits and raised his average to 0.359 on the season.

There were some firsts and lasts for me in this game.   This was my first opportunity to see Micheal Tonkin and Caleb Thielbar pitch live.   It was also my first live look at Josmil Pinto, and as mentioned above, I saw Suzuki’s first home in a Minnesota uniform.   As for lasts…………..   Unless the Twins decide to him back, this was the last time I saw Jason Kubel in a Twins’ uniform.   Although it was a difficult final year for him, I appreciate the many good years Kubel gave the Twins.   Finally, and sadly, it was the last trip to Kansas City for a Twins’ game in my 2001 Hyundai Elantra.   Since 2002 I had made more than a dozen trips to KC in that car, but after 170,000 miles and the two best things in my life coming along (my wife and son) the car had to be retired.   We will have a different set of wheels in KC in 2015.

So it was not an eventful game and the Twins came up short, but anytime you can sit in the stands on a 75 degree day and watch some major league baseball you have to count yourself lucky.   Enjoy the photo gallery, please comment on the pictures if you are so moved.

My Twins Mt. Rushmore

Back in 2002 I traveled to Mt. Rushmore for the first time; since then I’ve always imagined what four faces I would put on a Twins Mt. Rushmore. I think we can refer to these four by their nicknames and you will know who I’m talking about.