I had the privilege of attending Monday’s opener at the Metrodome between the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Mariners. Now for a few thoughts:
- First of all, it’s quite the atmosphere with 48,000+ at the Metrodome. Unfortunately, the Twins didn’t give them much to cheer about.
- Pretty cool to see some of the franchise’s legendary figures at the game. I know at one point on the field prior to the first pitch Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Tom Kelly were making the rounds.
- It was a tale of two halves for the Twins offense. For the first five innings, the Twins managed to get runners in scoring position and not score. In the final four innings, the Twins had just one baserunner, that being Joe Crede‘s one-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning in a five-run game.
- Speaking of runners in scoring position, the Twins really struggled in that department Monday. As far as I can tell, the Twins were 2-for-9 with RISP on Monday. Not terrible, but not great for a team that hit .305 in that department last year.
- All and all I thought Francisco Liriano pitched well. It’s hard to be too impressed when your starter gives up four runs in seven innings, but he didn’t walk anybody. In fact, every baserunner he put on scored (four hits – four runs).
- Did Carlos Gomez have a chance at catching Franklin Gutierrez‘s home run ball? It was hard to tell from the seats, but I thought he had a good jump. Did it just miss his glove?
- You can already sense Twins fans are quivering at the sight of the team’s bullpen. It was a 4-1 Mariners lead after Liriano left, and after a solid inning from Luis Ayala, the ‘pen struggled. Jesse Crain (or as I will now call him, "The Human Crain Delay") and Craig Breslow each walked batters in the ninth inning prior to Matt Guerrier giving up a two-run single to Jose Lopez to put the game out of reach at 6-1.
- Finally, it was a pretty big thrill for me to see Ken Griffey Jr. hit a home run. I know I’ve mentioned before what a big fan of his I was as a kid. Monday night was the first time I’ve ever seen him play in person, so seeing him hit a bomb in his second at-bat – much like the Shamwow – left me saying "Wow" every time his foot touched a bag as he rounded the bases. That was one of the coolest moments I’ve seen at a baseball game.