7 games back. That's where the Twins were a month or so ago, trying desperately to catch-up to the Detroit Tigers. Several great games and a valiant effort from the Twins ball club, plus a few Detroit losses put us in a play-off match-up to proceed to playoffs.
Luckily, a friend managed some tickets. So, 5 of us, including McGruff, raced to the Dome yesterday for a 4:00 start. Traffic was monsterous. McGruff met me at a local bar (for free parking) and we ran/walked the mile to the dome. Meeting our friends in the rain, making our way to our seats only a few batters into the game.
The Dome was packed. Homer Hankies waved. Constant clapping, yelling, cheering. I bet we stood for more than half the game. The noise was near deafening. The Tigers took an early lead by 4. The Twins, in usual fashion, bounced back, tieing the game up. It was a back-and-forth game. They'd get runners on, we'd shut them down. We'd get runners on, they'd shut us down. They scored, we scored. We teeter-tottered on into 12 innings. The Tigers had bases loaded, and we managed to hold them scoreless. We got a guy on, no outs. Next batter sac grounder, to advance the runner to second. We are screaming our heads off. Can't believe the opportunity (like many of the previous innings). Casilla comes up to the plate, he seems calm. The crowed is clapping, chanting, cheering. He cracks a grounder between second and first. Our runner is moving, fast as his legs will carry him. He rounds third and makes it home, diving across the plate. The Twins WIN, 6-5! For 15 or more solid minutes erruption of cheer soars throughout the dome. Cameras flash. High-fives, hugs, screams of delight. The Twins are Central Division Champions, on their way to play in NYC - playoffs.
Earlier in the day, it had occurred to me that this was my & McGruff's second live Twins game. One day short of 6 months after we met. Again, a Tuesday night.
Once we finally made it out of the stadium and back to my car, we started to reminisce. Hey, the night we met, that was a great Twins game, too. They won in the bottom of the ninth that game. So, McGruff, curious, searches on his phone for the game recap from our first Twins game together.
Him: "Ha, they won that game 6-5 as well."
Me: "Really, are you serious? That's funny."
Him: "Yeah, 6-5." then he starts to read the inning-by-inning recap of the game. He gets to the 9th inning and laughs. "Alexi Casilla drilled a two-run single to cap a three-run ninth-inning comeback and gave the Twins their first victory of the regular season in dramatic fashion."
Me: "Shut up. No Way. That's exactly what happened tonight! Are you making that up?"
So he shows me the recap, I read it.
Me: "How funny. That's really weird that the game ends with the same batter hitting the winning RBI, to finish with the same score."
(I guess I haven't blogged about the night McGruff and I met...it was at a Twins game. A set-up, un-beknownst to me. It went rather well, I'd say. A fun game, and a great match-up.)