August 16, 2010 – It was an interesting afternoon at Target Field today as I watched the Twins beat the Oakland A’s 4-2 yesterday and in the process sweep the A’s and extend their winning streak to four. The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the third when Kubel hit a ground rule double with two runners on base and had the ball stayed in play the Twins would have scored a second run.
But it wasn’t long before I looked at the scoreboard to verify what I was thinking, Slowey still had not given up a hit and he was looking pretty sharp. Couple that with some nice fielding plays behind him, like the leaping grab Repko made in left in the top of the 6th inning and things were going well for Slowey and the Twins. As the game progressed into the 6th and 7th inning Slowey started to labor a bit but he still had a no hitter on the board after 7 innings and the Twins were still leading 1-0. In the bottom of the 7th Jim Thome hit a 3-run home run, a rocket shot to right field and suddenly the Twins were up 4-0.
Would Slowey come out to pitch in the 8th inning? At this point he had walked 3 A’s, hit one, and another A’s batter reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Casilla. His pitch count was sitting at 106 which is usually the end of the line for a Twins starter in recent years. I’m wondering if Gardy pulls him in the middle of a no-hitter. Jon Rauch was warming up. Slowey had skipped his last start on Wednesday due to a tender elbow. All signs pointed to Slowey not coming out to pitch in the 8th but still in the back of my mind I hoped he would. Then the bullpen gate opened and Rauch was headed for the mound. I did what my heart told me to do, I gave Gardy and Rauch a resounding boo! Then with one out Rauch gave up back-to-back doubles and the no-hitter and the shutout were gone. I gave Rauch a couple more boos for good measure.
I understood the situation, but I wanted to see a no-hitter, having never witnessed one in person I wanted to cross that off my bucket list but it was not to be today. As I sat on the bus that was taking me back to the Cty Road 73 Park & Ride I thought about what had transpired and I realized that I had nothing to be upset about. Long term this is probably the best thing for Slowey’s health but…….. this was a shot at a once in a life time event for most pitchers. Looking at it from Gardy’s perspective, it was a no-win situation but he took a tough stand and made the hard decision, you have to give the man credit for that. Like I said, it was a fun and interesting day at the old ballpark today and things like this are what make baseball the game it is.