Game recap, 8/9
Felix is our king.
That’s the only thing I’ve got on my scorecard under “scorer’s notes”. I’m not sure that there’s much else to be said.
Hernandez looked amazing, flat dominating. He came out throwing fastballs, changed up, then went back later, and all game the Twins batters would walk back to the dugout with expressions that read “I can’t believe I’m going to have to face this guy for the next five seasons. Maybe I should switch leagues.” His stuff is flat wicked, and there’s something about seeing it in person, too, that’s electric — a batter whiffs on something and I’d think “What the heck was that?” (and Jonah, out loud, would say “What the heck was that?”)
The crowd was the most excited I’ve been to a game with in a year, easily — and part of it goes beyond the hype. Because, honestly, a fair portion of the crowd doesn’t know who the kids are (fan to Snelling as he chased down one of the few well-hit balls: “Go get it, Raul!”). It was because after being beat down for two years, watching start after start after start of pitch-to-contact garbage outings, where a highlight would be a quality home Moyer start, we saw something entirely different. And it made us think of Randy Johnson and other pitchers from years back who could dominate a game like this, keeping the ball in the infield, striking hitters out, seeming to leave them no option but to go down in order.
We could stand up and cheer with two strikes, because two strikes didn’t mean an almost certain ball in play — it could be a crazy breaking pitch or some wicked inside heat for the strikeout. It was worth paying attention and becoming emotionally invested in the game and in the pitcher, because unlike Meche, or Pineiro, or Franklin, if Hernandez can stay healthy he’ll be leading the next Mariner charge for a pennant. It was more than a pleasant evening at the ballpark.
I haven’t been as involved and happy to be at a game in years, and I get too worked up about four hour 8-9 dirges. This was something else, and I’m glad I was there.