So we got 4 tickets to last night’s Twins/White Sox game from a National Night Out drawing a month ago. At the time the Twins were in a downward spiral without much upside. I was down on the squad. Field loves to go to games as much as I do so we planned it out. It fell on his cousin’s 5th birthday so we took him and my brother-in-law. I got excited a few days ago when it became apparent that it would be Johan Santana against Freddy Garcia — a clash of Venezuelan stud pitchers. What a game it was.This game had everything; great pitching, amazing fielding (three wall-rocking-game-saving catches), and one moment that will live in Twins lore for ages. Santana gave up a hit on the first pitch of the game, so I figured at least if the game was in hand (or out-of-hand) inthe 7th, we’d be able to sneak out if the kids were getting antsy. Everytime Santana pitches you’ve got a shot at seeing a no-no. Santan was masterful as he has ever been but the real story was Garcia. A no-hitter (although I’d have scored Cuddyer’s ball down the third base line a hit as opposed to the official scoring of E5) through 7 innings was something to see. Jacque Jones came to the plate to start the 8th and swung for the fences — which he accomplished with a monster shot to right-center. Garcia didn’t even turn to watch. With that one curveball he lost the no-hitter, the shutout and the game.
The crowd noise was unbelievable — the loudest I’ve heard at a game since game 6 of the World Series in 1987 (number 2 on my list of great baseball games I’ve attended). Nathan came in and apart from the walk he gave up shut them down in the ninth for the save.
Try to imagine giving up only one hit in 8 innings and losing the game. It’s pretty rare. In fact it’s only the second time in 106 years of White Sox baseball that it has ever happened. It’s also only the second time in Twins history that they’ve won a game with only one hit (that happened just over 41 years ago).
Best Twins game of my lifetime? Maybe not (remember Jack Morris’ performance in game 7 of the 1991 World Series?), but damn close in that regard also.
One more great aspect — the game was over in 2 hours and 8 minutes. Sheer (almost) perfection.