Monday, June 22, 2020

Virtual Baseball: Maple Over Maeda in Rare Pitching Duel. Iceman Freezes in the Goodness.

In an almost unprecedented pitching duel in Minnesota today, the Big Maple overshadowed the Willowy Kenta Maeda, 1-0.

The sole run of the ballgame scored on an inside-the-park home run, when Twins outfielder Jake Cave tried and failed to make a shoestring catch on a sinking line drive off the bat of D.J. LeMahieu.  D.J. then tore around the bases, and managed to kick the ball out of the mitt of back-up catcher Tomas Telis at home plate.

The Yanks made the run stand up, thanks to Paxton's seven strikeouts, but also because of outstanding defense, as Gleyber Torres started two double-plays after making nifty grabs of hot smashes by the cold Twins, and Gio Urshela and LeMahieu started one apiece.  Brett Gardner managed to throw out Nelson Cruz trying to advance to third on a single, thereby thwarting yet another Minny rally.

But the pitcher who really put the finishing touches on the Yanks' eighth straight victory was Aroldis Chapman, "the Iceman," whose elusive servings from his freakishly frozen right hand tormented Twins hitters.  Entering the game in the bottom of the 8th with men on second and third, Chapman "iced" both Cruz and Miguel Sano, then sailed through a 1-2-3 ninth.

The win put the Yanks at 53-25, just four games behind the still-hot-to-the-touch TB Rays.  Twins fans were disappointed, of course, but much of the full house stayed on to cheer a rally for Jesse Ventura, who kicked off his longshot, independent campaign with a rousing, hour-long compendium of blather.

With the Dow having slipped all bonds of common sense and unemployment at record lows, no one is thought to have much of a chance at dislodging Donald Trump from the White House.  But Venture moved immediately into second place in most national polls, with the support of 21 percent of all respondents.

The leading candidate in the Democratic primary contest,  Minnesota's own Amy Klobuchar, is at -6 percent in the polls, a figure that was thought to be literally impossible to attain, until today.


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