Despite the scary incident above, Twins hurler Nick Blackburn suffered only minor injuries during yesterday’s 5-1 win over the Yankees. Amazing what kind of stuff pops up when you google “Bobby Abreu” and “balls to the face”. NSFW notions aside, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Patrick Reusse — who presumably pays face value for his Twins tickets — considers the modest crowds at the Metrodome this weekend “evidence the local sporting public remains more focused on the shortcomings of the ’08 Twins than on the division standings.”
Tickets sold for the first three games of this Yankees’ series have been a lukewarm 94,108, with an expectation for a mere 20,000 tonight.
When you can’t average 30 grand for the New Yorkers, there are issues that go beyond gas prices with your customer base. And when you’re 87,000 behind the 2007 pace and already have played host to the Red Sox and the Yankees on a weekend, it’s clear many fans are more interested in pouting over the whereabouts of Johan Santana and Torii Hunter than watching Carlos Gomez and Justin Morneau travel the bases at their varied speeds.
Santana’s whereabouts, are of course, Flushing, where the anchor of the Mets’ rotation collected his 100th career win with 7 2/3 strong innings (1 run, 6 hits, 6 K’s) against the punchless Dodgers. For the second straight day, Carlos Beltran made Shea’s right-field scoreboard his personal bullseye, a 3rd inning, 2-run HR off LA’s Hiroki Kuroda followed two at bats later by an equally impressive blast off the bat of Ryan Church (above), making his first start in right-field since suffering a concussion 8 days ago.
With full respect to a fantastic double play turned by David Wright, Luis Castillo and Carlos Delgado — all 3 infielders having to perform acrobatics major or minor (while Reyes made a fine stab to his right later, turning a DP with a subsequent scoop by Delgado) — the evening’s highlight came when the Wilpon Inc. A/V department chose to display a tribute to Joe Morgan on the Diamondvision. When Morgan, working Sunday’s game for ESPN, was shown in the broadcast booth above home plate, he received the sort of reception I’d ordinarily associate with Chipper Jones or Roger Clemens making an appearance at Shea. Must be those speedy, cruel blogs everyone’s reading.