The Red Sox have had this horrible habit the last couple of years of following up an awesome run-scoring performance with a really terrible one. I am a firm believer in the whole law of averages thing, so anytime I see a 10+ run game I know there are going to be some poor scoring games to balance it out, but the Red Sox are impressive in consistently balancing it out the game immediately following it. At this point, however, I was still naïve and optimistic, so I had good feelings going into the third game.
This is the first time I’ve actually bought our tickets directly from the team- usually I go for StubHub because I don’t plan far enough in advance and a lot of teams sell out pretty early or choose to go through a secondary market like Ticketmaster. However, I wasn’t finding any great deals for the part of the field I wanted to sit (down on of the foul lines close to the field), so in my searches I stumbled upon buying directly from the Twins. In this case, it was a much better deal than equivalent seats in any of the secondary market sites, so it’s now something I check and check early (individual game tickets go on sale as early as December depending on the team).
We sat along the right field line just past first base a few rows up from the field. We didn’t have a lot of shade again, but thankfully it wasn’t nearly as hot as the day before. It was the perfect baseball weather and great baseball seats!
Rick Porcello would go on to win the Cy Young award this year and dealt pretty well this game- he gave up a couple early but clamped down and gave us a shot. Unfortunately, in what would become a pattern, we followed up a great hitting performance with a terrible one. Still, the Red Sox managed to tie it in the 9th and give us some extra inning action! Despite not using Kimbrel, our reliever, yet that series (thanks to the complete game in game 1 and a blowout in game 2), the manager, Farrell, didn’t bring him in in the 10th when things got dicey (presumably he was saving him for later? Unclear). Instead, he put in Matt Barnes, who I will not comment on because I have nothing nice to say. The Twins loaded up the bases with 1 out and brought their young, struggling catcher to the plate. The Red Sox did this weird shift thing where they brought the right fielder in as an extra infielder (it was Mookie Betts, who had played infield in the minor leagues), but it didn’t really matter- that struggling hitter blasted one to right field to hit a walk off grand slam- his first home run ever. Yikes. Twins fans were stoked and I cursed Farrell and Matt Barnes all the way to the car.
We ate breakfast at Melissa’s again and got some snacks at the game. Before we hit the road, we stopped and ate at this Irish pub called Shamrocks in St. Paul. You know those claw games that scam kids into putting tons of money into it because they think they’re so close to getting a stuffed animal prize? We this place had one of those, but instead of stuffed animals, the claw picked up live lobsters in a pool of water. If you caught the lobster, they cooked it for you for free. Jake had brought some money for the trip and had some left over, so he went to try his luck. I was not super optimistic- they don’t just give away free lobsters easily and the whole water distorting your vision thing made it seem impossible to me. So naturally, Jake won first try. They cooked the lobster for him, and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty horrible. They don’t have lobster on their menu so clearly the only time they have to cook it is the rare occasions when someone wins. But it was still a cool story to tell! Other than that, there was nothing particularly remarkable about the place- just a good spot to get some grub before the long trek home!
In the morning, Melissa and I went to a farmer’s market that was near her house and right by St. Paul’s independent baseball team stadium. It seemed like a cool venue from the outside and the team has a bit of a cult following in the city- Bill Murray is a partial owner and it apparently has quirks up the wazoo during games. Definitely planning on checking out a game there in the future- they were unfortunately out of town the weekend we were there.
Before this game, the Twins had a couple of players out to sign autographs for kids- the stand we went to had two relief pitchers, but after we hit that up we went down near the field and got the mascot and some of the every day players who were in the dugout, including Byron Buxton, one of the best prospects in the game (if he can ever learn to hit). Jake enjoyed it and it was something we definitely wouldn’t have done without him, so it was cool to take part in that!
If I can help it, I’m probably never driving to Minneapolis again- 12 hours was too long and I would rather pay the extra money to fly and not lose a full 24 hours of the trip driving. But this trip was great and I can’t wait to go back to Minneapolis and check out some of their other stadiums!
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.