Tightrope Walking

Johan Santana broke the all-time Twins single-game strikeout record, fanning seventeen Rangers. As usual, a great pitching performance had to be a tightrope walk over rusty razor blades, broken glass, and spikes, since the offensive half only scored a single run.

Bill Veeck once said that "One of the great myths by which we live is that the 'real' baseball fan loves a 1-0 game and abhors a 'sloppy' 8-6 game. Even the most cursory studies show that fans love 8-6 games and are bored to death by classic 1-0 pitchers battles."

Now, I don't think Veeck's entirely right. I personally love to see a pair of great pitchers go toe-to-toe, mano a mano, and parry like champion fencers on the Harvard yard now and again. What's dull as hell are these 1-0 games over and over again. Not to mention the 1-0 pitcher's duel between Johan Santana--arguably one of the greatest pitchers ever to take the mound--and Kevin Millwood, who was once a very good pitcher and, while still decent, shouldn't hold a team like this one to four hits and a measly run.

But this has been the case all year. Like the Japanese, the Twins seem to be playing in an effort to avoid making the opposition lose face. This weekend, we took two of three, but were outscored 6-3, winning a pair of one-run contests that forced both Carlos Silva and Santana to be at the top of their game, the whole damn game. Against Texas, one of the worst teams in baseball. These acrobatics have gotta wear a man down.

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