Twins 6, Mets 0

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The prodigal son returned to the Twins today — well, returned to face them. Three years after being traded to the Mets, Johan Santana faced the Twins for the first time in regular season play… and I was there with Harvey for my first trip to Citi Field. Also, it was free hat day. Happy belated Father’s Day, Dad… an orange Mets cap is heading your way.
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Harvey wears his free Mets hat while I stick with my trusty Twins cap.
After a first pitch by his royal highness, Prince Harry, we settled in for some baseball. Our seats were right behind home plate… way up. Way up. The back row of the top deck, to be exact. Sitting next to us was a charming older Mets fan who told me that it was okay if I wanted to “hoot and holler for the Twins,” he wouldn’t mind. And in the first inning, I got my chance.
It seems the Twins had their old teammates number. After Denard Span popped out to short to lead off, Orlando Hudson ripped a double to left center and was then singled in by Joe “Leading the All-Star votes” Mauer… and it appears I hooted a bit:

Mauer then appeared to get thrown out stealing second, but was miraculously safe. Because they failed to announce it in the stadium, it wasn’t until I just looked it up that I learned that he was “safe” because it was ruled a balk. I haven’t seen a balk in years!
After Morneau flied out to left, Cuddyer walked followed by a Jason Kubel ground rule double that scored Mauer. With two runs, two outs, and two men on Delmon Young hit a double to left center of his own and just like that, the Twins were up 4-0 after one inning. Santana, it appeared, couldn’t handle the pressure of pitching against his old friends.
But in true Santana fashion, he bounced back from the early drubbing and became the powerhouse pitcher I remember for the next five innings, save for a lone run in the 4th. But it was too little too late for the Mets. By contrast, Carl Pavano was unstoppable for the Twins, facing the minimum number of batters through 4 innings. He ultimately pitched a complete game 3-hit shutout, and even had two hits of his own to maintain his .500 batting average.
Just to rub it in, Jason Kubel led off the 9th inning with a homerun to deep right field to put the score at 6-0, where it remained.
Despite all this, the Mets fan who so graciously allowed me to cheer for the Twins announced at the bottom of every inning that “this is where the Mets will come back.” He only conceded after the final pitch in the 9th, but then shrugged and said, “Well, at least you’re happy. I can take some consolation in that. And you watch, the Mets will win again soon.” A true gentleman baseball fan, if ever I met one.
Harvey, normally excited to watch a baseball game, was a little hesitant about missing the US-Ghana World Cup match and so brought along a portable radio. The US scored their lone goal just after David Wright flied out to end the game. About 5-10 seconds after Harvey cheered, we heard a large crowd cheer behind us. It turns out the game was on on a big screen down on the concourse. So, we raced down to watch the US lose in overtime — not quite the outcome we were hoping for, but I’m still happy for the Twins victory.
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Watching the US-Ghana soccer game on the concourse at Citi Field.

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