A recap of the 7th inning of today’s 7-3 loss to Oakland, accurate to the pitch, with apologies to Ernest Thayer
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the ‘Sota nine that day:
The score stood seven-three, with but three innings more to play.
And then when Sweet Drew grounded left, and Sizemore threw to first,
A sickly feeling grew inside as Twins fans feared the worst.
A straggling few got up to go and catch the BART. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Thome could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even money, now, with Thome at the bat.
But Joe preceded Thome, as did also Ben Revere,
Cuddyer’s bat came third and Kubel’s batting clean-up here ;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Thome’s getting to the bat.
But Benny drew a four pitch walk, to the wonderment of all,
And Joe, the much belov-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
Cuddy took a strike, a ball, a strike, and fouled one off,
But then he watched strike three go by and sat down with a scoff.
With two outs now, Kubel rose and stepped into the box,
But Breslow’s pitch was low and wild and bounced near Jason’s socks;
And when the ball passed Kurt, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Mauer safe at second and Ben a-hugging third.
When Kubel walked to load ’em up, there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Thome, mighty Thome, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Jimmer’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Jimmer’s bearing and a smile on Jimmer’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Thome at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Thome’s eye, a sneer curled Thome’s lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Thome gave a mighty swing, but couldn’t catch his share.
The second pitch was just as fast and Thome’s swing as slow –
“Well, now,” Jimmers mumbled. “Two quick strikes, dontcha know.”
From the benches, gold with jerseys, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“He’s old so strike the bum out!” shouted one drunk Oakland fan;
But Twins fans wouldn’t listen, they had faith in their man.
With a smile of Christian charity great Thome’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Jim held his bat back for first ball one and then ball two.
The Twins fans did remember how Jim hit five-ninety-seven;
That homerun in the third to put them up, well it was heaven.
And now they saw his face grow cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Thome wouldn’t let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Thome’s lip, his teeth are clenched in grit;
He settles back into the box, quite sure he’ll get a hit.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Thome’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Twinsville – mighty Thome has struck out.
There was an inning eight and there was an inning nine;
But nowhere in those innings did they show a winning sign,
Oh, they had the lead but lost it when the A’s scored in the third;
And in the fourth Oak scored again and ’twas the final word.