AL Central Tie-Breaker: Twins vs. White SoxSThe funny thing about tonight's game is that if either one of these teams had mustered up the intestinal fortitude to win just one more game against the Indians or freakin' Royals, we wouldn't be here tonight. (Sure, your middle infielders are real tough against the Tigers, but what about some real competition?) Still here we are, all of us lonely, longing for shelter from a winter without baseball. Close your eyes and think of playoff bonus checks after the jump. ———————————————————————— POSTGAME THOUGHTS Music Suggestion: "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)" by Frank Sinatra So after the furious Minnesota comeback, the forced makeup game, and Chicago's seeming unwillingness to claim the division title despite many opportunities, the White Sox play what was probably their best game of the season, their only 1-nothing win of the year. Ken Griffey guns down Michael Cuddyer at the plate, Jim Thome belts a mammoth home run, the stuff of legend, and John Danks—John Freakin' Danks—absolutely dominated the Twins hitters. (Mauer and Morneau, 0-6, 3 Ks). The end. Oh, and a nice diving catch from Brian Anderson makes a sweet highlight to replay during future tie-breaker games over the next couple decades. No matter what happens to the Sox, they can savor this one for awhile. Next up: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, another team nobody has any idea what to make of. If nothing else, it should be interesting. Oh, and thanks to all who played along. It was fun, and hopefully we'll do it again soon. ———————————————————————— 9:57 — Anyone think Griffey makes that catch? Didn't think so. Ball game. 9:55Strikeout. G-3. Two down. 9:55 — Strikeout. One down. 9:54 — HAHAHAHA! Jason Kubel! Against Jenks! TOP of the NINTH Music Suggestion: "You're The Best" by Joe "Bean" Esposito 9:51 — Thome keeps it in the park. Last licks for the Twins. Inning over. 9:50 — BREAKING: H.R. "loves" Joe Nathan. Related: Your live blogger is a little punch drunk. 9:49 — It's Thome. Hey, Outfield! Back up! 9:47 — It's times like this that I really hate Kent Hrbek. Don't ask me why. 9:45 — Two outs. Call to the pen. Macaroni and cheese time! 9:43 — Cabrera grounds out to short. They Call Me Mr. Jenks warming up. BOTTOM of the EIGHTH Music Suggestion: "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails (Or "Closer To Fine" by Indigo Girls. Your choice.) 9:40 — It's uh-oh time for the Twins. 6-4-3. Inning OVER. 9:38 — Pinch runner! Doesn't look that fast to me. 9:36 — Brendan Harris says "Everyone just calm down down." 1 out, 1 on. TOP of the EIGHTH Music Suggestion: "The Weight" by The Band 9:31 — Uribe flies out to left. Twins escape with no more damage. Inning over. 1-0 Sox. 9:30 — A.J. moves the runners over with a grounder to Morneau. 2 outs. Exciting! 9:27 — Quick recap: Jim Thome made it rain, Konerko G-4, Griffey doubled off the wall, Intentional BB to Ramierez. Two on, 1 out. It's playoffs baby, so Blackburn gets the quick hook. Jose Mijares in. 9:23 — Sorry. It took me awhile to figure out the Sussboard. What did I miss? 0 AL Central Tie-Breaker: Twins vs. White SoxAL Central Tie-Breaker: Twins vs. White Sox 19:18 — Such a mighty wallop ... BOTTOM of the SEVENTH Music Suggestion: "She's A Beauty" by The Tubes 9:16 — The closest Sonic to me is about 70 miles away. Each of those ads is like a slap in the face. MIDDLE of the SEVENTH Music Suggestion: "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" by Um ... Duh? 9:15 — John Danks owns you! Six pitches. Inning over. 9:12 — I'm sorry. Did the Batting Champ™ just bunt for a hit? Sheesh. TOP of the SEVENTH Music Suggestion: "Born To Be Wild" by Steppenwolf 9:10 — 3 up, 3 down. Inning over. Still no runs! 9:08 — M-V-P! M-V-P! Wait ... Gold-en Glove! Gold-en Glove! Morneau unassisted twice! 9:06 — This game is moving alarmingly fast. Look for 14 innings, 17 bullpen changes, and you being late to work tomorrow. BOTTOM of the SIXTH Music Suggestion: "San Diego Zoo" by The Sixths 9:04 — Twins really aren't getting this hit-and-run thing are they? Swung at Ball 3. Then K. Inning over. 9:00 — And yes, I am wearing Axe Body Spray. Can you smell it? Span = Walk. His second. 8:58 — I never thought I would say this, but slow down! I can only type so fast.... Two outs already! TOP of the SIXTH Music Suggestion: "Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crue (featuring Nikki Sixx) 8:54 — Did anyone expect a pitching duel between Nick Blackburn and John Danks? 3 hits total, no runs. Inning over. 8:53 — Pierzynski. Go take some bench. 2 out. 8:52 — Replay: What made Cuddyer or his coach think he could score there? BOTTOM of the FIFTH Music Suggestion: "Matrimony" by Whiskeytown 8:49 — Griffey to the rescue! Guns down Cuddyer at the plate (which Matt Holliday still has not touched, btw.) Inning over. 8:48 — Nice try, A.J. Even the opponents from the Bad News Bears Breaking Training wouldn't fall for that fake. 8:48 — Ozzie just got through an entire interview with people throwing sunflower seeds and did not once call someone an asshole. Well done. 8:46 — Still doing the Hustle! Cuddyer tags up on a deep out to center. First runner to reach 3rd base. (Not to be confused with 3rd Bass.) 8:45 — Are the frequent CAPS and !! bothering anyone? 8:44 — Cuddyer = Hustle! Stretches single into double thanks to an un-Wise play. NO HITTER OVER! TOP of the FIFTH Music Suggestion: "Whiskey River" by Willie Nelson (Any version is acceptable.) 8:40 — Bad throw squelches the DP. That won't be an error, but it should be. Two out, but a runner on for Griffey. Aaaaaand ... nothing. Inning over. 8:38 — Ron Darling: "You want to get him out inside." Next pitch: Outside corner. Ball 3. BUT ... he's out anyway! Bad call in my opinion. Didn't look like a swing to me. 8:36 — Wait, did H.R. just praise Thome's "speed"? Or lack thereof? 8:35 — FUNDAMENTALLY SOUND! Love it. 8:34 — Dye gets the second hit. Leadoff hitter on. BOTTOM of the FOURTH Music Suggestion: "Four In The Morning" by Night Ranger 8:31 — 2 strikeouts for Mauer. Did no one tell him about the battling title? Only 9 pitches this time to get finish off Morenau. Way to work the count, boys. 8:28 — Nothing says TIEBREAKER like a little Bon Jovi. Casilla wastes no time popping out. TOP of the FOURTH Music Suggestion: "Cum On Feel The Noize" by (wait for it) Slade 8:26 — 1, 2, 3. Was Ron Gardenhire eating oatmeal during that interview? Couldn't understand one word. Inning over. 8:25 — Hey, Juan Uribe. You're going to need a bigger boat garage. You too, Cabrera. Two quickly down. BOTTOM of the THIRD Music Suggestion: "New Sensation" by INXS 8:21 — Danks works out of it, but used about 22 pitches to do so. Inning over. 8:19 — Good thing nobody read that last update. 2 outs. 8:17 — If Gomez hits a home run here, the Santana trade was totally worth it. 8:16 — Punto = Battling! $10 bucks says that someone says "good piece of hitting" no matter what happens. 8:12 — Brendan Harris = Out. Punto? Not helping matters with that bunt single attempt. You're no Otis Nixon. TOP of the THIRD Music Suggestion: "Your Love" by The Outfield 8:08 — Trouble a-brewin'. Blackburn walks Rameriez ... A.J. Pierzynski quickly puts an end to that... Inning over. 8:08 — The umpire says "strike" out loud so the batter hears it right way? How did they let this guy go?!? 8:05 — And now you know why .... Two down. 8:04 — Can you believe Ken Griffey Jr. hasn't played in the postseason since 1997. Incredible. 8:03 — Konerko makes the first out. Konerko. Say it with me. 8:02 — What was that Harold Baines? Win one for the ... Bainer? 8:01 — Thome time! BOTTOM of the SECOND Music Suggestion: "25 or 6 to 4" by Chicago 7:58 — Delmon Young lacks warning track power. Inning over. 7:56 — Cuddyer grounds out weakly. Danks moving quickly and looking sharp now. 7:56 — If H.R. doesn't shut up about the stats counting, I'm putting in a call to Jay Buhner. 7:55 — Morenau. K. 2 in a row for Danks. 7:54 — Thank you to White Speed for the scoring correction. TOP of the SECOND Music Suggestion: Anything off "Purple Rain" by Prince 7:52 — Jermaine Dye grounds out. Inning over. 7:51 — For the record, it must be a Fleshbot AND a DP joke to count. 7:50 — Wow. An honest-to-goodness rundown. 4-3-6(?) DP erases Cabrera. Should he have just kept running to try and save the hitter at first? 7:46 — Orlando Cabrera: Table setter. Single to left. BOTTOM of the FIRST Music Suggestion: "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake 7:43 — Mauer strikes out on a big hooking curve. Inning Over 7:42 — Over/under on Fleshbot/DP jokes in the comments? 6 7:41 — Twins' hit and run ... into a line out DP. Runner erased and Danks gets a big break there. 7:39 — Our first bunt attempt. SMALL BALL WINS! 7:38 — Denard Span walks to open the game. Danks for nothing! TOP of the FIRST Music Suggestion: "The Final Countdown" by Europe 7:32 — And I have a good feeling about Dick Stockton. It's gonna be all right... 7:31 — HR! H.R. is in the house!!! 7:29 — What's the over-under on Caliendo promos tonight? 700? 7:21 — You gotta give Dennis Eckersely some credit. He's stickin' with that mullet. Pre-game Music Suggestion: "Baba O'Riley" by The Who Technically, this is still a regular season game—No. 163. The Twins, coming off a day of rest, send Nick Blackburn to hill. Just last week he beat the White Sox during the do-or-die sweep at the Metrodome. Chicago, riding a clutch two-game winning streak, offers up John Danks who got shelled by Cleveland on Friday. Not exactly Morris-Smoltz '91, but it will do. The most intriguing aspect of this game is that there is no possible way to predict what will happen. The Twins could give up nine runs in the first, score 14 in the 5th to rally, and Ozzie Guillen could literally eat a bat donut and no one would really be that shocked. One thing we do know is that I understand little of your "live blogs", so feel free to shout suggestions in the comments (that will be ignored) or ask me questions (that maybe won't be.)