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It seems strange to have a 1 p.m. start the day after the same two teams played at the same time the day before, but hey, it's Minnesota. Those folks should feel lucky ESPN's even showing their game!

Regardless, we're back at it today: It's the Oakland A's vs the Minnesota Twins. Difficult loss for the Twins yesterday, and we would say an A's win today could put the Twins in a hole of which there is little escape ... but these are the A's. We'll believe they'll win a playoff series when we see it.

Your pitching matchup is Boof Bonser (yes!) for the Twins and Esteban Loaiza, who presumably didn't drive to the game, for the A's.


And your live blog begins after the jump. Play along with us in the comments, and email us if you have anything you want to add. Enjoy.


Bottom Of The Ninth Inning

Huston Street is in. If he gets the first guy, this wills hut down fast, we suspect. And he does. Fly to Bradley ... one down.


Strikeout. We feel kind of bad for Twins fans: We really do. Bat-Girl's going to be inconsolable; she might even torture some Legos.

Jason Bartlett, of all people, is the last hope. And he dinks — we don't think we've used "dinks" yet — a single to right. Luis Castillo .... 3-0 count ... 3-2 ... ball four! Tying run at the place ... and it can only be one time of year ... you know it ...

It's Puntober!

Full count ... popped up! That's all ... and that's totally all for the Twins. That should be an extremely fun flight to Oakland. But hey: Aren't all flights to Oakland fun?

A'S 5, TWINS 2

Top Of The Ninth Inning

You know what might possibly make Twins fans more suicidal? That's right: Insurance runs! Nick Swisher leads off with a double, and Marco Scutaro — just say the word, OHHH!!!!! ... Scu-Scu-Scutaro! — coudl bring him home. Look! The Twins have remember they have Joe Nathan! He's just warming up, though. Scu-Scu-Scutaro grounds Swisher to third. And now Nathan is coming in.

From a reader: How come no one has mentioned how much Marco Scutaro looks like Scott Baio??? This is an egregious oversight. Indeed! Bob Loblaw!

WILD PITCH! Another run scores. We don't mean to imply that the Twins are toast, but there are buzzards being vivisected by the Metrodome's air conditioning system.

Joe Nathan doesn't look so hot, which is probably because he plays for the Twins, who, at his rate, will be hit by buses as soon as they leave the dome. Kotsay doesn't hit an inside-the-parker this time, fouling out. To the ninth. Twins are over. Poor kids.

A's 5, Twins 2

Bottom Of The Eighth Inning

The Twins have hit the ball hard twice, and they've both been right at A's infielders. The Metrodome looks extremely unhappy. And sounds awfully quiet. Time to get The Wave going again.


Torii Hunter strikes out on a pitch he had about as much opportunity to hit as the did catching that ball earlier. He hears some boos. Difficult to blame them.

A's 4, Twins 2

Top Of The Eighth Inning

Our correspondent: "I wish I could adequately describe the atmosphere in here. shocked, sullen and denial come to mind." We think he's being nice.


Frank Thomas struck out, and we're actually were taken aback by that. By the way, had he been running on Kotsay's hit, he'd just now be arriving at third base.

A's fans: Has Eric Chavez always swung at pitches a foot over his head? We've seen him do that about four times today.

Juan Rincon shuts down the A's, striking out the side, and the Twins have six outs to bring in two runs, or, at the very least, get their fans to stop doing The Wave.

A's 4, Twins 2

Bottom Of The Seventh Inning

All right, we're still flabbergasted by what Torii Hunter just pulled. He had zero chance of catching Kotsay's hit, and he had to have known that. Did he think he could fly? He might singlehandedly make Billy Beane's shit work in the playoffs.


Justin Duschererererererererererrrr is into the game, and he just struck out Luis Castillo. That's three K's looking for scrappy Luis.

OK, the Twins fans just did the Wave. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A's 4, Twins 2

Top Of The Seventh Inning

The sidearming Twins guy gets Jay Payton to start. We're not quite ready for Jay Payton to be playoff force. Mark Ellis singles to left, and Jason Kendall is in. If he played for a team other than the A's, he might bunt.


Instead, he hits into a fielder's choice. You know, Kendall has really been hit by a LOT of pitches for someone who hasn't been around nearly as long as Craig Biggio. We have always prided ourselves on our ability to be hit by pitches, even when we're just sitting on the couch.

Pitching change. Dennys Reyes. Did he get skinnier? Or are we confusing him with someone else? Mark Kotsay is the designated lefthanded batter.

Holy crap: Torii Hunter just did something incredibly, diabolically stupid. Kotsay loops one to center field, and Hunter tries to dive and grab it. He misses it, it goes to the wall and Kotsay comes all the way home with an inside-the-parker. And that, friends, was as bad a postseason mistake as you'll see someone make. You'll see it about a million times in the next 24 hours.

A's 4, Twins 2

Bottom Of The Sixth Inning

Look, it's a Boof/John Bonser fansite! We bet he doesn't get that if he's still John. So that's something.


Michael Cuddyer finally gives Twins fans something to do: He shoots a homer over the left-field wall, and the lead is cut in half. We think Loaiza doesn't have much time left.

And he probably should have been pulled right there: Justin Morneau ties it with an upper-deck shot, and Loaiza is toast, free-spirit necklace or not. Ken Macha muppets out to replace Loaiza, and look, they make big sound in Minneapolis!

With all the momentum in Norse land at his back. Torii Hunter swings and pops out to right on the first pitch. In for Oakland is Kiko Calero, and at this point, we have to remind that the Cardinals traded him, Danny Haren and top prospect for Mark Mulder, who so hurt he looks like the Boxing Helena lady. Awesome trade. We don't need starting pitching and bullpen help at all.


Calero, just to taunt us, shuts down the Twins 1-2 after the two homers, and then walks Jason Tyner, which sounds like the name of a child in a Christmas special. Tyner steals second base, and now Jason Bartlett, the scared boy from yesterday's game, tries to garner the Twins' first hit with someone within 180 feet from home plate.

Bartlett strikes out. We be tied.

Twins 2, A's 2

Top Of The Sixth Inning

Our poor reader at the Metrodome is slowly starting to lose his mind. It's not particularly fun to witness, particularly in the format of digital text.


Jay Payton hits a two-out single. In center field right now, just beyond the "fence," is the world's largest jug of milk. It's there, even though ESPN continues to be part of the anti-milk conspiracy and not tell us about it. TELL THE TRUTH, ESPN!

Nick Swisher pops up, and to the bottom we go. And by "bottom, " we mean "end."

A's 2, Twins 0

Bottom Of The Fifth Inning

OK: ENOUGH WITH THE COFFEE TALK. If you're not watching the game, Sutcliffe, O'Brien and Karros are still talking about this stupid incident in the dugout in which Milton Bradley might have accidentally spilled coffee on Loaiza. This is not a big deal. Loaiza is fine. Bradley will do far crazier things, we assure you.


Luis Castillo chops a two-out infield single, and Puntober is the tying run. He hits homers about as often as Jason Kendall does, though.

Jeez, Punto dove into first base again. STOP IT. And suddenly, it's Joe Mauer as the potential leading run. And so handsome, that boy.

Mauer hits it hard, but Eric Chavez makes an excellent stop and throws him out. Still no runs. This is starting to feel like the the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series. We hate it when we're reminded of that.

A's 2, Twins 0

Top Of The Fifth Inning

Yes! THESE are the necklaces! Baseball players are so silly.

Nick Swisher hammers — dammit, that verb again — a double to lead off, and John Bonser looks nervous.


A run! And it's Scutaro again. We really like us some Marco Scutaro. A double into right gives the A's the lead, and, uh, you know, the Twins probably need to start manning up. Ha. That's funny. The verb manning is the same as Manning, yet the mean the opposite. Or something. Dunno. 1-0!

By the way, we're told Peter Gammons mentioned Deadspin on Quite Frankly last night, but — shockingly! — we didn't watch it. Don't suppose anybody recorded it, did they?

Jason Kendall gets an RBI the only way he can: Not hitting the ball out of the park. He chops — chops! — a single to left, and it's 2-0 Oakland, and the Metrodome has a decidedly different feel than it did during the 1987 World Series. Which SUCKED, by the way.


Milton Bradley flies out to end the inning, and the clock is ticking fast on the Twins now.

A's 2, Twins 0

Bottom Of The Fourth Inning

A note from a reader on the necklaces:

About the A's necklaces that everyone seems so capitvated by: some Twins are wearing the same necklaces, except they are red and don't show up as well. They must be something provided by Major League Baseball. Maybe for the playoffs?


We doubt this is true, but if MLB is giving out necklaces for their players to wear in the playoffs, we are never buying a used car from Bud Selig again.

A reader who is actually at the Metrodome Blackberrys us: I think this game is at 1 today because its just as boring as my day job. boof is throwing too many pitches, we're not hitting again, and we can't keep frank off the bases. at least milton bradley has a monopoly on batting .000. seriously how did we lose to these guys yesterday?

Because neither of these teams can score. It's like watching the Cardinals if they didn't have Pujols. The A's have Frank Thomas, and the Twins ... well, they have Phil Nevin.


Dave O'Brien looks like he has gained about 15 pounds since the World Cup. Two-out single by Justin Morneau, and then another hit by Toriii Hunter, and we have the potential of — really — a run.

Nope! Ground out.

Twins 0, A's 0

Top Of The Fourth Inning

Frank Thomas, man ... he hits a one-out double. (It was a ground rule double, which is how he made it to second base.) Maybe Thomas will turn into Tito Landrum — remember him? — and play for three consecutive World Series winners in three different years. (If he goes somewhere else, that is.) Anybody else looking forward to seeing Thomas play first if the A's make the World Series?


Chavez lines one off John Bonser — which is now what he will be called — who picks it up and throws him out. He's a little shaken up, so he's taking some warmup pitches. Bonser is 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, and still changed his name. This is driving us crazy.

Jay Payton lines out to Tubby Castillo, and we're still scoreless.

Twins 0, A's 0

Bottom Of The Third Inning

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is always pretty relaxed and jovial; he keeps making jokes while Sutcliffe and company "interview" him. As mentioned yesterday, we don't think this would be our attitude.


God, Loaiza has another of those ridiculous necklaces that apparently every A's player has. We know Billy Beane likes to keep matters loose, but come on: They should be ashamed of themselves.

Loaiza sets the Twins down in order, as our boy Puntober slides into first. We don't think the Twins were ever taught anything in spring training.

Twins 0, A's 0

Top Of The Third Inning

A reader points out something: Isn't one team supposed to wear a white jersey and the other a dark jersey? Of course, it's possible that the both teams are wearing white jerseys, and the smog inside the Metrodome is making them look odd on our set.


Mark Ellis strokes — we haven't used the verb "strokes" yet ... "New York City cops ... New York City cops ... New York City cops ... ain't too SMAHHHHHHT!" — a single into left, and Jason Kendall comes up. Isn't it strange that Kendall hits a homer, like, every two years? He's not this tiny guy. David Eckstein hits five or six homers a year. It seems really odd, right?

Great fact: Boof Bonser changed his name from John in 2001. We're sorry, but we think that means we are all legally required to make fun of him.

Kendall grounds into a fielder's choice, and we're getting kind of obsessed with his inability to homer. Fantastic play by Justin Morneau leads to a double play, and there might not be 10 runs scored in this whole series.

Twins 0, A's 0

Bottom Of The Second Inning

Sometimes we think it might fun to torture ESPN broadcaster Dave O'Brien by yelling, "hey, it's a soccer announcer!" every time he walks into the park. "I can't win, dammit!"

From a Twins fan about Mauer:

You have to understand that Twins fans love Mauer more than anyone ever except maybe Puckett. This is because he is one of us and in Minnesota we don't really have many famous people. He could seriously run for governor here. Everyone loves Joe. His main endorsement deal is with Land O' Lakes milk! He is an icon here because he is so humble and down to earth (at least thats what we are told). Anyways, we basically cheer him to a fault and are so excited that one of our own is doing well on the national stage that we will give him a standing O for adjusting his cup.


We're with you, but, uh, we don't think it's really that impressive that you would elect him governor, considering some of your past decisions on that front.

Twins go down 1-2-3, and we're cooking again. This series is going to be shorter than a Ronan Tynan ditty.

Twins 0, A's 0

Top Of The Second Inning

Weird: Frank Thomas is already getting Pujols treatment: Away, away, away, away. Put four of those "aways" together, and you get a walk. Which is what Thomas does. We're not sure what he's doing en route to second base can be called "walking," though.


Eric Chavez swings at three pitches over his head and seems awfully confused. Perhaps he has the evil braint disease that afflicts Jim Edmonds. Jay Payton breaks his bat on a single to right, and it's a rally! It's becoming clear that Johan Santana and Barry Zito aren't pitching today.

Nick Swisher strikes out. Wasn't Nick Swisher supposed to be great? Because he's not. Marco Scutaro is batting against Boof Bonser, which means it's obviously playoff time. He fouls out to first, and the Twins scutaro out of a jam.

Twins 0, A's 0

Bottom Of The First Inning

We think maybe Luis Castillo is the same size as Ronnie Belliard, but because he wears the No. 1, he looks slightly fitter. We bet if you slapped him a nose tackle number, like 72, he'd be nice and portly-looking. He strikes out to start the Twins' frame.


It's Puntober! Man, that's the best sign we've ever seen. Puntober! Seriously! They totally did that at home, carted it in the car and brought it inside. That's devotion. Puntober!

Hey, Twins fans: Have they been giving Joe Mauer standing ovations every time he comes up for the first time all year? Ya'll are gonna give that guy a big head. He drills a single into center, and we remind you that yesterday, after doing this for seven hours, we completely ran out of verbs. So, expect some repeats of "drills," "doinks," "plunks" and "hammers." Sportswriting is hard.

Michael Cuddyer doinks/plunks a single into center, and the awesome force of Justin Morneau has a chance to hammer/drill the Twins into the lead. But he, instead, just "swings" and flies out to right field, and a Loaiza disaster is avoided.

Twins 0, A's 0

Top Of The First Inning

Hey, Eric Karros is here. So you know, he did not make a bad joke about Erin Andrews.


All right, we had this newfangled way we were going to do the live blog today, but it's obviously not working, and we're not smart enough to figure it out. So we're gonna go back to the old way.

Boof Bonser's on the mound. We're going to do everything in our power not to make any jokes about his unusual nomenclature. He strikes out Jason Kendall to start the game, and he's kind of making a habit out of this.

One-two-three for Bonser. Quick quick quick. We're never gonna get this working right.

Twins 0, A's 0

Pregame: The good news is that there's no Joe Morgan. The bad news
is that you're getting him for both NYC games tonight. He's actually getting a POLICE ESCORT. That's our tax dollers in motion. Homer Hankies out again. Still a Nazi sign in the top of the Metrodome.
Just like yesterday!


Sweet, it's Sutcliffe! Let's get out there with George Clooney and start solving that thing.