10/01/2002 10:22 pm ET
Game 1 game balls for Twins, A's
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or in this case Twinkies, as the lads
from Minnesota are often referred, and Rollie Fingers, in honor of the A's
swaggering, mustached forefathers -- for performances in this year's Division
Series. Here's how you score it. Four Twinkies or Rollies and we might
just see you in the World Series. If you get three, keep it up, the ALCS is not
far away. Only two means your days in the postseason just might be numbered.
One, you ask? Well, let's just say we're wondering how you got here.
Ron Gardenhire: After watching his defense give away five runs in the first two innings he was shown in the dugout laughing. Laughing? Did this guy really learn his trade from Tom Kelly?
A.J. Pierzynski: That's right, folks -- the catcher legged out a triple. That's nothing new for Pierzynski. He tied for the team lead with six during the regular season, but don't expect to see him hitting in the leadoff spot for Game 2.
Twins Defense: The defense was so pathetic early that the perpetually mild-mannered Brad Radke was caught by TV cameras throwing his glove in the dugout.
A's Fans: The Oakland faithful did themselves proud by screaming on every pop fly after four Twins stood in a circle to watch Scott Hatteberg's popup fall to the ground for an RBI single. It wasn't quite like watching a Raider game, but impressive nonetheless.
Tim Hudson: It was pretty obvious that Hudson didn't have his best stuff, but he did leave with the lead. No wonder he looked so upset when he saw Howe coming to the mound.
Relief pitching: It's tough to blame the "bullpen" for this one since it was a pair of regular-season starters that surrendered the lead. It's a good bet manager Art Howe will think twice before using these guys in Game 2.
Todd Lorenz is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.