Is the difference between the Twins and the Yankees really five runs and three hits? In New York, Kyle Davies looked overmatched and resigned to his fate of an unkind bludgeoning. Against Minnesota, he was unhittable for four innings -- literally, as he took a no-hitter into the 5th (and recorded the first two outs on foul pop-ups). The Yankees probably aren't that good and the Twins -- despite getting shut out a Major League-leading 11th time -- aren't this bad, but it's likely we've seen Davies' worst and best performances of the season (let's hope only the former is true). Six and 2/3rds innings, three hits, two walks and five strikeouts for the W, his first as a Royal.
"Pretty cool. Pretty neat," Davies said. "It's gratifying because it was a whole team win. You win a game 1-0, you've done a whole lot of things good -- pitching, the defense was awesome. We made some great plays in the infield."
This is all true. The fielding was terrific, and the bullpen even better. Zack Greinke didn't look focused, but he still managed to record a couple of outs. Jimmy Gobble does what he does best, get out lefthanders (Joe Mauer, of all lefties). And then Joakim Soria made short work of Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Jason Kubel to preserve the 1-0 victory.
One last note: that win was the 500th of Buddy Bell's managerial career. First Davies serves up HR No. 500 to A-Rod, now he sets up win No. 500 for his departing manager. With that, Bell's set to go out on top, with a career record of 500-694. Gotta give him credit for the longevity.
[PHOTO: Ed Zurga, AP]
POSTSCRIPT 1: Braves-Mets yesterday has to be an early favorite for baseball game of the year.
POSTSCRIPT 2: If anyone ever deserved his curtain call, it's the Cardinals' pitcher-converted-outfielder Rick Ankiel. In his first Major League game since 2004, he homered in his final at-bat, this after popping out in the 1st (Tony LaRussa had him batting second; no pressure, kid) and striking out his next two times up. Afterwards, LaRussa choked up at the podium as he said, "Short of winning the World Series, it's the happiest I've seen our club." Very nice moment. Now we can hope Sports Illustrated ditches its mentally challenged "Ankiel Watch" meter.
POSTSCRIPT 3: This comment thread, in all its ignorance about our Royals, makes me sick. I considered a riposte but decided it wasn't worth it. Don't let that stop you though.