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Axel Kohagen

Detroit, Out of Focus (Twins at Tigers -- Games 124-126)

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Focal Point (Twins 6 Tigers 3 -- Games 124)

The Twins win, but do so with an albatross hanging around their neck. An albatross with a catcher's mask and sideburns.

Joe Mauer sat out this game and ended up on the 7 day concussion DL. This has the potential to be beyond bad. Mauer is the reference point that holds the Twins in position. If his efficacy is limited or destroyed by the lingering side effects of a concussion, down goes up and up goes down.

In these trying times, I watch the scores thinking "At least Joe's out there, getting on base and staying focused." Now, what do I have left? An okay start by Mike Pelfrey? You can't build on that.

Snooze 'N Lose (Twins 1 Tigers 7 -- Games 125)

I played this baseball game between my ears as I settled in for a hump day nap. The score was still nothing nothing. I put my feet over my trusty Great Dane, who grudgingly agreed to share the couch with me. I imagined the focus in the eyes of each pitcher as they threw pitch after pitch of a near legendary duel.

There's something in pitcher's duels that feels peaceful, like scales that are completely balanced.

This was not such an event. Sometime after my eyes shut, Correia took a metaphoric rapier to the crotch and lost the duel. Such is how a tiring season drags itself into September.

The Great Wall of No (Twins 7 Tigers 6 -- Games 126)

Justin Verlander is a Great Wall of No to opposing hitters, but somehow the lowly Twins found a way to get around him today. Doumit, my favorite Danzig-trumpting ballplayer, blasted a home run. Late-inning hero Chris Herrmann went 3 for 5. A game I wouldn't have guessed the Twins would win, but some how the team with the out-of-focus future won.

But wait, is there a lone sob to be heard in this victory? Albers gave up 9 hits in 5.2 innings, and his ERA is mortal again? I always wonder if it was really fun when it lasted, or if it just hurts that much more when it ends. Hope he comes back to where he was, of course, but this is where he is now.

Actually, this is kind of where all the Twins are now, victory or not.


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