Minnesota Twins: Scott Diamond Gets Complete Game Shutout with Carroll at Third

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Minnesota Twins: Scott Diamond Gets Complete Game Shutout with Carroll at Third
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Jamey Carroll started at third base this Friday.

Although Trevor Plouffe tweeted that he’ll be back on the field to start the Minnesota Twins' series against the Cleveland Indians, the Southern Californian is actually headed to the disabled list.

“It’s definitely not ready,” he said after the game. “I wanted to be out there. I just took some swings and it was not ready.”

ESPN 1500’s Phil Mackey reports that Plouffe experienced more soreness in batting practice and the team will be calling up Danny Valencia to replace him.

That’s right: The Miami swag will return Saturday!

But for the intermittent time, we’ve got Mr. Carroll.

Although he grew up in Evansville, Ind., Carroll brings a little love from the Sunshine State. Rockledge, Fla., may be closer to Tampa than Miami, so he doesn’t bring that South Beach mentality, but for the time being, he’ll have to do.

As soon as he runs out onto the field, he salutes third base umpire Tim Tschida before striking up a short conversation.

Later, he shakes hands with Indians third base coach Steve Smith and speaks with him at length while standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

A journeyman who has played the hot corner for five major league clubs in the last decade, if you count the Expos/Nationals once (yes, he played for the Expos), Carroll, 38, has seen it all and, at this point, seems to know just about everybody.

David Banks/Getty Images

In the bottom of the first, Morneau hit his first homer since July 6, a three-run bomb to right. You typically think of an early lead taking a load off the starting pitcher, but Carroll probably wasn’t complaining about the homer either.

In the bottom of the second inning, with Brian Dozier on first and nobody out, Carroll takes the first pitch for a strike. The second offering hits him on the left arm.

Alexei Casilla: fly out to left.

Denard Span: line-out to center.

Ben Revere: strike out.

Carroll removes his helmet and returns to the clubhouse, but does not enter it, but puts on his cap and returns to the field without even descending a single stair.

Defensively, starter Scott Diamond made Carroll’s job pretty easy early on.

“They work together,” said manager Ron Gardenhire. “Your pitcher is out there pounding the strike zone and making them swing [and] your defense is in the game.”

Aside from running to the outfield on a pop up to the left fielder that clearly was out of his range and grabbing a foul ball along the third base line that was clearly not in play—

Brain: Psst…Tom.

Me: What’s up?

Brain: There’s something going on.

Me: Quiet you!

Top of the fourth inning.

Shin-Soo Choo grounds out to second. The ball is tossed around the horn before Carroll catches it and tosses it back to Diamond and puts up his index finger.

Asdrubal Cabrera grounds out to short. Morneau throws the ball back to Dozier, who then flips to Carroll. The third baseman then tosses it back to Diamond. Two fingers are placed in the air.

Jason Kipnis flies out to left.

Carroll heads back to the dugout.

Brain: Psst… Tom.

Me: What’s up?

Brain: You’re missing something here.

Me: Shut up!

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

In the bottom of the fourth, Carroll grounds out to short on a 1-0 pitch. No bother: Revere had a ribbie on an infield single, Mauer singled to right field to score another runner and Josh Willingham put a Josh Tomlin offering into the dugout.

Twins are up 8-0 after four.

Brain: Psst… Tom.

Me: What’s up?

Brain: C’mon man, Carroll’s not the story.

Me: Shh…shh.,,shh…Are you serious!?!

Michael Brantley flies out to right.

Carlos Santana grounds out to second. The ball goes around the horn. Carroll holds two fingers in the air.

Travis Hafner singles to left-center with two outs.

The crowd gives Diamond a standing O.

Me: This is all your fault, brain.

Brain: I’m just trying to keep you informed—

Me: Can it! I’m drinking tonight to punish you!

Brain: No…please. I’ve sustained enough damage as it is…

Lopez singles to right.

Me: I’m going to kill you if this continues.

Brain: No…no…please…I was just doing my job!

Shelly Duncan strikes out.

“I wasn’t going to change my gameplan,” said Diamond regarding the back-to-back hits he gave up. “I was still going to attack.”

Brain: Whew!

Me: Yeah, you better have been nervous!

With a man on and one out in the bottom of the fifth Carroll lines out to pitcher Jeremy Accardo. He promptly throws to first for an inning-ending double play.

Brain: Don’t blame me for that too…

Me: Stop talking to me!

Sixth inning.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Marson grounds out to short.

Choo strikes out.

Dozier dives into the outfield and throws out Cabrera from his knees.

“[He] made it look easy,” said Gardenhire, “used the field rather than throw it in the air…which you have to do when you’re off-balance.”

Three up. Three down.

In the bottom half, Mauer, Willingham and Doumit all single to score a runner apiece before Dozier grounds out to end the inning.

Seventh inning.

Kipnis grounds out to second.

Casilla dives into the outfield, stands up and rifles a throw to Morneau, beating Brantley to first.

Santana flies out to right.

Three up. Three down.

“Pounding the strike zone,” said Gardenhire of Diamond’s key to success, “being able to throw multiple pitches over.”

In the bottom half, Carroll takes a 2-0 offering from new pitcher Cody Allen up the middle. So far he’s 1-for-2 with a single, double play and a pitch has hit him. He has yet to be challenged in the field because—

Brain: Psst…Tom.

Tom!

T—

Me: I’ll kill you!!!

Brain: Okay, okay…

Casilla: pops out to third.

Span: walks.

Revere: double play.

Twice now Carroll has reached and twice now the top of the lineup has failed to advance him around the bases.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

In the top of the eighth, Diamond is drilled by Hafner in the leg and the designated hitter would reach first, meaning that he had two of the Indians’ three hits in the—

Brain: Psst…Tom.

Me: What!?!

Brain: Do you think Diamond—

Me: Oh my god!

Brain: Fine…fine…

“I told Andy (pitching coach Rick Anderson) I wanted to,” said Diamond when asked if he thought he’d go out in the ninth. “He’s like, ‘I don’t know why you’re telling me. You’re already set to go out.'”

Top of the ninth:

Johnny Damon: line-out to CF.

Brent Lillibridge: grounds to short.

Crowd is on its feet.

Kipnis: flies out to left.

Bedlam!

Brain: C’mon, be happy Tom. The Twins won 11-0. Diamond threw the first complete game since P.J. Walters in May against Chicago and the first complete game shutout since Carl Pavano went nine innings in Game 162 last year.

Me: You’re right. I’m in a good mood.

Brain: So we’re cool then?

Me: Yeah, for sure.

Brain: Thank god!

Me: In fact, I think I should celebrate this victory by going out with my friends!

Brain: I hate you Tom! I hate you!


All quotes were obtained first-hand.

Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.

Follow him on Twitter @tschreier3.

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