"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, May 10, 2007

South Pause, Redux

Okay, this whole every-lefty-is-Cy-Young-reincarnate thing? Getting old. I ranted a bit about the team record against lefties a couple of weeks ago, but as nothing has changed, I'm prepared to start pointing some fingers.

Among those with more than 5 at bats versus lefties, our best hitter, at .333, is Joe Mauer. Let's all take a moment to sigh deeply, here. Following him with a .317 is Torii Hunter, who is in the midst of a freakishly hot hitting streak.

Jeff Cirillo, who was supposed to help end our lefty woes, was injured to start the season and has only seven at-bats and two hits (.286) against southpaws. Jason Kubel, who has not in general been hitting well at all, is posting a very respectable .276 average versus lefties in 22 ABs. Jason Tyner follows with a .267, and then everyone else is .250 or below.

Bartlett, a righty, and Punto, a switch hitter, should be doing better than their .235s. The fact that both hit well over .300 against lefties last year makes this even harder to swallow. Cuddyer, another righty, is posting a .217 (.297 last season), while hitting lefthanded doesn't make Morneau's .216 forgivable, especially since that's .099 below last year's mark.

Even a spare outfielder shouldn't be allowed to hit .200 against southpaws if he bats righthanded (I'm looking at you, Josh Rabe), but Luis Castillo wins the Sucking Cup by a mile with a staggering .194.

In a rather brutal case of life refusing to be fair, the Twins have compiled 429 at-bats against lefties this year, far and away the most in the league--second place goes to the A's with 348. And the Twins hit .245 against them, 12th in the 14-team AL. But it gets worse--they're last in OBP and 13th in OPS.

But what can you do? Make Glen Perkins take his bullpens by throwing BP?

Leaving aside the question of lefties for a moment, because it's wildly frustrating and no solutions present themselves to this under-caffeinated brain, I'd also like to mention the power outage.

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, the Twins are last in the league in home runs. Hit, not surrendered. (That's a whole 'nother post...) They have 18. Justin Morneau has 8 of them. Torii Hunter has 6. Which means that the other 14 guys who have batted for the Twins this season have combined for 4 homers in 895 at-bats. Or, approximately one homer every eight games.

And while you all know me to be a great proponent of "small ball", I believe our Twins have crossed the line into "miniscule ball" and would be well-advised to hit the snot out of the darn thing, already.

2 rejoinders:

Jim H. sounded off...

At the Thursday afternoon game, the Twins were able to make Contreras look like -- I don't know -- a lefty? Futility is futility, whether the pitcher is righty or lefty or fat or thin or a knuckleballer or a fireballer or a submariner or a freaking 12 year old! Combine the lack of hitting with continued baserunning idiocy and....

OK...enough of that. Gardy can still get himself tossed, even if it did seem a little pro forma.

Third Base Line sounded off...

I tried to write a post about the baserunning blunders this season a few days ago, but just thinking about it got me so frustrated I couldn't write. :P Perhaps I'll try again this weekend after a nice tot of the Irish...