"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

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

This Headlong, Screaming Slide of Doom

And just like that: back to the sucking.


TBL is not amused. And while TBL recognizes that good pitching will sink good hitting nearly every time, and also that the Angels have good pitching, this is ridiculous. It's one thing to get beaten by good pitching 3-4, or 1-3. 3-16 and 1-5, on the other hand, is what we like to call "getting one's ass kicked". To lose a good game of baseball is one of those things which happens. The educated fan takes solace in the skill and effort displayed and says, next time the hits will fall our way. To give away a game, as opposed to losing it honestly, is just infuriating.

The Twins won their last four series in May. So far in June, they've lost two. They are sporting a 5.79 June ERA and a batting average of .199. (If you guessed that the hitting is last in the ML by a long way, you guessed correctly.) Nine runs scored in five games, friends and neighbors, while the pitching has coughed up 28. For the math-impaired, that's a run differential of 3.8 per game. Also, an OPS of .541! If that doesn't mean anything to you, don't look it up. Ignorance really is bliss, in this case.

That stinks. If the gravity of the situation has not penetrated yet, let me add that lately we're worse than the Royals.

TBL is aware that a number of people are blaming this slide on Joe Mauer's trip to the DL. Our missing catcher is certainly a good hitter, and the hitting has been sorely lacking at times. However, TBL feels obliged to point out that the whole wonderful four-series period of not sucking which occurred immediately prior to this west coast fiasco also took place entirely in the absence of the Baby Jesus. Ergo, the Twins are capable of winning without him. They just haven't been lately.

So now we find ourselves in the untenable position of asking a guy who is about to make his second major-league appearance to pitch us out of this headlong, screaming slide of doom, and to do so without any real hope of run support. (Hey, whaddaya know--he really IS the second coming of Radke!) The cherry on Slowey's sundae is an injury-decimated bullpen responsible for any innings he can't cover.

The fun starts at 2:35 Central. TBL is DVRing the game to watch after work. The entrepreneurs among you might wish to place cash bets as to whether or not TBL will be able to refrain from checking the score.

3 rejoinders:

Jim H. sounded off...

At least the bullpen was consistent the last two games against the Angels of the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Scott Baker, however, could be the next Sidney Ponson.

The bad thing about Punto and Bartlett getting their first home runs is that they'll try to hit more homers and look silly doing it.

Third Base Line sounded off...

Oof. One would hope that Punto has been a non-power hitter long enough to know better. My boy Bart will bear some watching, however.

Baker needs....hmm. Baker needs finesse. He's got good stuff, VERY good stuff, but not quite good enough to consistently get away with throwing rather than pitching. He's obviously learned all he can in AAA, however. I think we're going to have to grit our teeth and wait for the magic of Rick Anderson to take hold.

Anonymous sounded off...

Randomly, of the three starters in LA, Baker's line comes out the prettiest--which is not to say it's pretty.