My blood pressure went through the roof while watching the Twins squander the lead against the Angels on Friday night. The Minnesota Twins of Minnesota entered the eighth inning with a five run lead when starter Scott Baker was sent to the showers to make way for the bullpen. That is when the disaster ensued that eventually led to a six to five loss, which further cemented the club as the worst in the majors. They had to try to lose that game.
Injuries are the most obvious issue with the ball club.
Joe Nathan was just sent to the fifteen day disabled list with a right flexor muscle strain.
Joe Mauer has been out a month and a half with bilateral leg weakness. Justin Morneau is still arguably suffering post-concussion syndrome from the collision he experienced over ten months ago in Toronto.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka has left a void at the second base position after being shelved for months with a fractured left fibula. Fans need to buy a program for the first time in years when watching the team because the anonymity of the players on the field necessitates it. This doesn’t bode well for the future, when the division seems to be up for grabs this year.
Kevin Slowey is sidelined with an abdominal strain and Francisco Liriano has shoulder soreness. The last two ailments are the reason that I would not give a big money long term contract to a pitcher. The arm is a delicate thing and they do not put people in the seats by being a constant presence in the line-up. Jim Thome’s position on the bench with shoulder soreness puts the only possibility for power out of the equation. This is sad state of affairs considering that Morneau and Michael Cuddyer are still in the picture.
On a statistical level, it is easy to see why the team is in the outhouse. They give up too many runs and do not score enough of them. Yes, I am captain obvious with the previous statement, but the extent to which this is the case is staggering. The team is only hitting .234 with thirty home runs and twenty-one stolen bases. The one hundred and fifty three runs batted in provided by the hitters is not only last in the American League, but is stunningly twenty-one runs less than the second to last place team in the category: Seattle Mariners.
Well, at least the players realize that they are struggling so they are trying to obtain more walks…Wrong. They are last in the league by a margin of twelve. Three of the five starting pitchers for the Twins have earned run averages above or near five. This is during a time when performance enhancing drugs are not as prevalent and the team plays at the less hitter friendly Target Field. Brian Duensing, Francisco Liriano, and Carl Pavano have to step it up for the team to be competitive. Pavano has been trying to attain his hundredth career victory for a half dozen starts.
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