Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Tough Loss

Yet again the Twins gave away the game in the eighth inning, as Jesse Crain allowed three runs to score, allowing the Tigers to come back from a 4-3 deficit. And going into the sixth inning, that deficit was 4-1. Even Jason Beck, the Tigers' writer, had put the Twins down as the victors. His recap reads:
The Tigers got home runs from Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen the Tigers' offense never quite got it together against the Twins. Starter Nate Robertson lasted 6 1/3 innings, striking out five and yielding one walk in the loss.

Scott Baker pitched well but was victimized by the home run ball, serving up solo homers to the aforementioned three Tigers. Crain also had an error (who knows how costly it really was) in his attempt to pick Placido Polanco off first base in the eighth, and allowed the fourth home run of the night, this one a two-run shot by Miguel Cabrera.

And, just as on Monday night, the Twins offense did enough to win, but couldn't rally in the ninth. Both times they had their chances after making Todd Jones work, with Matt Tolbert striking out after a tough at bat to end the game last night. Joe Mauer collected two hits and two RBIs to break an early season slump, while Justin Morneau crushed his fourth home run of the year.

The most concerning aspect of the team right now is clearly the bullpen. In the past two days, Crain, Matt Guerrier, and Pat Neshek have all faltered. In fact, the only reliable relievers so far have been Joe Nathan, Brian Bass, and Dennys Reyes. Who would have thought this? Granted, it's very early and I'd still much rather have Neshek, Guerrier, or Crain on the mound in a tight situation, but that may be the bad part. I can't see Reyes performing like this all year and I don't think I'll be trusting Bass late in the game at any point in the foreseeable future. Which really is to say that those three better get it together or the bullpen (and the team) is in trouble.

After getting swept in the two-game series with the Tigers, the Twins move back to the Metrodome for another two-game series, this one with the Rays.

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