Well, that was quite the disappointing doubleheader. The Twins got killed in the first one and were spared more embarrassment thanks to an early finish, and the second one got out of hand quickly and by the time the bleeding was stopped, it was too late. I was all the more upset about it because I only ended up watching three innings total of the two games. I can't watch most of the Twins' games because I'm out of market, so this was a relatively rare opportunity. But since the first game was in the middle of the day, I missed the beginning due to class and then it was shortened by rain. And then the second game was not even televised (which means I missed Boston's Earth Day uniforms) because the local Red Sox channel was showing a hockey playoff game. Who cares about hockey?!
The first game was ugly, as Scott Baker had a second consecutive poor outing, allowing 3 home runs and 6 runs in less than five innings. Craig Breslow got the last out of the fifth to prevent Baker from being tagged with another run and followed that up with a scoreless sixth. Juan Morillo, on the other hand, did not get an out and surrendered four runs. It was exhibit A for why he was available for nothing, as he walked three straight batters before getting pulled. In total, he threw 17 pitches and only 4 went for strikes. Although persistent rain did actually cause the game to be called, it essentially served as a mercy rule, with runners on second and third, only one out, and the Twins down 9 runs. I was hoping it would end early because the Twins' pitchers couldn't get anyone out and the bullpen would presumably be needed later in the doubleheader. As I understood it, I thought the statistics from the 7th inning would be erased, but evidently that's not how it works. Too bad for Morillo!
The second game was better, but only marginally. Francisco Liriano started off very well, as he struck out four of the first six Red Sox batters while only allowing a walk. It unraveled quickly, however, when Liriano hit the next batter and then gave up a 3-run homer. So with just one hit, and having struck out four times already, the Red Sox had three runs on the board. In the end, the Red Sox would score 7 runs on 5 hits, and even with the 4 walks and 2 hit batters, that's still very efficient. Take the second inning for example: after a walk and double, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with no one out. That was followed by a groundout that advanced both runners (scoring one) and a sacrifice fly that scored the second. Today, the Twins actually did something similar in the sixth, but for the most part they have been lacking in that area this year.
And I have to give credit where credit is due. Us Twins bloggers have been ragging on the bullpen constantly (and rightfully so), but after another terrible outing in the early game, they pitched close to perfect in the late game. Matt Guerrier, Luis Ayala, and Jose Mijares combined to throw 4 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed. It was Mijares' first appearance since his recall from AAA-Rochester.
Why are we right in criticizing the bullpen?
ERAs of the bullpen (both current and previous members): 0.00, 1.50, 5.00, 6.00, 6.23, 6.48, 6.75, 7.50, 12.46, 36.00.
And the starters: 1.50, 5.71, 5.89, 7.06, 12.46.
If you look at those numbers, it's amazing the Twins are even 7-9.
Tomorrow the Twins will have their third day off in four days before heading out to Cleveland to face the only team behind them in the division.