Talk about ineptitude... the Twins absolutely reaked of it in this series. Don't let the reasonable score they posted tonight in a 7-4 loss to the Orioles fool you, they made mediocre starter Sidney Ponson look like a Cy Young caliber stud today, much like they did for the other two starters they faced in this series. While they were able to score some runs early, it was mostly thanks to sloppy defense and a wild pitch. They hit maybe 2 or 3 balls hard off of him in the entire 8 innings he pitched, and were unable to even squeak out a hit against him after the third inning. Despite his 5-1 record, Ponson's stats this year are anything but spectacular; 27 K to 19 BB, 4.93 ERA. He's one of those guys who the Twins have always inexplicably struggled against.
The game was still within reach - tied in fact - until JC Romero came in and completely sucked in the 8th inning, proving that the Twins really are without a serviceable southpaw in their bullpen. I don't care that his ERA is 1.26, Romero has terrible control (he has 10 walks in 14.1 IP this year, completely unacceptable for a guy in his role), and he almost always lets inherited runners score. It was moronic for the Twins to keep Terry Mulholland over CJ Nitkowski coming into the season. Mulholland is nothing more than a decent long reliever, which we already have in Matt Guerrier. In my opinion, Terry Ryan will need to trade for a left-handed reliever at some point if he wants this team to seriously contend this year.
Johan Santana fell victim to the Orioles monstrous offense, putting up perhaps his worst start of the year. Despite a respectable eight strikeouts, Santana allowed 9 hits and four earned runs over just six innings.
The offense was very quiet today. I don't know what it is, but Terry Tiffee has been terrible since being called up for the second time. He went 0/3 today. Justin Morneau continued to see the ball well, going 2 for 3. He, Joe Mauer and Shannon Stewart are the only guys in this lineup who have been remotely constistent lately, which is distressing.
Juan Rincon will be back with the team on Friday, and the Twins desperately need him to come back and be effective. That bullpen is way too thin without him.
Hopefully the team can take advantage of an off-day tomorrow to work out some kinks and bring a little more offense to their series at home against the Rangers this weekend, because they are going to need to score some runs if they want to beat that offense. I don't have a terrible amount of faith in Joe Mays, Carlos Silva, and Brad Radke to keep the ball in the park against that dangerous lineup. If the Twins' offense can't take advantage of Texas' subpar pitching and put some runs on the board, they are in for another lost series.
-In other news, I saw that the Rockies traded former Twins OF Michael Restovich to the Pirates today for a player to be named. I guess I don't have too much to say about this move other than that I hope Michael can find some playing time in Pittsburgh. He had put up some decent numbers with Colorado and I'd like to see the kid do well.
-I'd also like to voice my displeasure with the Twins for their idiotic approach to televising games. Johan Santana has started 8 games this year, and I'm pretty sure only 2 or 3 have been televised on FSN. That is absolutely absurd. I don't care if they are day games on a weekday, you need to find a way to get the games on TV when your Cy Young winner is pitching. It is really a slap in the face to the fans.