Well, I guess I have to repeat myself: Terry Mulholland is useless. He has nothing left. Everytime you put him on the mound, your asking for a seven-run defecit. Sure, Nathan's control wasn't there, but I'd rather see Romero out there than old man Mulholland. Lets see, he allowed all inherited runners to score, gave up three hits, two walks, all in 2/3 of an inning while inflating Nathan's ERA to 3.81. Thanks Terry. Now Nathan loses some of his chances in going to the all-star game. Oh, but worse, WE LOST! Again! Because of you! Chicago had an off day today after going 1-2 versus the Diamondbacks. We have had so many opportunities to catch up to Chicago, yet we are still five games behind. Why? Bad decisions like keeping Mulholland on the team and of course, our inability to hit other over-40 pitchers like Jeff Fassero, who struck out four Twins tonight. That's just pathetic. We lost 2 of 3 to the terrible Giants, who had lost 15 of 18 coming in, in our homepark. There's not much to really say more about it. We did get our hits, seven runs total off of Brett Tomko, but couldn't get runs off a meager Giants bullpen again. And to top it off, our bullpen failed us and we made several costly errors. So, yea its not all Mulholland's fault, but with the game on the line, what the hell is he doing pitching?
So, what did we all do wrong? Of course there's Mulholland. Then, there are Nathan's three walks in the ninth that set-up the hit fest off of old man. Then there is the three unearned runs for Joe Mays, caused by two costly errors by recent call-up Glenn Williams and Shannon Stewart, who failed to make a easy catch that must of got in the lights. Williams also made another rookie mistake, as he got caught stealing home in the late innings. And Jones again, in the eigth, bobbled a ball and failed to make a good throw to prevent a run that tied the game. Of course, the aggressiveness is ok, but errors once again proved to be costly for the Twins. They need to catch the ball, especially when their pitchers are getting knocked around by nobodies in Giant uniforms. There was, as always, a few standouts in the mix. Joe Mauer did hit his sixth homer in the first, a two-run blast. Justin Morneau went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs in a good offensive night. Lew Ford went 2 for 4 with his own three-run homer (with two outs nonetheless. Its amazing because all of Lew Ford's homers have been with two outs and all have been for three runs. The exception is, of course, that the others won those games for the most part) and Michael Cuddyer and Luis Rodriguez also had two hits a piece. But it was not enough to make up for a rough start for Mays, costly errors, and the disgraceful performances of Nathan and Mulholland in the ninth.
Simply put, it was an ugly loss. And the Twins will have to get it together before the face the young Padres team this weekend, which includes a wonderful pitching matchup between Johan Santana and Padres ace Jake Peavy on Sunday. Unfortunately, it will not be on FSN. They too, it seems, screwed up big for Twins fans.
* One positive note: Gifted left-handed pitching prospect Fransisco Liriano was promoted to Triple-A after going 3-5 with a 3.64 ERA and 26 walks and 92 Ks in 76 and a third innings at Double-AA ball in New Britain. Liriano, who was acquired with Nathan and Boof Boonser in the A.J. deal in 2003, is a 21-year old with a great fastball that hits 97, a slider, and a change. (Sound familiar?) As with Johan, the Twins want to work with Liriano to use his change more in order to be effective and to gain more command with all his pitches. Hopefully, they'll have the same success as this young man is filled with talent. Bet on seeing him late this year, especially after with expanded rosters in September.