Tonight was just an overall bad night for the Twins. Usually, we have seen offensive wooes, but those were joined by pitching problems, as starter Brad Radke and the bullpen lightweights Matt Guerrier and Terry Mulholland allowed a 7-2 San Diego victory. As the Twins have lost six of their last nine games, the starting pitching has had an ERA north of 6 as they have been beyond mediocre. Radke left early and had troubles with a sore neck that may cause him to miss his next start. Now, San Diego starter Brian Lawrence has been seen as an ace and a big starter in his career, so a good night can be expected, but Radke was not up to par again, this time walking two hitters (thats a Radke no-no) while giving up three runs on seven hits in five innings. Those are not the numbers expected from a ace or veteran and especially Radke. Granted, we shouldn't expect Radke to give up a total of ten walks all year, but its entirely possible. He just shouldn't walk two batters in five innings; that's not his game. But, the bullpen didn't give the Twins much of a chance either, as little-used Guerrier gave up two runs, as did Mulholland. (But I expect that out of Mulholland, who now has a staff high 5.13 ERA and a 11.57 ERA in the past seven games. Time to drop him) With the pitching staff faltering, the offense did not pick them up either.
The Twins offense managed only seven hits, including two from Torii Hunter, who had a good night scoring a run and stealing his 16th base in a great effort early that manufactured a run. (He may have a 30-30 season this year. That would be impressive) The RBIs came from Joe Mauer's single and Lew Ford's sacrifice fly. Otherwise the output was little or none. Justin Morneau, who had a great night last night, wasn't terrible going 0 for 2, but seems to now did nothing one night and then have decent output the following night.
Inconsistency is certainly not what the Twins expected or need from Morneau, especially with White Sox's non-stop run on top the AL Central. With their win tonight, they are now 6 and a half games in front of the Twins. It may be only June, but the Twins need to make some serious moves soon if they expect to contend. They cannot continue to lean on their pitching, as tonight and other loses as of late have shown. They need offense; they need a real cleanup hitter; and they need to shore up their infield that has been decimated by injuries. That or maybe they could drop Mulholland and bring up Scott Baker or Travis Bowyer to shore up pitching as well (as Radke may miss his next start). Either way, the Twins need to start thinking of October, because they continue to make mistakes that playoff teams cannot make if they wish to make a serious run.