I can't say anything positive. Not even remotely. I am trying my hardest, searching my brain for a time I have been more disgusted by a Twins' performance, but even in the ugly years I fail to find an effort as pitiful as that of the Twins' offense today. It's getting really difficult to be a fan of this team right now. I can't even appreciate the contributions of the pitching staff because they go to waste on a nightly basis. This offense is utterly EMBARRASSING. I don't care if our starting rotation was comprised of Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Walter Johnson, Christy Matthewson and Nolan Ryan; this still wouldn't be a playoff team. And yet everyone involved with the team and the broadcasts still constantly speaks about the "playoff hunt." Get the hell out of here. I hate to speak this badly of the team I have loved my whole life... but the level of play of these guys right now is such that nothing but furious rants of criticism can do it justice.
Today the Twins lost 1-0 to the Kansas City Royals. The worst team in baseball shut out the Twins. And that wasn't even close to the worst part. The Twins literally had a scoring opportunity in every single inning of the ball game. Observe:
First inning: Runners on first and second with one out. Jacque Jones grounds into a double play to end the inning.
Second inning: Runners on first and second with one out. Mike Redmond grounds into a double play to end the inning.
Third inning: Runner on second with two outs. Joe Mauer grounds out to end the inning.
Fourth inning: Runners on first and second with one out. Terry Tiffee grounds into a (weird) double play to end the inning.
Fifth inning: Runners on second and third with one out. Nick Punto grounds out to first, Mauer is walked, Jones grounds out to end the inning.
Sixth inning: Runner on second with one out. Tiffee and Redmond fly out to end the inning.
Seventh inning: Runner on first with one out. Punto strikes out; baserunner Mike Ryan gets picked off trying to go to second to end the inning.
Eighth inning: Leadoff single by Mauer. Jones grounds into another double play. Lew Ford singles and moves up to third on an error. Justin Morneau fouls out to end the inning.
Ninth inning: Runners on second and third with one out. Brent Abernathy pinch-runs for Redmond at third. A pitch gets past the catcher, Abernathy contemplates going home, then slowly heads back towards third and gets thrown out trying to do so. Ryan strikes out to end the inning.
13 hits, zero runs. Against KANSAS CITY. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Over this whole unbelievable stretch of ineptitude, the Twins pitching staff (Kyle Lohse for seven innings, Juan Rincon for one) managed to keep the wimpy Royals lineup scoreless, but in the bottom of the ninth Matt Guerrier, Terry Mulholland, and a ridiculously ugly error by Tiffee helped KC bring in a run and salvage a win in a serious that should have easily been swept.
I wonder how many times in baseball history a team has gotten 13 hits and failed to score a run. I know for a fact that it is a Twins record. Oh, and the Twins also drew two walks and had one guy hit by a pitch, so that's 16 baserunners left out to dry if you're keeping track.
Sure, these guys kicked some paper cups around and cursed a few times in the dugout as they walked out with slumped shoulders after the game, but there's really no doubt that this weekend they'll go out and continue to do the same thing. I fear the month of September is not going to be a very fun one for the Minnesota Twins.