Saturday, August 06, 2005

Sloppy Sox

Tonight the Twins won 4-3 by virtue of two ninth-inning errors by the Red Sox. However, I am actually going to try to put a positive spin on this win since I am so tired of complaining about this team.

While it wasn't the most impressive victory in the world, I try to look at it this way: the Twins put themselves in position to win. After falling behind 3-0 early, the Twins were looking like their usual One Hit Wonder selves against David Wells. Then, in the sixth inning, their offense came out and strung together a bunch of hits (all singles) and tied the game. From then on, they had a few opportunities to take the lead, but they failed to take advantage. The most notable of these was when Justin Morneau came up with runners on first and second, and he hit a hard liner that would have snuck through between the first and second basemen and scored a run had baserunner Matthew LeCroy been watching the ball. Instead the ball hit Matthew and he was out.

In the 9th inning, Michael Cuddyer hit a grounder to third, and Bill Mueller's throw sailed over the first baseman's head allowing Cuddy to move up to second as the winning run. Nick Punto came up next, and - of course - bunted. It was a nice bunt, but pitcher Mike Timlin was there in plenty of time to make the play to first. He picked it up, took his time, and made a terrible throw that went into right field, allowing Cuddyer to score. It was hardly a run that the Twins earned, but they could have scored a few times in the preceding innings had they not made bone-headed mistakes themselves.

Boston, meanwhile, has looked really bad defensively in both of the games they have played at the Dome so far. Last night of course they had the first inning play in which they turned a double-play ball with the bases loaded into a bases-clearing double, and tonight they gave the Twins the winning run by failing to execute on routine plays. Know what the difference might be between this year and last year's World Series champs? Doug Mientkiewicz.