When it's not the hitting, it's the pitching. Tonight Kyle Lohse went out and had a miserable outing, lasting only 2 innings while allowing a solo homer and a grand slam, but the Twins' offense showed uncharacteristic resilience, fighting back against a pitcher who has dominated them in Kenny Rogers. Juan Castro had big hits in his first couple at bats, ripping a double to left and eventually scoring in the first and then hitting a 2-run homer to tie the game at 5 in the second. The Twins continued to score runs, and entered the 9th inning with a 7-6 lead for Joe Nathan. However, Nathan was hit for the third time in as many outings, and tonight was the worst as he was absolutely pulverized. Joe gave up the lead on a Michael Young RBI single, and then in the next at-bat gave up a mammoth 3-run homer to Mark Teixeira to lose it. Nathan's recent troubles have put a supreme blemish on a second-half performance that had been near spotless, and his ERA has shot back up over 3.
In all, the game was just another sad chapter in what has become a terribly disappointing 2005 campaign for the Twins. With playoff hopes eradicated and the lack of run support preventing Johan Santana from having much of a shot at capturing the Cy Young award, there is little reason to watch this team anymore this season. It doesn't help that we really don't have any call-ups of interest on the offensive side of the ball and Francisco Liriano is being used in a meaningless long relief role that really won't give us much of a picture of what kind of success he is going to have in the Bigs.