Thursday, April 27, 2006

No New Words to Describe This Old Feeling

Wow. The Royals (it hurts so much to say this) beat the Twins 3-1 last night. The Twins lost to a pitcher who is considered overweight after Tommy John surgery and who lost his three rehab starts in the minors. Yep, they did it again. They made an awful/mediocre starter (Runelvys Hernandez) look like a Cy Young candidate, as they managed only two hits off of him in seven innings and four hits total over the course of the game against a shoddy Kansas City pitching staff.

It was simply put a pathetic effort. We can spend all day offering reasons for why the Twins lost to good teams to start the year, but we can't do that with the Royals. Instead of the pitching giving a weak effort, it was the hitting. Scott Baker had a fine outing, giving the Twins another quality start that they have had so few of this year. He went seven innings and gave up three runs, striking out six. That should be enough to win again, especially against Hernandez.

But the Twins hitters had different things in mind, apparently. Only Justin Morneau did anything, homering off of Hernandez in the fifth. Otherwise, Mauer, Stewart, and Ford had a hit apiece and nobody walked. There was a chance to go ahead with Rondell White, but with two outs and a .147 hitter at the plate, what do you expect? That's why it may be time to implement a new battin order. Me and Nick Nelson discussed this and here's what we feel could be successful:

Castillo
Ford
Stewart
Mauer
White
Batista
Hunter
Morneau
Castro (preferrably Bartlett)

Clearly not ideal, but there isn't exactly much to work with on this roster right now. You could play with the names at the bottom of the order, but right now, Hunter is doing absolutely nothing at the plate and despite his homer, Morneau hasn't looked good. Mauer is the only guy who seems competent enough to drive guys in and we need to try something before this season slips away to losses against awful teams like the Royals.

Today, Johan Santana starts and naturally it's not televized. If anything is right in the world, the Twins should win this game and come away with a series victory.

7 comments:

BB said...

Stewart has never had success hitting anywhere other then cleanup.
My lineup:
Stewart
Castillo
Ford
Mauer
Batista
Hunter
Morneau
White
Castro

Nick M. said...

Its not a bad lineup either, since White may not do so well right now in the five hole and of course, I want to move Hunter and Morneau down. But, I like Castillo as the leadoff hitter more.

Jeff A said...

"Pathetic" was exactly the word I was thinking of after last night's game.

I'd have nothing against shaking up the lineup, but the fact is that, if we don't get better performances, it's irrelevant. The order in which they make outs isn't going to make a lot of difference.

What bothers me most is that, from reading the newspapers, I don't get the impression that anyone on the team is particularly upset about the way they've been playing. They seem to think that if they just keep doing what they've been doing, things will automatically get better. I'm not saying it's time to panic, but I'd like to see an acknowledgement from somebody--the general manager, the manager, the players--that they're current performance is unacceptbale. I don't see that.

I'm trying really hard not to get too down on this team. I know it's early--I'm one of the people who's been saying it. And I know it's easy to look lifeless when you aren't scoring runs. But if things are going to change, it's going to be because people do specific things to make them change. I don't see any recognition of that by the Twins.

Nick N. said...

Jeff, that's a good point. One thing I always liked about Doug Mientkiewicz was that if he was slumping, he would come right out and say, "I'm doing terrible right now and my performance is unacceptable. I need to start hitting better." I would love to see Torii Hunter step up and say that because his offensive performance as of late has been absolutely putrid and I think he deserves a great deal of the blame for the offense's incompetency in the past couple series, particularly considering he is the team's highest-paid player.

Anonymous said...

Still no protection for Mauer in the 4 spot. Walk him and get to RonDL, but I guess something has to be done.

I thought Castillo would be a perfect lead off, but with his tender knees, I'm not so sure. I like Stewart leading off and Castillo doing some hit and run. That leaves...I don't know, so many holes in this lineup. Is Morneau looking more and more like Rob Deer lately.

I do like L-Rod's at bats though. I wish they'd get him in the lineup more somewhere.

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