I recall just a few days ago feeling this awful, dreadful feeling. It felt like my team had just began to get on a roll, just began to get their confidence going, when someone decided to get in the way and throw them in the ditch. Sunday night, that culprit was Carlos Silva. Luckily, following my plea (but not likely because of it), the Twins decided to demote him to the bullpen and finally promote Fransisco Liriano to the starting rotation.
Now, after last night's debacle, I am feeling about the same level of disgust with Kyle Lohse as I did with Silva. A lot of people, the Twins included, thought his last start against Texas was a good sign. Rick Anderson said that he had made adjustments on the mound. What I saw was a guy who got pretty lucky against a powerful Texas lineup after he walked four of them in six innings. Last night, he didn't get so lucky. Instead, he gave up five runs on six hits in just 2 and 2/3 innings of work. Lohse nows passes Silva for the league "lead" for the worst ERA at 8.92. His numbers, like Silva's, are just ridiculous. Opponents are hitting at a .339 clip off of Kyle and he has a WHIP of 1.98. In other words, he's allowing nearly two runners an inning. Sure, he is striking out a few, but that really doesn't matter if you walk nearly as many as you fan.
Therefore, as with Silva, I have to say it's time to take Lohse out of the rotation. There is just no way you can leave in a guy who is doing so incredibly awful and even worse now than the guy you just demoted. Who would take his place? Personally, I think Matt Guerrier should be the guy. It would be great if the Twins got more new blood around, with guys like Boof Bonser doing well at Triple-A, but they are unlikely to consider such options.
Guerrier has been solid since early struggles, as he has a 2.82 ERA. He is more of a long reliever for the Twins and came up as a starter. He has never had great success as a major league starter, but he would be a fine fifth starter for the Twins and if he could give them some good innings, that is a lot more than either Silva or Lohse has done this year. If not, they have to look into their minor league system and likely bring up Bonser after a move. Either way, they cannot let Lohse make another start if they have any ambitions of turning this season around.
Of course, I don't want to let the offense off the hook. Perhaps playing Joe Mauer against lefties still isn't a great idea. Yes, he is hitting .273 off them, but only with a .661 OPS and last night he grounded into two double plays, leaving a total of five men on base. Justin Morneau, although grabbing an RBI with a bases loaded walk, left two men in scoring position and grounded into a key double play. The team left a total of nine men on base, with Michael Cuddyer leaving seven on himself. That shouldn't be a knock on Cuddyer, though, since he did drive in a run with a sac fly, but in general, he and the rest of the Twins failed after gaining an early 3-0 lead to do much with the opportunities at hand.
Not to worry, though. Johan Santana is on the hill today and, if recent starts are telling of anything, he should have a good chance to end the Twins' ugly losing streak in Detroit.