The sweep at the hands of Detroit was pretty pathetic, but last night's game was worse in my mind. There are no excuses for losing games against the worse team in baseball. Or, for that matter, getting shut out by them. It was awful on so many levels.
Let's see. It wasn't just the 11 runners left on base. It was the seven left in scoring position with two outs by Justin Mendoza (two), Lew Ford (two), Juan Castro, Shannon Stewart, and Michael Cuddyer. The team managed only five hits, but in drawing six walks against Kansas City starter Jeremy Affeldt, they had plenty of chances. Ford is probably most culpable, going 0-for-3 in the five spot, leaving four men on behind Torii Hunter, who actually had the best night out of the Twins hitters, going 2-for-3 in the cleanup spot. Worse, the top of the order (Stewart, Luis Castillo/Luis Rodriguez, Joe Mauer) went 0-for-10 with three walks and five men left on. What is confusing is that Mauer (0-for-4, two Ks) was even started, when backup Mike Redmond is doing so well. Mauer is 4-for-22 so far against lefties this and definitely needed to get sat. Poor move on Gardy's part. And although Morneau had a double against Affeldt, he probably should have been benched as well. Overall, poor managing. A game like this shows exactly why the Twins should have just stuck with Jason Bartlett and Jason Kubel from the beginning of the season.
As for any positives, Twins fans can rejoice that Carlos Silva watched a video, "fixed himself," and threw 7 decent innings last night, giving up one run, eight hits, and striking out two. Like Radke, he redeemed himself with a quality start against KC, but unfortunately, the Twins batters were awful. The worse news is that it won't get any better this weekend, at all.
This weekend, the Twins face two left-handers, one they are historically bad against (Kenny Rogers; see last Sunday's horrific performance against him) and another (Mike Maroth) who is 4-1 this year with a 1.78 ERA. Their only real chance is against Jeremy Bonderman, who they have occassionally knocked around in the past. I'd like to think the Twins have a chance, but with Kyle Lohse on the mound versus Rogers, I'm not exactly psyched.