Monday, June 05, 2006

Barely Holding On

The Twins look absolutely lifeless. And with Carlos Silva actually starting a game for some reason, who's to blame them? I'd like to be one of the first to try and spell this out for the Twins: Like it or not, last year may have been and probably was a fluke. There was no way Carlos was going to reproduce his incredible season of control, which is basically the only reason his ERA wasn't above 4. If he walked more people, things would have been a lot worse. Not to mention, you always have to put some luck into it. Hey, Jorge Sosa had a 2.55 ERA last year and everyone knew this year it would be worse. (In fact, he's 1-7 with a 5.07 for Atlanta)

The point is, we shouldn't be so surprised. And the Twins should quit acting like somehow he's going to magically do exactly what he did last year. Realistically, he's probably better in the bullpen. There must have been a reason he was put there. After all, in 2002 and 2003, the Phillies didn't have the best rotation. There was probably some room there. Regardless, hitters have figured him out. And he's not even helping himself.

Sure, the sinker shows up here and there, but hitters aren't just getting the hits they did last year. They are driving the ball left and right. It's not grounders through the middle, its line drives. It felt like half the outs yesterday came on deep drives to some part of the outfield. Nick Swisher almost had TWO home runs. In other words, Silva was pretty lucky to only give up four runs and nine hits. To me, he looks pretty close to done.

Maybe he can salvage something in the bullpen, but if they keep giving him starts, I doubt it gets much better. They are just throwing away games at this point. At least Brad Radke is improving.

Of course, can't let the offense off. After Joe Mauer blasted a drive off of Rich Harden for a home run in the first to show off his power, the Twins bats were quickly silenced. They managed a pathetic five hits after that. If you want answers, look at some of our hitters this last week: Luis Castillo (.214/.290/.214), Torii Hunter (.160/.241/.280), Michael Cuddyer (.160/.200/.292). Absolutely nothing from the middle of the order other than Justin Morneau (a good .292/.370/.583 this last week). The Twins left seven men on yesterday, three in scoring position.

Only a few positives here. Mauer's home run, for one, and no errors. That seems sad, but it was a terrible week for the defense. Overall, it was just a disappointing and disastrous series that was saved only by the great pitching of Santana and Nathan on Friday night. Thank God the next opponent is the hapless Mariners, and Liriano and Santana will both get a start in that series.