"This series for me is more important than anything else we are dealing with," Ryan said. "You have to set the tone for the second half."
That is a Terry Ryan quote from yesterday's Star Tribune, talking about the importance of playing well in the team's first post-break series. Well, the Twins certainly did not set a very positive tone in the series opener last night. The offense failed to produce a hit until the fifth inning and Francisco Liriano had his worst start of the year.
Among the culprits on the Twins' flailing offense was Torii Hunter, who continued to be a non-factor in the lineup by going 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. Justin Morneau ended his hitting streak by going 0-for-3 with four men left on, although he pick up an RBI on a sac fly.
Nonetheless, the team was put in an early hole by Liriano. That Liriano struggled to throw strikes at time was not entirely surprising, but that he gave up three home runs was. Liriano picked up just his second loss of the season. His ERA rose, but still sits at a solid 2.12.
On a brighter note, we have drawn winners in our Twins DVD giveaway. Congratulations to:
Thanks to everyone who sent in, particularly those of you who added a little note. It's always nice to learn a little bit more about the readers (you guys should comment more!). Hopefully we'll be able to do more stuff like this in the future. I'll be in touch with the winners about mailing info, so check your e-mail.