Saturday, July 08, 2006

Road Woes

After watching the Twins get massacred 9-4 in Texas last night, I am honestly starting to ponder the notion of just not watching Twins games anymore when they are on the road. It's quite stunning to me that a team with this much talent can consistently play so terribly away from their home ballpark.

I guess you can't really expect to stand a chance against a potent lineup like that of the Rangers when you trot out a trio of pitchers (Carlos Silva, Willie Eyre and Kyle Lohse) who probably shouldn't even be in the major leagues. Silva was tagged for five runs (all earned) on six hits and a walk while recording just five outs before exiting the game with a "knee injury." Eyre did not provide much relief, giving up four hits in just 2/3 of an inning while serving up a long two-run homer to Gary Matthews, Jr. Lohse pitched decently but by the time he came in the game was already long since over.

The bright spot for the Twins' pitching staff was the long overdue major league debut of Pat Neshek, who tossed two scoreless innings.

Meanwhile, the offense staggered against a poor pitching staff, much like they did in Kansas City. Torii Hunter continued to cement his reputation as a pitcher's best friend. Rangers starter John Wasdin got himself into a first-inning jam by loading the bases on a hit and a couple walks, and Hunter quickly helped him out by grounding out to short on the first pitch he saw to end the inning. This trend is growing increasingly tiring.

The contributions of the Twins' young studs (Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau all delivered solo home runs and Morneau ripped an RBI double) were bittersweet in the blowout loss. On the bright side, the last two starters we will watch before the All-Star break are Francisco Liriano and Johan Santana, so at the very least we can expect some closer games.