Saturday, September 16, 2006

Missed Opportunities Spell Loss

Last night, the Twins had many opportunities to put across enough runs to put a win up against the Cleveland Indians in support of Johan Santana, but they stuttered and failed to ever gain a lead. When individually added up, the Twins hitters left 24 men on base, 11 as a team. That's way too many against a Cleveland staff with a 4.53 ERA and a bullpen that has been wildly inconsistent for some time.

Part of the problem, of course, was that Johan wasn't exactly Johan yesterday. He had plenty of Ks (7), threw eight innings, and walked only one, but he gave up four runs, three earned. His only really problem was a couple well-hit balls and a two-run homer off the bat of Ryan Garko. Of course, considering he's given up 23 this year, it isn't a surprise. Homers have always been his Achille's Heel.

But seeing that his ERA barely went up (2.75 to 2.77) and he now has 237 Ks, he's still Johan and the Cy Young hasn't exactly switched hands. It's just the Twins could have done a better job scoring runs when they had the chance.

They had the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth and scored twice, but one was lucky (Justin Morneau's RBI single off of Joe Inglett's glove) and the other was off of a Rondell White double play. Not pretty stuff. The ninth inning was a similar story; bases loaded, no outs, two runs on a ground-out and a sacrifice fly. They got the job done, but no big hits with the opportunities they had.

Not breaking the game open meant a loss, though luckily the White Sox lost. With Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia on the hill today, who knows what will happen. The Twins have had their luck against him this year, and their starter Carlos Silva isn't exactly sparkling. Let's hope they can get it done, but we may be lucky to get a split here.

3 comments:

Nick M. said...

http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/15531923.htm

Interesting piece that has comments from Indians pitcher Paul Byrd. Obviously some people might think its not so strange that rival pitchers think Liriano needs Tommy John (who wouldn't want him gone for a year or more, right?), but I don't Byrd would have that kind of contention.

Besides, he makes a really good point. No structural damage doesn't mean there isn't a problem. Do the Twins want Liriano to go out and pitch and have pain everytime he does, going on the DL all the time? It may honestly be better that he has it soon, even if the team says that he doesn't need it.

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