Early this offseason, the Twins front office took a few chances. One of them clearly was with Sidney Ponson. So far, the deal has worked out terribly. In 15 1/3 innings this year after last night's disaster, Ponson has allowed 28 hits and 16 runs. He's struck out ten hitters, which isn't terrible, but he's also walked seven. Those add up to some stand-out awful numbers: 9.39 ERA, .384 opponent BA, 2.28 WHIP, and four home runs allowed so far. (That adds up to a predicted 38)
Sure, it has only been three starts and one of those against--against the Yankees--is at least somewhat forgivable. However, a mediocre start against Tampa Bay and last night's debacle against the Kansas City inspires absolutely no confidence in Ponson having a decent year. He's hittable, his control isn't there, and there is no way he going to do any better than our minor league options at this point.
The experiment must be ended. The good news is the one minor league starter the Twins aren't concerned about rushing--Scott Baker--had a very good start last night. In that start, Baker gave up only two runs in eight shutout innings while striking out eight and walking none. Baker has clearly mastered Triple-A hitters and has nothing to prove there. As soon as the Twins decide to end the Sir Sid experiment, its time to give Baker another shot.
As for the rest of the game, it was pretty miserable to watch the Twins bullpen give up five runs to relinquish the lead. And though there were no errors, the Twins defense last night was far from inspiring. At least the offense managed some runs, but the ninth inning felt typical up the Twins offense recently: a good at-bat by Joe Mauer ending in a strikeout, a Michael Cuddyer homerun, and then Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter getting out on the first pitch. Against Royal pitchers who often can't even find the strikezone, the need to be a little more patient. Lets hope for some improvement today, when Boof Bonser takes the mound.