Thursday, May 10, 2007

Some Things Never Change

Well, you can say this for the Twins; they've been pretty consistent in their terrible offensive performance for the last few weeks. This is a team that has allowed twice as many home runs as it has hit. Last night was no exception to what the Twins offense has done lately.

They scored three runs, sure, but they all came late in the game and two of them were scored thanks to a Juan Uribe throwing error. They managed six hits but they were also no-hit by White Sox starter John Danks for the first four innings of the game. This despite the fact they put on a total of 12 baserunners, by walking six times.

Specifically, Justin Morneau looked terrible against Boone Logan last night, swinging pathetically at three curveballs with two on in the bottom of the eigth and chance to tie. Even worse was Jason Kubel, who killed any momentum the Twins had in the ninth after two walks, as he struck out against closer Bobby Jenks on three pitches. Kubel continues to look absolutely lost at the plate and he hasn't shown much recently to make me believe he's coming out of a slump. How long of a string should the Twins give Kubel? Considering that Josh Rabe is a worse hitter than Kubel is, even right now, the options remain slim.

Considering how weak the White Sox are right now, there isn't much excuse. Yes, they are 15-16, but Jim Thome is on the DL, Jermaine Dye is hitting .208 and Paul Konerko is hitting .209. In fact, no hitter in the Sox lineup last night ended the night hitting above .270. You have to question a lineup's strength when the hitter with the best average is Darin Erstad. Even with the nine hits last night, this is a team that has batted .218 when you factor out Thome's .340 average.

To be fair, the White Sox did come into the game with a 3.97 ERA for their pitching staff, but the rookie Danks also came in as their worst starter with a 5.02 ERA and an 0-4 record on the season. Taking into account both of these factors, the Twins should have been able to give themselves a chance. But both their hitting and pitching did not come through. The fact that they were so pathetic with the bats wasn't much of a surprise, seeing as how Danks happens to throw with his left hand.

The only real surprise was Ramon Ortiz, but it's really only a shocker considering his numbers so far this year. At some point, the bubble had to burst. Ortiz just isn't good enough to be posting anything close to a 2.57 ERA throughout a whole year. Sure, occurrences like a two-run bases-loaded broken bat single aren't reason to think Ortiz is terrible, but he also has allowed 10 runs in his last 10 innings, 9 earned. None of that is encouraging. Neither is his career low 3.6 K/9 ratio.

Is Ortiz going to end up putting up a 5.57 ERA like he did last year? That would seem a little bit harsh of a reaction to what has happened in his last two starts, but the ERA is likely going to be steadily increasing. The only truly encouraging thing that happened last night was the defensive gem of a play by Torii Hunter that probably won him another Gold Glove.

Today, the other surprise starter Carlos Silva takes the mound against Jose Contreras, who is now the worst White Sox starter after the Twins couldn't hit Danks. Contreras has a fairly high ERA at 4.88, largely due by his terrible 17/16 K/BB ratio. That means the Twins will have to be patient, but if it goes anything like last night, they will get the runners on and fail to bring them in. With that, things don't sound encouraging, but let's just Morneau has another big home run in him. He certainly didn't last night

5 comments:

Nick N. said...

I'd go easy on Morneau. The guy can't hit a game-breaking home run every night. That AB against Logan was awfully pathetic though.

Bruce said...

I have written a few times before, last time to say they needed to give Kubel more AB's. However, right now he really looks lost and maybe it is time to send him down to AAA and have him play every day until he regains confidence and swing. When Ford is brought up, send him down. Normally I dont like that approach, but right now they need to do something as he not only is not hitting for average he also has no power. At the same time they should switch Ponson and Baker, or if not trade Ponson to a team deperate for pitching for a prospect.

Nick M. said...

I doubt anyone will give up a prospect for Ponson. They'll just have to release him and bring up Baker if thats the route they take. And that would be a good trade anyways. If they aren't willing to do that, then they need to try and trade Baker for a bat.

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