As you might have guessed from the titular pun, Prince Fielder had a good part in bashing the Twins around last night in the Metrodome, where the Brewers took the first of the weekend series 11-3. Fielder, along with Geoff Jenkins and rookie sensation Ryan Braun, took their aggression out on Scott Baker and Ramon Ortiz, pummeling each pitcher with a total of 15 hits.
You might recall that Baker's best start and really his only good one this year came against the Brew Crew in May, when he went 8 1/3 innings for his only win of the year. Since then, he has given up 30 hits and 20 runs in just 18 2/3 innings. In other words, he's been positively ugly and clearly the situation did not improve last night.
Baker did strike out six Brewers and showed some good stuff at times, but he made the same mistakes in a different game, as he continues to have trouble pitching inside at all and rather shows a stubborn adherence to the outside corner. The results included the Jenkins grand slam in the third that put the Twins behind for good. Currently, Baker holds a 7.33 ERA and it's anyone's guess how much longer he stays in the rotation before he is replaced by Matt Garza.
Of course, there is another potential replacement -- at least in the mind of Ron Gardenhire -- who also got knocked around last night, which should continue to keep him out of the running. Ortiz was obviously terrible as a starter after a hot April, but he hasn't faired much better in relief. As a reliever, Ortiz so far has allowed 18 hits and eight runs in 13 innings, while striking out only five batters. It would be worse if we hadn't come to expect this sort of thing from Ortiz.
The only real positives to come out of the game were the solo home runs of Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel. It's nice to see Morneau hit a low pitch out to the opposite field and increase his homer total to 19 (good for second in the league still), but it's even better to see Kubel display some power again, as his bat is slowly starting to show more signs of life. Otherwise, you can't say too many positive things about managing just five hits against Claudio Vargas and Brian Shouse.
Lucky for the Twins that they face Dave Bush tonight, who owns one of the league's worse ERAs at 5.70. Then again, there is a good chance Bush will go Jason Simontacchi on the Twins offense.