Thursday, July 19, 2007

Santana "Ripped" By Tigers

This is what the ESPN.com main page had written about the Twins loss last night. For some reason, when a two-time Cy Young award winning pitcher goes eight innings, gives up five hits and three runs while walking one and striking out seven, it qualifies as getting "ripped." For those counting, those numbers amount to a 3.38 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP. Not too shabby. Of course, headlines like that only add to the ridiculous notion that Santana is having some kind of down year and that he isn't in the Cy Young race with Dan Haren, John Lackey, and C.C. Sabbathia.

What is more unfortunate, though, is that Santana did pitch so well without picking up a win. His only mistakes came against Magglio Ordonez, who came into the game hitting .400/.435/.850 against Santana in 40 career at-bats. Just like on Tuesday, the Twins offensive motor seemed to be in perpetual first gear. Sure, they got a few runs, but not enough and they never really got going. The offense left a total of 14 men on and a total of seven runners in scoring position with two outs. Consider that the Twins had 10 hits, four more than the Tigers, but managed only two runs (neither of which was actually driven in on a hit). They also walked four times against Tigers starter Andrew Miller, whose wildness granted one of the Twins runs when Justin Morneau was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Who were the main culprits? For one, Joe Mauer and Morneau, the Twins' biggest bats, went a combined 1-for-9 with while leaving 11 men on together, helping to make Michael Cuddyer's 4-for-4 performance go widely unnoticed. Additionally, Lew Ford, making the start in place of the beleaguered Jason Kubel, went 0-for-4 and left seven men on base. He is now hitting only .237/.308/.351 on the season and is hitting .167 (2-for-16) in July so far. After what was a good June, Ford has gone right back to being a pumpkin. Kubel didn't fare better, as he replaced Torii Hunter after his injury and subsequently struck out in his only at-bat, a very important one that saw the bases loaded with two outs. Kubel has been absolutely atrocious as of late, going hitless in his last 15 at-bats since his big performance in the double-header against Chicago before the break. He spent his one at-bat staring at three strikes in what can only be described as a pathetic and depressing attempt at hitting. Lastly, it certainly doesn't help the Twins cause that their last two hopes with Cuddyer on in the ninth were Jason Tyner and Garrett Jones. But Tyner is a battler, right John Gordon?

Losing these two key games essentially puts the Twins out of the division race, as they are now eight games back of a team that looks like the best in the American League. The good news for Twins fans is that they still might have a shot at the Wild Card, which they are six games back from after a Cleveland loss yesterday. If they want that shot, games like last night's can't happen again. The Twins can't afford to lose when Santana hands them pitching gems. However, if you listen to ESPN, he got ripped with the rest of them anyway.

14 comments:

Steven said...

What is Scotty Ullger’s deal??? First he does not send Punto one of the fastest guys on the team early in the game. Lucky for Scott, Punto came around and scored. Next he holds cirillo when he is pretty much on third as Maggs collects the ball on the warning track in right. Punto would of gotten to third easily and Cirllo would of scored way before the cut off man could throw it home. The game should of been tied at three on a castillo grounder if Scotty knew what he was doing.

Nick M. said...

Complaining about Scotty Ullger almost (almost) gets old. He's just been a bad coach for so long. We got used to his hitting "advice" being worthless when young guys didn't get anywhere under him and when Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter never learned about this thing called the strikezone.

As a third base coach, I think he's even worse. Sometimes I wonder if we'd be better off with no one on third giving signs.

Sean Schulte said...

At least Ullger is one of Gardy's friends. That makes him good, since Gardy's such a great coach, right?

And the national media has been doing this to Santana all season. He loses 2-0 while the opposing pitcher throws a shut out, and the focus is on him getting "out-dueled" rather than on the other guy's good performance.

If I were a conspiracy guy, I'd say the NY-based media is trying to make it seem like Johan is struggling and would be best served by (and would like to) get out of Minnesota and into New York.

But since I'm not, I'll just assume they're just not very good at their jobs.

Dan said...

I think the main culprits where the bottomw of the order. Morneau and Mauer can't do it every single night.

Really tough loss, but I question the idea that we are out of the division race at 8 games out but are still in the wild card at 6 games with about 70 games left. I think both are equally hard, but possibly about equally attainable with a huge run. A win today would be a nice start.

twayn said...

He [Kubel] spent his one at-bat staring at three strikes in what can only be described as a pathetic and depressing attempt at hitting.

I don't think you can really count it as a hitting attempt unless you actually swing the bat. I almost punched my TV after that plate appearance last night.

Nick M. said...

Dan -

Your right to say the bottom of the order is a culprit and I tried to touch on that by mentioning how bad Lew Ford was. But the fact is Mauer and Morneau weren't able to drive in the runners when they had chances. Of course, you could just as well say that the offense outside of Cuddyer was ugly overall. As to the whole division race/wild card race, I said that we were in the Wild Card race because I think its more realistic. I just am not sure its realistic to envision the Twins catching up to the Tigers. Whereas the Indians have some wholes, overall, the Tigers have very few holes.

Twayn -

I think a lot of people were ready to punch the TV. I think so many have tried to be supportive and patient with Kubel, but its hard when it doesn't even look like he's trying.

Dan said...

Anyone know why they would pinch-hit Jones for Cirillo? The guy only has 15 MLB at-bats this seaon, while Cirillo is a veteran hitting .273 on the season. I would think the more experienced guy would get the nod when you're down by one in the bottom of the ninth.

Nick N. said...

Anyone know why they would pinch-hit Jones for Cirillo?

I thought the decision made some sense. Cirillo isn't a very good hitter against right-handers. If Jones can't come in and pinch-hit against a righty in that situation, then really, why is he even on the roster?

Anonymous said...

Having totally wasted $40 on seats at the dome the last two nights, it seems to me that the Twins are absolutely done for the season. They have MAYBE four major league hitters on a good night. The others can only fly out or occasionally hit a seeing-eye single. Unless Terry Ryan gets real busy over the next two weeks, spring training will be the next time our boys will have any hope...

Ryan said...

I complain when guys don't protect the plate with two strikes and just watch a close pitch sail by.

Kubel's at bat with the bases loaded last night made me wonder why he bothers showing up to the ballpark. Was it me, or did it appear those three strikes were in basically the same spot?

Anonymous said...

Add to the other anon' remark: When Kuble somehow doubles off Bonderman as he just did in the fifth, Bonderman can have his second warm up halfway the game by a meet and greet with the Jones, Punto & Tyner gang. It is pathetic. This is bad news for the management. Santana is not going to commit himself for a couple of years to a franchise that refuses to fill up holes when there is just a couple of them. What is wrong with Ryan? Budget? Not even a trade to get some compensation for letting Smit go.

Nick M. said...

The Smit thing seemed really problematic to me. Smit is only 21 years old and has been considered a top prospect by many. If Ryan is so protective of young pitching, why let him go for nothing? Then again, there is nothing more pathetic then considering bringing up Garrett Jones a move to improve the offense. Ryan certainly needs to make some moves ad the sad thing is they don't have to be huge. Bring in Ty Wigginton and Scott Hattenberg for a minor price and you've made a huge improvement. (Thanks TwinsGeek)

And yes Ryan, I think anyone watching the game couldn't understand what Kubel was thinking.

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,

be said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,