After what was one of the worst games of their season Thursday, the Twins followed it up last night with what could be considered a worse game. Not only could they not do anything offensively, but the pitching wasn't particularly great either. Many thought that Thursday's loss might have been the season, but its' just as well possible that last night's was the killer blow. The sad thing is that once again the Twins lost on a night in which both Cleveland and Detroit lost. A recent comment on this site said things perfectly: Cleveland and Detroit can't keep losing like this. And if the Twins are even thinking about the Wild Card, watch out for the streaking Yankees.
The worst part about the last night's game wasn't the standard offensive ineptitude, but the end of Scott Baker's streak of quality starts. Baker did all the things he hasn't done for what seems months: he walked too many (three), he gave up way too many hits (9) in only 5 1/3 innings, and he did very poorly with men on, as he gave up a grand slam to "slugger" Maicer Izturis. While it seems like he's been good for a while, its been just over a month since Chicago knocked Baker around in the 20-14 slugfest on July 6. It didn't help matters for the Twins that Juan Rincon came in and displayed abysmal control by walking three to help add to the Angels lead, displaying yet another "skill" that has led to this year's embarrassing 6.35 ERA.
It would also seem that the move to send Lew Ford down for Carmen Cali for bullpen help wasn't all that useful, as Cali has an 8.22 ERA so far in 7 2/3 innings, with an awful 5/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio and nine hits allowed for an ugly 2.22 WHIP. All this is in line with the short stints he had with St. Louis in 2004 and 2005, as he has a 18/20 K/BB ratio in just 21 career innings with 32 hits allowed to go along with a 9.00 career ERA. Needless to say, Cali isn't doing much good in the bullpen either. Fortunately, the outings of the two worst bullpen members (worst than Ramon Ortiz, who was the only Twins pitcher not to allow any runs) came in a blowout, because the Twins still aren't doing very much scoring.
Granted, last night's opposing pitcher was a pretty good one in Kelvim Escobar. However, one run with a total of 10 baserunners is particularly ugly, as evidenced by the five runners left in scoring position with two outs. It's just as bad that the Twins did nothing against Darren Oliver and Greg Jones, two of the less formidable members of the Angels bullpen. But the worst aspect of the Twins offensive ineptitude of last night was the 3-4-5-6 hitters of the lineup going 1-for-14 with two walks. Good thing that there is some hope for today, as they face off against Cy Young candidate John Lackey, whom they've surprisingly scored nine runs against in 12 innings this year.