Tuesday, August 07, 2007

S.O.P.

The Twins' Standard Operating Procedure is starting to become very grating. For some, I'm sure, it makes the team awful difficult to watch. For over a week, the Twins have been walking a very fine line, as they failed to score any runs on a regular basis while getting wins on the coattails of great pitching performances. The Twins have scored more than three runs just once in the past week and naturally, that came against the Kansas City Royals and not the team's current playoff competitors.

Of course, anyone who watches the Twins (let alone reads this site) knows what this year's S.O.P. is for the Twins. It includes a good (or great) starting pitching performance combined with little or no offense against a very hittable pitcher. Last night, the Twins' starter was Carlos Silva, who went seven good innings, giving up six hits and two runs while walking one and striking out six. His hittable opponent on the mound was Paul Byrd, who came into the game with a 4.57 ERA and ended with a 4.13 ERA.

The best thing Byrd has going for him on the season is that he has given up as many home runs (16) as he has walks, producing a good 64/16 K/BB ratio and displaying excellent control. However, he has also allowed a .295 BAA, which includes last night's shutout of the Twins. At least the last time out the Twins managed a few runs and 10 hits off of Byrd instead of the absolutely pathetic four hits and one walk they managed last night.

The deeper reasoning for the struggles include having Jason Tyner -- who went 0-for-4 last night -- continue to bat leadoff, while putting rookie Alexi Casilla (who also went hitless) behind him in the second spot. Obviously, that was done last night because Nick Punto was playing shortstop for Jason Bartlett, but as many fans know, it would be a less embarrassing 1-2 "punch" if Joe Mauer was moved into the second spot when necessary, while moving Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, and Torii Hunter up a spot. However, it's even worse that Morneau is stuck in a 1-for-22 slump after a great July while Hunter's struggles have carried over from July and Cuddyer has one hit in his last 10 at-bats. The best news the Twins have offensive-wise is that Jason Kubel is showing a better bat in his past few games, picking up his 18th double last night and going 5-for-14 with two walks in his last five games, but you have to wonder if he'll go into a multi-game slump now as has been his M.O. this season.

It's truly unfortunate that fans have to look harder to find positives outside of the continued good pitching of the Twins, which is continuously wasted by the lack of offense. It's good news that Kubel is doing better and that Joe Mauer's bat appears to be heating up, but it's far worse that the Twins have to rely on largely one half of their team to pick up victories.

11 comments:

ubelmann said...

S.O.P. == Sh!@#y Offensive Performance?

S.Chancellor said...

We need some new words to describe this offense. I can't think of any that do it justice.

The Twins have scored 71 runs since the break. Next fewest - Pittsburgh, 85.

The Twins give away 5 outs every turn through the order.

The Twins offense is the worst since '81, when [if I recall] John Castino led the team with 7 HR and 23 RBI in an 109-game strike year. Maybe Smalley drove in a few more runs; I don't remember.

But this year's squad - what a trainwreck! We thought we were getting a contender?

Nick N. said...

S.O.P. == Sh!@#y Offensive Performance?

Haha, that was what I was thinking.

The Twins offense is the worst since '81, when [if I recall] John Castino led the team with 7 HR and 23 RBI in an 109-game strike year. Maybe Smalley drove in a few more runs; I don't remember.

I don't know that this offense is much worse than the 2005 group. As you'll recall, that team went through some pretty horrible slumps as well, and Johan Santana and Carlos Silva received similarly criminal run support (as evidenced by their records that year).

St Paul said...

It was Hatcher, Mr Mickey Hatcher, who had 37 ribbies in 1981. Smalley was the homerun king with seven. (Castino only had 6).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/1981.shtml

St Paul said...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/
1981.shtml

it is.

S.Chancellor said...

St. Paul,

Castino was quite the offensive force. He won the team Triple Crown in '80 with a torrid .302-13-64.

I was just out running, and was doing the math on 23 RBI in 109 games, thinking, I must be mistaken. So it is good to see Hatcher proved me wrong with 37 RBI as you say.

I don't remember him from '81; I thought we picked him up in '82.

Nick,

Yes, the Twins were the hitless wonders in '05 too. But I don't recall giving up 5 outs every turn - didn't we still have Jones and Guzman?

None of our division winners since '02 have hit particularly well. Our bats have come up empty each post-season.

Nick N. said...

Yes, the Twins were the hitless wonders in '05 too. But I don't recall giving up 5 outs every turn - didn't we still have Jones and Guzman?

Guzman was gone in '05. Bartlett got his first shot at a regular job at short, but struggled to the tune of .241/.315/.355 in 224 at-bats. The rest of the at-bats there went mainly to Juan Castro, who posted a .279 OBP. And yes, Jones was still around that year, but he wasn't particularly good (.249/.319/.438). That team also had no second baseman (Nick Punto, Bret Boone and Brent Abernathy split time there).

Collectively, the 2005 Twins had a .259 batting average and a .323 on-base percentage, which ranks safely behind this year's (still ugly) .265 and .330.

Nick M. said...

Looking back at the baseball reference page for the 2005 Twins, I'm remembering why that season was hard to watch as well. Shannon Stewart had a embarassing year at the plate in his one "full" season with the Twins in his three-year contract, Jones struck out way too much and didn't hit for average, Nick Punto was Nick Punto, Lew Ford regressed to being himself as well, Hunter was doing alright but got hurt, Mauer and Morneau were young (but their years weren't bad for their ages), and at-bats were handed out not just to Castro, Abernathy, and Boone but also to the infamous Terry Tiffee and poor Glenn Williams, who hit .425 in 40 at-bats. I hope things don't end the way they did in 2005, but despite being only 4 1/2 games back, it feels like a fight the Twins are more likely to lose for the reasons they prominently displayed last night.

Anonymous said...

Don't look for the offense to be better tonight. Bannister has been very solid this year, and the Twins travel days always seem to show a lack of scoring.

Hey, maybe they're due. Yeah, they're due man, they're totally due. Just a bunch of bad luck so far.

Anonymous said...

The boys don't seem to be having fun out there. Not sure if that is a "cause" or an "effect" of their hitting struggles but it is hard to see Justin get so angry with himself when he pops up or whiffs.

Seems to me the boys play (hit and field) best when they are having fun.

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,