Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tragedy in the Twins Cities

If I were more inclined to talk merely about baseball in this post, once again, the tragedy in the title would likely refer to the demeanor by which the Twins went about losing to the Kansas City Royals last night. Of course, anyone reading this blog knows that the tragedy is far bigger than that. With the events that occured on I-35W in mind, I assume that most readers will have less time today for baseball and with that in mind, I'll keep my comments short and I will subdue my desire to rant too much.

Despite what happened on 35W, I still managed to make the game, as the allure of cheap hot dogs and student seats was enough to get me out to the Metrodome. Unfortunately for me and all the other Twins fans who made it out, the Twins didn't give us enough to chear about. The gave felt all too predictable. Boof Bonser had a good outing, going seven innings, giving up eight hits and two runs while walking none and striking out four. Naturally, despite his best efforts, there was no win for Bonser to pick up.

The Twins offense did give Bonser a little bit of support, with RBI singles from Jason Bartlett in the third and Jason Kubel in the fourth and seventh. However, the eight hits (with a little help from the Royals embarrassing outfield defense) the Twins managed against Royals starter Brian Bannister their unsurprising difficulty with baserunning, as Jason Bartlett and Alexi Casilla had hurtful gaffes on the basepaths that may have prevented the Twins from scoring more.

Thus, it was no surprise that the Royals came back to tie it, with help from a Lew Ford error and a Matt Guerrier wild pitch, and it was no less predictable that Alex Gordon hit a two-run, game-winning home run off of Juan Rincon in the tenth before the "fearsome" trio of Ford, Nick Punto, and Casilla could come to the plate in the bottom of the tenth to quickly end the game. Another solid pitching outing was wasted by the all-too familiar offensive ineptitude of the Twins lineup before their chances were hurt more by the confusing decision to send homer-prone Rincon, who now has a horrible 6.21 ERA, out in the tenth instead of Joe Nathan or even Ramon Ortiz if Nathan was too tired. Adding to this was Ron Gardenhire's decision to micromanage the eight inning and waste three relief pitchers before the Royals tied the game to send it to extra innings.

It may sadden some fans to know that today's game is cancelled, but there is good reason for that obviously. Hopefully, this will give the Twins some time to rest while Ron Gardenhire stumples on the principle that Punto only hinders the offense and that using your best relievers first in extra-innings is always a good rule to go by.

Lastly, I would like to say what we are all thinking: thoughts and prayers to anyone and everyone involved in what happened.

11 comments:

Sheldon said...

It feels weird to comment about a game in light of the real life tragedy unfolding -- but -- was Nathan even available after having pitched 4 games in a row? I thought the mistake was in burning through 3 relievers in the 8th when your closer wasn't available (or at least not at full strength due to the recent workload) and then leaving a choice of Rincon or Ortiz for the 10th. Overall the stats I've seen seem to indicate that Gardy ends up using his best relievers in high leverage situations while at the same time having fairly defined roles that seem to help those pitching out of the bullpen feel comfortable.

Nick M. said...

I was going to pretty much write the same thing. I think I just missed it. I had a bad feeling while I was at the game about using those three relievers only to be left in a tie game situation and it was definitely a poor idea. I am not sure if I realized that Nathan was used four games in a row, but since he's been effective, I would think he could still handle one inning, even though his work load has been relatively high for a closer this season.

Nick M. said...

I added a bit to the post now that makes mention of Nathan's high usage as of late.

Baseball_Lipgloss said...

I was at the game last night also (partaking in Dollar Dogs and Twingo.) Most people around me were on their cell phones and blackberrys. I don't think many people were focused on the game happening in front of them (especially the guys with the beach balls.) What is the deal with Rincon? Has he done well enough lately to earn a chance to pitch?

Tricia said...

Ugh. This whole thing is just unreal. I feel selfish even for thinking this, but... I don't want Rincon to pitch ever, ever again. What's the last time he pitched and did NOT give up a homer?

Nick M. said...

Nice mention of the beach balls. I distinctly remember a lot of those going around. Yeah, I was also on my cell phone for a good deal of the game, but not by choice. A lot of people called me--most of them friends from out of state--but I was still able to watch the game. I'm not sure why Gardy put him out there. He's given up an earned run in six of his last 11 appearances and at least a run in seven. The 1.75 WHIP is ugly, but so is the 35/19 K/BB ratio in only 37 2/3 innings. However, nothing says struggling quite as much as 8 home runs given up in those limited innings, leading to opponents hitting .301/.382/.506 against him. Rincon hasn't been this ineffective since 2002.

Nick M. said...

Tricia -

He's given up home runs in two straight appearances, both in losses, but surprisingly enough, in the appearance before that, he gave up four earned runs without allowing a home run. So the home runs are just one indication of how bad he's been. I have to agree with your sentiments - when I saw him come out of the bullpen, it felt like game over.

Ted666 said...

He has been bad since being busted for using "supplements".

Coincidence?

Nick N. said...

You can't say that kind of thing, Ted... You're supposed to be with us!

Nick M. said...

If I remember correctly, he said those substances were supposed to be Vitamin B. He got confused. Clearly, he just needs that energy boost!

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,

,