I sincerely feel sorry for anyone that made a trip out to the Metrodome for a game in the Twins' latest series against the Indians. Aside from missing out on some beautiful late summer weather, these poor fans were subjected to some ugly performances from a Twins squad that really doesn't seem to be trying anymore.
What a colossal tailspin this team has gone into. After dropping their seventh straight game against the Indians yesterday, the Twins are now two games below .500 and 12.5 out of first place in the AL Central. Can you even believe that just over a week ago this same Twins club went into Cleveland riding a five-game winning streak and looking to potentially move within two and a half games of the division lead? It's almost unfathomable when you look at the way they're currently playing.
Scott Baker's outing in yesterday's game was a far cry from the near-perfect effort he put forth on Friday night. He gave up 11 hits and two walks over five innings, but still managed to hold the Indians scoreless after giving up three quick first-inning runs. Unfortunately, the offense provided little help (as usual), and the Tribe touched up Nick Blackburn and Pat Neshek for three insurance runs in the ninth in an eventual 6-2 Cleveland victory.
X-rays on the injured middle finger of Mike Redmond's left hand came back negative for a break, but he will miss several days with what is being termed a "sprained ligament" in his knuckle. I think it's safe to say that Joe Mauer is still not ready to return -- La Velle wrote on his blog prior to yesterday's game that if Chris Heintz were to get injured in the first four innings, Justin Morneau would have been moved to catcher.
The injuries to Redmond and Mauer would seem to give the Twins a great opportunity to get a look at catching prospect Jose Morales, who hit .313 in Rochester this year, but my guess is that we'll just see a whole lot of Heintz over the next several days. I'm excitedly awaiting the inevitable day that we see Heintz, Luis Rodriguez, Nick Punto, Garrett Jones and Lew Ford all in the same lineup. I mean, that's what these meaningless September games are for: planning for the future. Right?