After a good series against the Texas Rangers over the weekend, the Twins dropped an egg last night against the Yankees, losing 12-4. Unfortunately, there aren't too many positives to pull out of the game, but there are plenty of observations to consider:
* Admittedly, it's hard these days to continue to defend Boof Bonser when he seems to give up runs and hits every time he's on the hill. And that would be reality, not merely perception, as he's given up runs in seven of his last eleven appearances. With his ERA now at a sky-high 6.59, things continue to look bad for Boof. The positive, as with most of his ugly appearances, is that he's at least showing some signs of potential, as he struck out three hitters in the 3 1/3 innings he pitched. Also, no one can deny some bad luck, which was clear on hits like Johnny Damon's soft pop fly RBI double.
* Nick Blackburn also ran into some bad luck, which has been somewhat the story of his season. Blackburn's 7-6 record is not necessarily indicative of his quality of pitching and last night offers at least some examples of that issue. Alexi Casilla's error that continued the rough second inning stands out, but the defense for the Twins in general wasn't particularly good last night. Of course, there is nothing the defense can do about certain things, like Alex Rodriguez's two-run homer.
* Losing twice to Sidney Ponson is something that has to hurt for Twins, as much as it hurts as a fan. The previous loss was certainly more embarrassing, as the Twins managed only six hits in a complete game victory for Ponson, but this time around wasn't much better because there was a lack of execution as evidenced by scoring only three runs off of Ponson despite putting 11 base-runners on in 5 2/3 innings.
* Denard Span continued his impressive hitting last night, going 3-for-4 with the Twins' only two extra-base hits, with a double and a triple. Span still only has 85 at-bats, but that .329/.424/.429 line is looking pretty good right now. I may have pegged him to disappoint in the second half, but Span is still showing a solid stick and should have a line Twins fans can be satisfied with by the end of the year.
* Alexi Casilla is the only other Twin to really have much of a night on offense. He went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. While his .320 average is looking good right now, it does still conceal a lack of power and patience. The lack of power is something Twins can easily look over, but Casilla is going to have to start improving his walk rate at the top of the order. His OBP is not embarrassing at all (.358), but being projected for only 32 walks is, as evidenced by a meager .038 Isolated Discipline.
* Tonight, the Twins put Kevin Slowey on the hill. Slowey's last start was terrible, when his ERA jumped from 3.78 to 4.26 after giving up six runs to the Tigers in only 3 2/3 innings. Though he wasn't much better in the start before, he had been excellent in four starts between June 13 and June 29. Hopefully, Slowey can get back on track tonight, as he has shown a good ability to bounce back from the few terrible starts he has had this year.