Coming into this past four-game series on the road against the top team in the AL West, I'd have been satisfied if the Twins were to come out with a split. Naturally, that pill becomes a bit more difficult to swallow when you see your team when the first two games of the series and when you see them leading late in the finale with a chance to take three of four and start their difficult road trip on a very positive note.
The Twins weren't able to do that, as the bullpen once again blew a late lead in yesterday's game and eliminated the chance for a series victory against the Angels. Nevertheless, the Twins played relatively well throughout the four-game set and certainly did not look overmatched against a team they could possibly match up against in the playoffs, should things reach that point. In that, we should take some measure of comfort.
It's not so much annoying that the Twins lost two games in this series, but rather the way they lost those games. On Saturday night, shoddy defense was the culprit. Nick Blackburn pitched a decent game, but was really let down by some serious defensive miscues from Brian Buscher and Carlos Gomez, among others. Yesterday Nick Punto started at third base and turned in a sterling defensive performance, but even that wasn't enough to save the Twins bullpen from blowing a late lead and erasing a strong performance from Kevin Slowey. It's nice to see that when the Twins are losing, it's not necessarily because they're being completely outplayed. Yet it's unfortunate to see them unable to put away games that they quite easily could be winning.
Facing a first-place team in a hostile environment, the Twins took two of four games. It could have been a lot worse. But certainly, with the way things played out, it could have been a lot better.