After recording impressive victories on Friday and Saturday night, the Twins fell to the Indians 4-2 in yesterday's series finale to leave Cleveland with a series victory rather than a sweep. It was a good weekend for the Twins, but it's not too difficult to see why they were unable to pick up a win yesterday against left-handed starter Aaron Laffey.
Coming into the game, here were the numbers for the Twins' right-handed middle-of-the-lineup hitters against southpaws:
Michael Cuddyer: .188/.272/.385
Delmon Young: .188/.235/.375
Joe Crede: .286/.333/.500
Only Crede has been having any success against lefties so far in this young season. In total, the three hitters were 2-for-11 in the game, with both the hits being singles. The Twins need these three to step up their performance against left-handers so the offense won't be completely screwed on days where the big lefty bats -- Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel -- struggle as they did yesterday.
Of course, the impetus also falls on the team's other right-handed hitters, such as Brendan Harris (hitting .267 vs. LHP), Carlos Gomez (hitting .143 vs. LHP). The team's regular switch-hitters, Nick Punto and Alexi Casilla, have gone a combined 1-for-36 against southpaws.
Struggling against left-handers is nothing new for the Twins, but it's really not excusable given with the number of right-handed batters they can trot out against any lefty. Joe Mauer's return should provide an overall jolt to the lineup but shouldn't be expected to help them specifically in this area. Instead, the responsibility falls on guys like Cuddyer and Young to do their job and step up when left-handed pitchers are suppressing the team's big lefty bats.