Livan’s Crash Landing
Oh boy…this is starting to get ugly. For the umpteenth time tonight, a Twins starting pitcher let the game get out of hand before the offense could even begin to warm up. This time, it was the Fat Man (well, both Fat Men actually, Livan and Boof!). Of course, the only people this should surprise are the blindly-optimistic Twins fans, who thought that Livan would finish the season roughly 25-5. Win-wise, Hernandez had a great month and a half to start the season, but now he is just coming back to earth.
Really, the Livan Hernandez approach to pitching is quite simple: let the hitter hit the ball and let the law of averages take over. In that case, the best hitters are only going to get hits off of him three out of every ten times. Of course, that is almost exactly what happens! In his career, Livan is 140-130 with a 4.27 ERA…exactly what one might expect from a pitcher who plays the odds. Hernandez will likely finish with a 15-14 record or so when all is said or done.
That being said, the Twins really need to get their starting pitchers back on track. To me, there is nothing more demoralizing (besides, perhaps, a blown save) than having your starting pitcher give up crooked numbers in bunches. This actually affects the hitters as much as the pitchers themselves, as the hitters begin to try and do too much and do not put in quality at-bats. I am not panicking about the Twins’ starting pitching yet, though. If the “2000-era” Twins have shown me anything, it is that they have the ability to salvage a pitching staff. By nearly all accounts, the Twins shouldn’t even be this close (4.5 games after tonight’s loss) to the top of the division with their current pitching staff, which has only let them down in the last two weeks. I think Gardy and crew can still get this thing back on track.
On on bright note, Delmon Young went yard for the first time of the season. Comically, it didn’t even make it to the first row of the seats! Historical Rant: During the 1998 season, my Dad and I saw the only home run hit by Otis Nixon as a Twin. It too landed in front of the first seat in left field at the Dome.
Preview: Tomorrow afternoon, Kevin Slowey (2-5, 3.76) takes the mound against Gavin Floyd (6-3, 3.15). Slowey has been pitching pretty well as of late, so hopefully he can stop the bleeding. Remember, the Twins lost the first two games of the Yankee series last week and came back to get the split…we desperately need the same thing now!