Mental Edge? Not So Much!
Well, so much for my “mental edge” theory. Tonight, the Twins were outplayed by the rival ChiSox, losing by the score of 10-6. Two comments about tonight’s contest:
1. Once again, the value of power (whether gap or home run) was readily apparent tonight. Though the Twins hit a few home runs of their own (but Gomez and Casilla will not produce those kind of bombs on a consistent basis), the White Sox showed that a few big bats can really turn a game around. Case in point: in the fifth inning, at one point the Sox had the bases loaded with no outs, and ended up having all participants in that situation touch home plate. The following inning, the Twins loaded the bases with one out…and nobody scored. However, one really can’t fault the Twins too much, as if you score six runs in a game you expect to win it, which brings me to my second point.
2. Ultimately, the blame for this loss falls squarely on starter Nick Blackburn and reliever Juan Rincon. Though its easy to blame Rincon due to his current doldrums, it was Blackburn that loaded (and, I guess, unloaded when you count A.J. Pierzynski’s double) the bases in the fifth inning. Hopefully, this was just a little hiccup for Blackburn on a cool, windy night (not the best pitching conditions to begin with) and he will bounce back next time. Rincon, on the other hand, I feel is a lost cause. He is nowhere near the dominant setup man he once was, and he shows no signs of returning to that form anytime soon, if ever. I realize that the Twins are giving him every opportunity in the world to stick around, as he is out of options and would likely not clear waivers, but at what point do you say “enough is enough”? Personally, I would much rather see a young talent like Bobby Korecky out in the bullpen. At least he brings some degree of confidence to the mound; unlike Rincon who elicits groans from fans just while warming in the bullpen!
Final thought for all Twins fans: Don’t you just hate it when Mr. Pierzynski gets a clutch hit against us?! I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised, as he was always one of our better clutch hitters, but it still irks me nonethless!
Preview: An interesting pitching matchup in Livan “Fat Man” Hernandez (a funny nickname, not mean-spirited!) vs. Mark “Twins Killer” Buerhle. Livan better be on top of his deception game, or the Sox will tee it up. Also, pitching deep into the contest is a must, as the pen is overworked as it is (why else would we see Rinky-Dink come in during a close situation?).